Startup School - Product Stars
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Startup School

How to start a startup, by Y Combinator

Upvotes 3,413 PH Page >
nick kukoz
Thank for your love and generosity. Greatly appreciated to Sam, Finbar, and Steven. P.s.: Thanks @katmanalac. Motorcycling and shooting skills are getting better.
Ryan Hoover
Y Combinator's moving further up the funnel to educate and identify great founders and companies in a semi-scalable way. Super smart. @sama - In the blog post, it says "At the end of the class, participants will have a chance to share what they’ve built with a wide audience." Is this like a mini-demo day? How will this work?
Sam Altman
Maker
@rrhoover still trying to figure out the exact format, but yes the thought is some sort of mini demo day!
Muhammad Nasrullah
@sama this is pretty great but when I try to signup with my email, it keeps submitting. I get this 522 from the server: http://imgur.com/a/t7pDJ
Muhammad Nasrullah
Never mind, the form isn't playing nice with AdBlock it appears
Honey Raj Varma
@sama @rrhoover Considering this is a MOOC course, people could submit their team's videos online as a start, students could vote for what they really liked. Maybe offer a cool opportunity to a select few? :D
Horea Burca
@rrhoover @sama Right on, signed up! Now it'd better help me out caus you completely stole the show today on PH :) What are the odds I'd launch here the same day as you, man?
Gavin Esajas
@sama @rrhoover Would be cool to give us a glimpse of the mini demo day as well if you pursue this idea.
Lynn Hoang
@rrhoover @sama Hi Ryan and Sam! My name is Lynn Hoang. I am founder and CEO of OpenTalk.FM (We are in Founder Track Program at YC Startup School). We summarized what we have learnt from the program so the founders who don't have time to watch every video, are still be able to digest some key points from each video lesson. We would truly appreciate your support! Thanks a lot for your consideration :) https://www.producthunt.com/posts/a-summary-guide-to-yc-startup-school-by-opentalk-fm
Ryan Hoover
@lynn_hoang that's awesome. Love the design. 👊🏼
Lynn Hoang
@rrhoover thanks very much for supporting us, Ryan! Your vote and comment mean a lot to us! Happyyyyy! It was my first time being a maker on Product Hunt. I should have my post hunted by the Top Hunter but I did not know, so I hunted it myself. I will learn the process better next time :)
Ryan Hoover
@lynn_hoang not a problem at all actually! I saw you posted it later in the day so it should have a chance to bubble up tomorrow. 👊🏼
Lynn Hoang
@rrhoover Super awesome!! Now I can take my meditation class 630pm at WaterHouse tonight 😆 and get back to work on after the class with a refresh mind 😇 Thanks again for your consideration 🙌🏻
Ben Tossell
I do like that YC creates lots of interesting content surrounding their platform. This is no exception. I'm sure lots of people will have signed up to this. Really intrigued to see what is shared at the end too... Waiting to see the story of "I signed up to Startup School, 6 months later I was accepted into Y Combinator"
Daniel Reilly
Looks great. Looking forward to the official start. Are there any other requirements apart from wanting to or running your own startup? Is there any gradings or set takeaways. Really interested in learning more.
Finbarr Taylor
Maker
@daniel_reilly in order to "graduate" we ask participants to submit weekly updates and attend weekly office hour sessions. Anyone can watch the lectures without signing up.
Daniel Reilly
@finbarr Fantastic. Can't wait to see it in action/participate. If there is anything I can do to increase awareness or create local user groups here let me know.
Kunal Bhatia
This is awesome. @sama, for someone who watched your Stanford lectures, what will be the major difference in the new format?
Sergey Pirogov
@kunalslab had the same question. Here's the answer: - For a limited group in a special Startup Founder track, we’ll have weekly online advice sessions where you can get feedback on your startup. The advisors are mostly YC alumni, like Daniel Kan (Cruise), Sanjay Dastoor (Boosted Boards), and Cindy Wu (Experiment). We’ll run these like we run group office hours at YC, and may be limited depending on demand and our resources. - We’ll have an online community via Slack and email where you can connect with other entrepreneurs in the class. - At the end of the class, participants will have a chance to share what they’ve built with a wide audience.
Kunal Bhatia
@perpetuous saw that. Thanks! Was also wondering how much of the lecture content will be different.
Kunal Bhatia
Following up on my own question now that we've graduated from Startup School for @SlidesUp with @viveknb and for anyone interested in applying to a future batch: - Getting group and individual office hours with a mentor (ours was @compumike) was invaluable. The mentors have clearly "been there, done that" as YC alums and talking to other startups struggling with the same challenges we faced gave an interesting perspective. - We pushed ourselves outside our comfort zone and launched our product way faster than we expected to. We reported our metrics every week and had a goal set for the end of 10 weeks. We changed our value proposition, modified our whole product roadmap, used the Stripe Atlas deal that was offered to us to incorporate, and got our first paying customers–in 10 weeks! This was the same story across the board for all our peers. - Meeting other Founder's Track folks in Boston and NYC for coffee and a dinner get-together gave a face to a name and chat group. We all helped each other make progress. Despite living so close to these entrepreneurs, I had never met any of them before. Startup School definitely connected us with like-minded people in our communities. TLDR–just apply for Startup School! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Thanks @svkpham and @sama!
Dre Durr💡
@sama Is this an updated version of Startup School? I remember last listening to the podcast and watching the videos last year
Steven Pham
Maker
@dredurr @sama you can think of it that way. While some of the content will likely overlap, we added a few improvements to make the course more hands-on, including advisors and office hours.
Bob Senoff
@svkpham @dredurr @sama The prior Startup School was terrific and I'm sure having something more current will be even better.
David McGraw
For someone outside of the valley, who really itches to surround him/herself with likeminded founders, this should be epic. I know I appreciate the effort and can't wait to give it a spin! Stay motivated & best wishes!
Steven Pham
Maker
Thanks @xmcgraw. We find that to be a very common itch :) Hopefully this makes it a little easier for founders to connect and interact.
James Mazza
I think the traffic to your signup page has broken your signup form. Seems to me that the signup spot is just constantly loading.
Finbarr Taylor
Maker
@james_mazza22 sorry about that. We're getting hammered. If you try again it should work. We'll definitely add some more capacity before opening registration.
James Mazza
@finbarr All set now. Thanks!
Kunal Bhatia
@finbarr same thing for the conference site too. Good problem to have, I guess!
Finbarr Taylor
Maker
@kunalslab thanks! We're looking into it.
Abhilash Jain
This is awesome, love how YC is doing it's bit to get people up to speed for the startups of the future. Big props to you guys.
Steven Pham
Maker
Thanks @findabhilash. Anything we can do to make it easier for people to innovate and solve interesting problems is a win for all of us.
Jason Grad
@sama This is awesome! Will this be mostly beginner content or do you feel there will also be a lot of value for seasoned entrepreneurs?
Steven Pham
Maker
@mrjasongrad @sama while a lot of the content will be focused on the early stages of a startup, office hours and community are both things that may provide value to seasoned entrepreneurs.
Jason Grad
@svkpham @sama Great! I'm excited to collaborate and see how we can add value to your community, as well.
James Mazza
@JoeyCofone Check this out!
Vivek Ramesh
this has to be the single best thing anyone can come up with in recent times and i cant believe this came into existence just when i was planning to start a startup
Steven Pham
Maker
@vivek_ramesh it was supposed to be a secret... but we made this course just for you :)
Laksman
@sama this is amazing. I'm wondering, will there be opportunity for solo founders going through this class to pair up and find a co-founder? I could see that as being very useful..
Steven Pham
Maker
@laksman @sama That's definitely one of the things we hope the community we're building will help with!
Can Olcer
@laksman @sama Doesn't this contradict YC's believe that co-founders should know and worked with each other on significant projects before founding a startup?
Sunil Neurgaonkar
Something that is needed by many individuals here. 🙌🤓
Mohamed Yunus
Difference between YC and other ax is others pick founders with just great backgrounds whereas YC picks founders with great character and help them build a great background. See you soon in S'17.
Jevin Sew
@tweetyunus Love that summary!
Vitor
How will be the interaction between the teams and the people who will participate in the classes? Any plans to develop a new tool for discussion, conversation and perhaps new contacts to form new startups or will be encouraged to use tools already available such as Slack, Disqus, HackerNews etc ?
Steven Pham
Maker
@vit05 For this first course we'll be using Slack for discussion and interaction between groups, participants, and advisors.
Marcel Panse
@sama as a startup from the EU, what time will the office hours and group sessions be, will we be able to join?
Steven Pham
Maker
@marcelpanse @sama Group sessions will be scheduled by your group advisor -- with your time preferences in mind. We'll help sort by timezones so hopefully that will make it easier.
Lauren
Awesome - I took this course via YC's podcast, "How to Start a Startup," and it was honestly one of the best courses I've taken. Such great content/stories and actionable learnings from some unbelievable guest lecturers. Keith Rabois (on "How to Operate") and Brian Chesky (on how to do things that don't scale) gave two of my favorite lectures. Nice to see YC is promoting this series even more.
David Smooke
Another step between Hacker News & Venture Investment!
Kristian Kabuay
This is great! Thank you! One thing though is that the term "Startup" sometimes scares people because they think it has a tech angle when in reality, the methodologies can be used for any business. Looking forward to this

We believe the barrier to entry for people to start a startup is still too high. We want to make it easier for people to start a company, regardless of who or where you are, so we're starting by sharing what we've learned, through Startup School.

Startup School is a free 10-week massively open online course (MOOC). The course will begin in early 2018. Lectures will be posted here weekly.

Sign up to receive Startup School 2018 updates.

For founders actively pursuing your own startup, we welcome you to participate in the course. You will have additional access to active founder-advisors who can help give you feedback on your company.

If you're interested in participating as a startup founder, or receiving course updates and announcements, sign up here and we'll let you know when applications open:

Catch up on past Startup School content.

Team and Execution (Sam Altman)

Before the Startup (Paul Graham)

Building Product, Talking to Users, and Growing (Adora Cheung)

Culture (Brian Chesky, Alfred Lin)

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