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Monday, October 21, 2013

Y Combinator Startup School 2013 Highlights

I wrote most of these tweets, but to cross-check for originals versus retweets please check here http://www.twitter.com/i_stanford


Y Combinator Startupschool 2013 Highlights

Ron Conway ultimate Angel Investor godfather

User interface IP is the new algorithm (the sauce of startup success) @startupschool #ronconway

hire fast fire fast, even if it is cofounders

Ben @pinterest was a founder with a rare non-type-A calming effect says #ronconway

When @pinterest started Ben had to do focus groups with women in coffee shops call them next day to ensure engagement. #feedbackloop

40% of his startups will fail [talking generic stats, and expectations highlighting inherent risks of startup failing]



Paul Graham (Y Combinator): 

Successful entrepreneurs are the cockroaches of the corporate world. [refers to resilience in light of hardship]
Mark Zuckerberg: pre-FB friending meant 0, no access to content like newsfeed. Paul Graham: social networks had the nodes of friend graph no arcs

Nathan Blecharczyk (founder of Airbnb): 

investors want the Bs not the Ms baby. [b = billion, m = million major lol humor]



Mark Zuckerberg Founder of Facebook.com

Facebook.com: will enter lockdown mode when competitors are ahead on strategic positions. [Mark Zuckerberg]
Mark Zuckerberg: pre-FB friending meant 0, no access to content like newsfeed. Paul Graham: social networks had the nodes of friend graph no arcs

By another Twitter account: Optimizely raised their A round by hosting a mock board meeting with the top investor prospects. Genius

"As an entrepreneur, your job is not to execute the algorithm, your job is to write the algorithm." -  by twitter account Christopher

Dan is all about feedback and action loops. @startupschool while cash > 0 do feedback then action repeat

Scale talent @Optimizely by @dsiroker it was about hiring new people > current average of existing talent pool. Always scale. 

Product.name  = "Google" + http://product.name  ensured substantial user for feedback loops @Optimizely @startupschool

an from @Optimizely @dsiroker  started with @stanford fashioning neon orange shoes at @startupschool @ycombinator color [this was retweeted by Dan!]

Startup School account tweet: Motivation for creating : wanted to build something "sufficiently epic" to be his life's work.

3 weeks of cash left @evernote investor wasn't going to close deal on the day Lehman collapsed. Phil called everyone in vain @startupschool [this tweet was retweeted by startupschool]

@evernote is Phil's epic work epic work doesn't need an exit strategy. 

 Phil founder of @evernote joked don't even make friends with people you can't found company with. Laughingly @startupschool   @ycombinator





Jack Dorsey founder of twitter and square :  

"The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri

advice is to have a do and donts daily everyday.

the heart of a startup is the founding team's art & crafting, mastery of crafting

Chris Dixon at andreessen horowitz

idea exercise: what would for X Y look like? office hr team today : we are building games like codecademy

university education is a bundle of experiences which will be tear apart 2 b replaced slowly

Tweet by @startupschool “The same thing that’s happened to newspapers in the past 20 years will happen to education in the next 20 years.” - on MOOCs

Additional highlights:

"It's better to make a small number of users really love you than a large number kind of like you"

Stanford Professor Startup Engineering Coursera teacher - balaji srinivasan

philosophy US is a nation of VOICE & EXIT. Vote to change system or immigrate,leave. In startup world is found ur own company

startup tech landscape illustrated



Y Combinator Startup School 2013 - Speaker List plus a casual summary



While the event is by invitation only, it could be watched live. The startupschool 2013 videos are available here on youtube. Checkout the impressive speaker list, and a casual overview of what they said:


This is a pretty awesome casual summary, though casual.

Chase Adam | Founder, Watsi

unusually successful talk by founder of first non-profit at Y Combinator. Business + Tech applied to non-profit in  providing health care

Nate Blecharczyk | Founder, Airbnb

talks about exponential growth and handling exponential growth

Ron Conway | Partner, SV Angel 

overview of fundraising, paperworks, financial backbone of startups

Chris Dixon | Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Founder, Hunch, SiteAdvisor 


talks about ideas and how to find winning ideas

Jack Dorsey | Founder, Square, Twitter 

gets personal and talk about how to use philosophical wisdoms in literature and non-fiction to get by tough times in startups

Diane Greene | Founder, VMWare

the early founding of VM and getting the process right

Phil Libin | Founder, Evernote, CoreStreet 

gets personal talks about tough times at Evernote, building lifetime epic work in startup

Dan Siroker | Founder, Optimizely 

the philosophical algorithms of founding companies and getting it right through feedback loops

Balaji Srinivasan | Founder, Counsyl; Lecturer, Stanford 

philosophical examination of new tech utopia, as the backbone of US economy and "political exit"

Mark Zuckerberg | Founder, Facebook


gets personal and talk about early startup years of Facebook, and hacking building constantly in Harvard

Need to think about how to succeed in Y Combinator interview and get into the accelerator, or better yet understand how to have super-fast legit reflex speed answers for a oral business plan fitting for Y Combinator? Checkout Paul Graham and Sam Altman's live office hour interview for 3 startup ideas, 1 admitted 2 failed. Ask yourself why and why not?


Two additional parts of the blog post:
You can get a sense on my twitter account http://www.twitter.com/i_stanford if you filter by @startupschool or #startupschool #startupschool2013 I had Twitter on the entire time, so this is going to be epic.
2. Why Y Combinator has turned me away from startup-ing, with a twist though!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Product Management Studies: Evernote Physical Product UI

Read about Evernote's new Post-It Note partnership product on Mashable.com You can now tag each color with smart tags, given them meanings, get free premium membership, and digitalize your doodles and blueprints with the help of 3M.

Checkout the new Evernote market place https://www.evernote.com/market/ It is making physical products cool again.

Post-It Note may not be the sexist product any more, but honestly, honestly, these four colors are pretty FLAT, yes, that means they are cool! >_< right? iOS7 is flat (though it may not be cool), but these vintage colors are making a come back. Electric blue? Just a little more neon than the flat blue. Not the same I know, but definitely some affinity. If I were 3M, I would turn these four colors to flat colors though. Then it would be perfect!

What about an Evernote green? What would you tag it with? Your answer may just be the brand value/image of Evernote.


The product is rather similar to the Moleskin Evernote notebooks, which have beautiful pressed cover filled with Evernote's popular logos and icons (the founder was very proud of the logo).


Then I can't help but noticed the wallet, seemingly simple. I immediately noticed to whom Evernote is trying to market. Can you guess what is the geo location of its potential customers?
If you have used the fast on-time metros of the far east, or their ever-so-abundant vending machines, you may recognize the tiny green card that is known as Suica (yes, our clipper cards might have learnt a thing or two from this one). Below is a "infograph" of the intended contents. Yes, all Japanese.

Evernote has achieved somewhat of a cultish status and popularity in Japan. The fan base was like the Mac Apple lovers back then. It is not too surprising that Evernote will boldly display these pictures on their American website. Japan is also associated with good modern designs, high quality, concise, and top-notch. Imagine, how people will feel, if these bills were Chinese (no offense to any one, i am just proposing a quick exercise of perspective)? It just doesn't say the same about design quality.





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