Paul Graham just hosted office hours on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, soulsearching with six founders in a public, 8-minute version of the sessions he has with companies at Y Combinator. “What’s special about you?” “Who needs your product most?” “Above all, you need to get people actually using it.” “I’m worried,” he told New York entrepreneur Philipp Tsipman, a protege of Joel Spolsky who continues to work out of Fog Creek’s office even though he’s working on his start-up, DataCurious, full time.
Start-ups can apply to get 8.5 minutes of Y Combinator-style advice from start-up legend Paul Graham at TechCrunch Disrupt. Mr. Graham likes to talk about “the most urgent question right now” for the company, usually what they should be building. But if the company is in a moment of doubt–considering a pivot or unsure about what they need to work on–the discussion is broader. “We have these types of conversations surprisingly often,” Mr. Graham writes. The catch: The discussion takes place on stage for a very public version of what’s usually an intimate conversation.
Hm, odd that this item isn’t #1 on Y Combinator’s Hacker News! A survey of VCs, angels and accelerator graduates shows the original TechStars incubator is more effective than Paul Graham’s venerable Y Combinator. TechStars-Boulder was ranked first, beating Y Combo by a “narrow edge,” Tech Cocktail writes.