Things To Do When You're Drunk
There are a whole lot of ways you can cultivate a great startup idea–hiring talented team members, learning to master the pivot with poise, and scoring a hefty round of funding are just a few. But what’s another popular way to hit on a moneymaking idea and embrace the fearlessness needed to pursue it? Get drunk. Really drunk.
Teach Me How to Startup
Paul Graham’s plan to give away his best billion dollar ideas? That was so last week. The man who pioneered the practice of the startup idea freebie has taken his “Don’t worry about coming up with your own concept” theory to its logical extreme. Now, you don’t even need an idea. At all.
On the Y Combinator blog yesterday, Mr. Graham, a partner in the prestigious incubator, let the world know about a little experiment they’re trying with this the next cycle of applicants: “If the only thing holding you back from starting a startup is not having an idea for one, now nothing is holding you back. If you apply for this batch and you seem like you’d make good founders, we’ll accept you with no idea and then help you come up with one.”
Betabeat first alerted you to the phenomenon of investors giving away their best ideas like so many party favors last June. But it appears repeat offender Paul Graham is at it again!
Back in 2008, Mr. Graham kicked off the practice by posting a list of startups Y Combinator would like to invest in. “We don’t like to sit on these ideas,” he noted, “Because we really want people to work on them.” But his latest offering to the shared pool puts that list to shame.
On his personal blog recently, Mr. Graham posted seven (count ‘em, seven) different “Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas” that could make you (yes, you!) a billionaire.
Drchrono, the company that is working to get more doctors using easy tools on the iPad and in the cloud, just announced a $2.8 million round of funding led by Yuri Milner. The Russian tech mogul must really like these guys! Mr. Milner invested just over $1.2 million in Drchrono’s seed rounds back in July and August; now he’s recruited Google’s search guru Matt Cutts as an investor. Betabeat interviewed Drchrono’s Daniel Kivatinos back in May, while the company was stilling finishing up the Y Combinator program. “Investors in Silicon Valley are the best you can find. If they see amazing ideas, they will move fast to cultivate that idea but invest if they can,” he told us at the time. Drchrono makes iPad apps for doctors to handle things like billing and patient check-in.
Teach Me How to Startup
On his blog yesterday WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg (who is not personally responsible for Betabeat being down just now, but sorry about that) noted something unusual about Y Combinator’s newest venture partners, namely their lack of venture experience.
The joke used to be that Grouper was a Y Combinator funded startup, because the founders took the $400 travel reimbursement check they got after being rejected from the prestigious acclerator and used it as the seed funding for Grouper.
Now Betabeat has learned that Grouper was accepted into the new class at Y Combinator, and co-founder Michael Waxman will be heading out to California shortly.
Kathryn Minshew never had much luck with tech incubators. “My first company I applied to a whole bunch and got rejected.” So with her new venture, The Daily Muse, a content and career site for young professional women, Ms. Minshew was planning to skip the applications and focus on bootrapping her firm. “If it wasn’t for Rachel Sklar and her post about getting your name out there, I never would have applied to Y Combinator.” (That Sklar, always changing the ratio and changing minds.)
The Daily Muse decided to apply and prepped with local YC alumni. “There is a very specific culture and interview process at Y Combinator. It’s like a college, you need to know the culture.”
Boom, accepted, which means another thing on their already very full plates. “We just had 100 percent growth month over month in our traffic. We’re trying to hire new staffers. Now add moving to California into the mix,” said Ms. Minshew.
Hacker News News
Did Mayor Mike Bloomberg, tech champion, join the influential geek forum Hacker News? It appears so. About 12 hours ago, someone registered an account for “mikebloomberg” and submitted a link to a video on Mr. Bloomberg’s website entitled “My Visit to TechStars’ Demo Day in NYC.”
Notorious Nodejitsu just got a big fat “get out of jail free” card from Paul Graham. The New York-based startup has been persona non grata on the influential geek forum Hacker News since . . . well, we first heard about the drama, oh, back in December?
Mr. Graham, who runs Y Combinator and Hacker News, says Nodejitsu was banned for spamming; Nodejitsu’s founders suspected it was because they compete with Y Combinator alum Heroku. But as of Sunday night, Nodejitsu’s back in the game.