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Join the YC Software Team (samaltman.com)
55 points by imkevinxu 185 days ago | hide | past | web | 33 comments | favorite

I can't help but wonder.

They've been posting this job for several months in monthly "Who's hiring" thread (here's one from 227 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12628215)

I can't imagine that they're hiring 100s of people.

I also assume that people do apply because it's YC.

And yet, the position goes unfilled for months.

Either they have extremely unrealistic standards (a dna-spliced cross-breed of Carmack and Torvalds with business acumen of Steve Jobs) or there's something extremely unappealing about this job (after all it does seem like building CRUD apps in rails; you get to rub shoulders with Greatness Of Other People but there's curious absence of "competitive salary", or any salary, in the job description).

Maybe they have a lot of employee turnover. Always hiring because there is always someone going out to work on a new idea.

Well, it you view this page's source. You'll see tags that haven't been used since the 90s like <center>. Maybe the jobs are to maintain legacy systems and alot of engineers don't want to maintain legacy systems. Still, seems like having Y Combinator on your resume would look great.

Hiring engineers is competitive :). Great engineers have a lot of options. We are seeing pretty good traction on our monthly job posts but we would still like to find a couple more great people.

Can you talk about engineering benefits for working on this team besides "you will get to network with hot startups and stuff"? Maybe a bit more color on the technical challenges / culture ?

I think the greatest engineering benefit is being able to take advantage of YC's reach to have a lot of influence.

For example, the YC startup school MOOC was built by one engineer in 2 months. It's now had a major effect on over 10,000 companies who participated. That's pretty cool.

From the actual job listing (http://bit.ly/1Od0T2l):

> We [...] don't hire people who want to work remotely.

Boo. Hiss.

Sorry. Because YC is an in-person program, we've never been great at remote work. Lots of YC companies do it well - you should check them out.

> Because YC is an in-person program, we've never been great at remote work.

Hmm. Is this seen (internally) as a problem that needs fixing?

Should it?

Awesome, Sam. I'm definitely applying!

Total shot in the wild here, but would YC be interested in having an intern? (Waterloo student here, so something from Sept. to Dec.)

How much do you guys pay?

That's a great question. One interesting bit on the job application page:

> We offer standard startup benefits, including equity in YC. As a member of YC, you'll also have opportunities to get to know a lot of the best people in the startup world.

But no mention of a salary. In this particular case I'll make an exception to the rule that you should value your stock at $0.

Actually, it's rather clear that Y Combinator has no plans for an exit event.

To quote Paul Graham himself (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13784):

"Ordinarily a startup should be a C corp. It's cheaper to be an LLC, but if you plan to succeed, you may as well do things right from the start.

With an LLC profits don't get taxed twice like in a regular corporation. So it makes sense to be an LLC if you expect to have substantial profits, but don't expect to grant options, sell shares, or get bought. Consulting firms and law partnerships are often LLCs. YC is an LLC."

So the shares in YC are worth $0.

The idea that shares are worth $0 because there are no plans for an exit is ridiculous.

If there's no dividends or liquidation ability then why would they be valued anything but zero?

The valuation of a company is a reflection of the value of the underlying assets. In the case of YC that is the sum of the value of all the companies YC holds stock in plus intangibles such as the value of the YC brand.

You could liquidate the shares by leaving the company.

But shares in law partnerships aren't worthless. Presumably YC pays its profits (when its portfolio companies have exit events) out to shareholders, so its shares are worth the future value of those profits.

Unless the YC shares are actually shares in all their companies, including DropBox and AirBnB which will inevitably IPO at some point.

> Consulting firms and law partnerships are often LLCs

LLPs perhaps?

Unless you're working for a public company and the shares have no strings or vesting schedule attached, the "value stock at $0" rule applies.

Why value it at other than $0? It's a private company and we have no idea what encumbrances there are on the shares.

Hell, I work for a publicly traded company and have an "ok" RSU grant for which I value the unvested shares at $0.

Equity in YC seems like quite reasonable compensation..

We pay pretty well, both salary and equity :).

Everybody says that. Without actual numbers, this is the some as all the other job listings that people rail about where you go through N levels of interviews to find out they want to pay you half a grilled cheese sandwich per day.

You've demonstrated unsuitability for the role.

I wonder if YC partners and lawyers and other staff (https://www.ycombinator.com/people/) work for free or below market rates.

Did they ask how much the job pays before signing on the dotted line or did they took the job, damn the ability to pay rent.

Or is it faux pas only if it's a lowly coding monkey dares to ask to be properly compensated by a successful (I assume) corporation (Y Combinator, LLC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y_Combinator_(company)) ?

Sam has mentioned before that partners have a sliding scale from minimum wage to $300k, with significantly more and less equity, respectively. Most people choose the lowest salary (of course most of those people are already independently wealthy).


Is there much interaction with YC portfolio companies on the technical side? Also, have there previously been folk on the Software Team who have joined (or founded) YC companies?

There is some. The job is not primarily to be a "technical advisor", but it definitely comes up.

The software team is too new (only about 2 years old) for people to have left to start YC companies yet, but I'm sure it will happen.

Do you sponsor visas for people from India or China?

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