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Ten Weeks with Y Combinator’s Startup School (medium.com/vladimirpolo)
144 points by vladimirpolo on June 20, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments

We went through Startup School program too [^1]. From what I read in your post, it seems every mentor had its own way of conducting the Office Hours. For example, we didn't have the feedback loop on how the office hours went you mention.

Ian, our mentor, went through every project and asked questions that made us make great progress. In our company's case, we went from Idea to MVP, then to Product and Launch in 10 weeks (thanks Ian!).

Also, Office Hours are great because it gives you the accountability needed to push forward every week.

One thing I noticed is how sharp in timing the Office Hours were. They were 1 hour length mostly all of the times. Same with Startup School lecture videos which consistently were around 50min long.

Is this sharp control over timing something in American culture? As an European I find surprising how you guys make things last the exact amount of time you want even when you don't control the input (like in office hours where 10 startups have to show their progress)

[^1] http://www.TechLeaks.org -> A Glassdoor tailored to Software Engineers.

> Is this sharp control over timing something in American culture?

Probably. It's viewed as respecting others to make sure the time allotted doesn't go over. It also allows other people to better plan their day. As an American, when I run meetings they end as close to the pre-determined time as possible, and better if earlier. If there needs to be something else said, a follow-up is scheduled with only the interested parties.

Glad you got a lot out of it, I was in group 19 (guided by Brad Flora - who was awesome BTW). I similarly did not meet 50% of the teams. Of course, my team had morning and evening office hours and I only ever attending evening office hours, so that's not too surprising.

This is article is pretty much the same experience I had. Albeit we launched June 12th (pretty much, the last day of Startup School).

We built a super rough MVP during throughout the duration of Startup School. Here's our product if anyone's interested:


It's basically a search engine meets your news feed. We're specifically targeting financial advising, while keeping an eye on enterprise search.

Launching it so late, had it's draw backs, but also IMO was the right for us. We got to see everyone else's progress, but we also did follow much of the advise: interviewing customers, launching pre-registration, how to structure a company / team, etc. We also got to see other teams mistakes, and successes.

I think that's what I found super valuable, not so much where people were from, but the various stages of their startups! We had people come in with only ideas, and watched them bring them to launch. Some people grew their company 10x. It was fun and interesting to watch the process.

We also had several people interview for the Summer YC class, while in startup school. I've previously interviewed, so I knew what it was like - but others (and I to some extent) found it valuable to ask questions and understand what they look for. Some companies in our group, I'm sure, will be looking for funding.

Highly recommend.

Your MVP looks interesting. Is there evidence that NPS and other such metrics actually correlate to the price of a stock? What differentiates you from other trend analysis stock pick sites?

We have done quite a bit of analysis.

NPS and sentiment analysis is pretty good for elections and predicting social events. Sentiment analysis (or what we call Expert Opinion) is slightly better for predicting stock and crypto movement(s).

We invested last year using our stock advisor:


And this year into crypto currencies:


The real trick, is how we improve signal to noise ratio.

Wow, impressive, if you don't get reversion to the mean of course... Begs the question, if the advisor/algorithms are hot and you have very neat proprietary tech, why not just go the route of Renaissance:


Thank you. As I can see it was a great experience for you. Your pitch is very clear : )

I'll probably be contacting about https://academyocean.com/

I don't know the cost, but my system needs quite a bit of on boarding at the moment. So, kudos for definitely hitting a product-market fit.

Will be happy to provide a personal demo of AcademyOcean for you : )

Would love to try the trial, but the credit card wall dissuades me.

That's actually something suggested during startup school - make sure you get customers to pay for a demo (if at all possible).

We have people signing up with the credit cards, and we're still building out the MVP so... We're relatively content at the moment. Plus, we're really only looking for people who have incentive to say:

"Hey, your product sucks you need to fix X, Y and Z or I'm out!"

I'm not a big fan of blanket advice like that. The best sign up flow is the one you test for your specific product. "Collect credit card information ASAP" is a meme that works sometimes, but sometimes doesn't.

Best of luck!

When does the application for the next cohort open?

I assume March 2018?

Thank you for sharing. Always wondered what's going on there.

Happy to share things like this on my Medium.

Is Medium forcing sign-in to view blog posts a new thing, or have I just never noticed it before? https://i.imgur.com/VreES7R.png

Hm..I have never seen this message too. Maybe a new one.

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