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Ask HN: how was your startup school experience?
5 points by anigbrowl 1824 days ago | hide | past | web | 7 comments | favorite

Crowded, to a scary degree when people started squishing into the lobby despite no actual forward progress at the head of the line. I learned some things about herd behavior that day.

The talks were largely uninteresting. I got far more out of the meet & greets which happened the night before.

Ultimately I voted with my feet and left early.

I didn't see you at the meet-n-greet, but agree with you about the crowd size. I enjoyed the presentations a great deal but didn't even attempt having conversation on Saturday. I had intended to sit with the person I arrived with (krithek2, IIRC) but although he was just a few places behind me in the line for name badges we lost each other in the swirling crowd. I presume it was the event managers who decided where to put the registration table etc.; I suppose they know the location and are used to events like this, but I'd have done that part differently.

PS the crowding is also why I completely failed at meeting anyone from Friday night - sorry Lynn from Google (whose last name I can't remember :-/), Harry Yu and Paul Biggar.

The registration setup was miserable, and the scanners didn't work. Who thought up that traffic flow pattern? We're going to come in, cross through ourselves to get in line, then cross through again to get out the same door, when the building clearly has front and side access?

Set up a bunch of stations, have a bank style line, and when a station frees up, someone goes to it. Or just do what Fry's does and have someone directing you to the next available station. People come in the front, enter the line, hit a station, and depart out the side door. This has the added side-effect of keeping people from coming IN through that door, which is what happened around 11:40 when people all crowded in because we all thought something was starting.

I definitely did not go to join an impromptu mosh pit, but that's what we had for a while there.

I enjoyed the talks (hadn't seen these folks speak before).

I met a couple people, but wish there was more time between talks to chat with people. Perhaps if there was designated signposts/corners-of-the-courtyard for random topics, like "Funding" or "Solo Founders" or "Web" or "Mobile", etc... then it would have been easier to seek out like-minded folks.

I agree with previous posters about poor logistics. I'm not sure why they didn't just let us into the auditorium before 11:58am. That would have greatly reduced the congestion in the lobby area. I was worried there'd be a stampede :-) to see Zuck.

I was too tired (old) to drive up to SF afterward. Too bad Box (or some Palo Alto company) didn't host the party, so we could stay down near the campus afterward. :-) I'd have paid to go to the party if it was just on the Stanford campus (at the student union or whatever).

For me just to see them (the speakers) in person was worth it. It's like being at a concert of your favorite band x 1000. This was the first time I saw them all and I felt emotional and wanting to be one of them. Besides that, the talks themselves were good, inspiring and eye-opening.

I enjoyed it, I thought the talks were very motivating. Everyone was really friendly wish I could have mingled more but late flight in and early flight out.

While the crowds were huger than I've ever seen, I agree with you on the talks. It was refreshing to hearing from Ben Horowitz. Ron Conway, a living legend IMO, provides fascinating stories of tech giants (the part about Sergey and Larry feeling doubtful of ever getting to be successful as Sean Fanning was cool to hear). Finally, I really enjoyed hearing insights from Jessica, who interfaces with all these YC founders.

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