1. Graduate from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude are pluses)
2. Work at JP Morgan as an investment banker
3. Graduate from Harvard Law School
4. Work at a major law firm
So easy, anyone can do it!
I hope to pull a Hamilton.
His results speak for themselves, and almost as importantly, his decisions show an independence streak and willingness to break with the herd and win in his own way. This is something every founder needs to get through the trough of sorrow.
I mean, good for him, I'm not surprise he was taken in
True or false, the people who get into havard are the people who don't need to go to harvard?
the people who get into YC, are the people who don't need YC?
Getting into YC as two MIT undergrads who've been coding since kindergarten is very hard.
Getting in a solo business founder is much harder.
So, if you don't have a track record of doing incredible stuff, you should
a) calibrate your expectations, and
b) start doing incredible stuff (and apply later)
1. Its hard to get into
2. tons of great companies have been started that didn't go through YC (in fact with a few exceptions almost all of them)
3. its a great opportunity, but most of the companies that get into YC, don't amount to jack
just getting in doesn't mean you've made it, and there is no reason you can't make if you don't
calculus is similar to what I'd tell a high school kid about going to Harvard, if you happen to get to go cool, its a great opportunity, but you shouldn't treat that as the gatekeeper to your success
Not a criticism per se, but pg recently said that is actually one of their LEAST ("not in the top 10") important questions.
"There's one question that acts like a wildcard, at least for me: [the question] ...
We're looking for people who like to beat the system. So if the answer to this question is good enough, it will make me go back and take a second look at an application that otherwise seemed unpromising. In fact, I think there are people we've invited to interviews mainly on the strength of their answer to this question."
From http://ycombinator.com/howtoapply.html July '09
"Sam Altman of Loopt is one of the most successful alumni, so we asked him what question we could put on the Y Combinator application that would help us discover more people like him. He said to ask about a time when they'd hacked something to their advantage—hacked in the sense of beating the system, not breaking into computers. It has become one of the questions we pay most attention to when judging applications."
From http://www.paulgraham.com/founders.html Oct 10
I work in a neuroscience lab and I've trained a lot of undergrads, lab techs and grad students. From a state school to IVY league schools I continue to see the same thing. Drive, ambition, and motivation are way more important than technical knowledge. This is a winning combination of traits that always works as the people who have those traits can typically pick up anything you throw at them.
My best students have been those with OK GPAs but and a serious competitive nature to them.
What do you think is the major contributory factor to your achievements? extreme IQ? work ethic? some unique insight about the world that you leverage?
Thanks in advance,