>Dan Lyons has no evidence of it himself.
Dan Lyons needs no special evidence. The evidence are the shitty start-ups that don't solve any real problems you come across everyday, promoting their launches on TechCrunch (and on others). He is just talking about this painful trend, I hate to say this, but, which is noticeable within YCombinator itself(no offence), off-late.
Great Start-ups look like bad ideas initially, but when they remain as bad ideas forever, its an entirely different story, which is what Dan is talking about, too, I believe.
with great respect, may I ask you, why did you have to kill this article? (I feel you are abusing your power) Why not let others know of this painful trend?? I'm not asking for my personal benefit, I'm just curious, it's a genuinely heart-felt written article.
Second, there have always, always, always been weak startups. Lots of them.
Third, anyone can cite one or three facts to construct an argument. But when you do that carelessly, all you end up with is a fallacious syllogism. In Lyon's case, A, B, and C seem to add up to "go back to engineering school".
The same thing happened with your comment here. You look at the evidence and suggest that the problem is a phenomenon that prevents weak startups from becoming good startups. But that's not the problem either; weak startups have never tended to become good startups organically, so it's hard to make a case for the availability of seed funding retarding progress.
Finally, it's not a genuinely heart-felt written article. It's a deeply cynical attempt to capture pageviews by someone with only a peripheral connection to startup entrepreneurship.
This article has a lot of people talking and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.
Why the harsh dichotomy? Surely one can believe upvotes to be a good filtering method on average while still accepting that occasionally they do a poor job and require some intervention?
(Note: not taking a position on the article itself, but rather the practice of manual intervention)
It's as if he visited a user page for someone he didn't like, saw 5000 karma and said "yeah, but his posts are mostly fluff. I'm making that 3500".
ha ha! I knew you would have commented on this article and tried to debase it even before I opened the comment section! it seems to me that the entire business of YC relies on there being a market for the exact type of start ups that this article describes as a waste of human talent. It is in your (pg's) best interest to kill this article because if there is a bubble, and it pops, YC will be a major loser. Your credibility would be destroyed because YC would be seen as a primary finder of companies.that.have no long term.value. . YC needs a liquid market of shitty start ups to get vc funding in order to function. I'm sure you are aware that even the tinyest hint of.trouble.can pop bubbles, which is.why you purged this.article.
I laughed at your decision to kill the article for a couple of reasons. first, this means that you are aware of the bubble and also aware that in order to prevent new companies from being discouraged from applying to YC you need a zero tolerance policy on even the hint of it showing its ugly head. by banning this article you have confirmed to me that there is a bubble and it is about ready to pop. second, this says a lot about your character and your priorities as a person. you are ok with draconian anti free flow of information banning if an idea goes against your personal interests. for.someone who funds tech start ups, you seem.to.have forgotten.how.the internet works. the Truth will get out. supposedly the voting system.of.hackernews should have prevented a false idea from.getting.to.the front page. if this idea was truly as false as you say it is in your reasons to ban it, it never would have been upvoted. and yet you had to ban it. third, this means that you truly don't give a shit about the.companies or the people that you fund. you know that it the.bubble.is.close.to.popping and.that.it may not be in their best long term interests to apply to YC, but you want their talent anyways so you can profit, so you continue.to cultivate the idea that their stupid business idea is not a problem as.long.as.they pivot.enough.times to.find a similiar, slightly less stupid idea to try to sell to Google or.whoever.
I've been thinking about it for a while, but your response to this.article has confirmed.to.me that I will.never apply to YC. You are not a person who I would want to take advice.from, let alone have any say over.my.life. or how I run my business. I wish you luck, though, and I hope.you can continue to find enough chumps.to.apply to.YC so you can continue.to.fund hackernews.and I can read interesting articles.for.free... so thanks.for.that, anyways.
edit: I know you (pg) won't respond, and I know you will probably shadow ban my account, and I know this comment will be downvoted into oblivion. I also know that you, pg, will read.it and know that I see through your bullshit. and if I can see it, so can others.
Care to publish aggregate statistics on the percentage of yc backed startups became profitable businesses compared to rest of the industry?
EDIT: Apparently I was mistaken. He's not actually looking to engage in a real discussion of yc's business model.
The main point was not what end-point you're aiming (large exits, which btw, are yet to be realized for either airbnb or dropbox) or merely progressively higher valuations in further rounds of funding (let's not argue over how those are beneficial to earlier investors, shall we.)
The point was that hordes of fresh graduates are working their asses off for peanuts with minuscule probability of making up for lost time and income. (That's not even including possible losses to health and any conception of what the real world looks like). Mass incubators like yc and it's ilk are rolling the dice and the invested amounts are so tiny that the only substantial losses are those incurred by the founders.
The counter-argument of course is that the founders are adults and are entering into these agreements of their own volition. That's where the whole issue of cult-like mentality and the callow youth of most of these founders comes into play. The asymmetry in knowledge and power between these founders and investors is vast.
That's why I cheer the writer of the original post for bringing the ridiculousness of the whole situation into the open. Lord knows techcrunch and other tabloids like it are not going to publish anything like that. And that's why you personally applying the kill switch on that post is so distasteful.
Same thing for suggesting YC is all about freshly minted grads. A significant percentage of founders are in their late 20s and older making that assumption of yours inaccurate.
Frankly your post is offensive for painting founders as brainwashed dudes making terrible life decisions as they go about joining this imaginary cult. Do you really believe this?
its a long read, but worth it. it basically covers and expounded.upon the ideas you presented in your comment, that the incubators are exploiting the entrepreneurs
but than again I also agree with the original articles premise that there is another tech bubble of stupid companies and it is about to go bust. and I think YC actively contributes to the problem by funding companies with terrible ideas. they want their funded companies to be aquihires because than they get their return. YC doesn't care if the business is sustainable or not as long as it gets bought. that's their schtick: they do the training instead of the universities.
this will affect me if and when I decide to get outside funding because investors won't be willing to invest as much. it will be exactly like after the internet bubble where there is no market to sell investors on the company. that is what concerns me. I'm not looking for an aquihire. I'm not looking for an exit. I'm looking to build a sustainable company that brings value to my customers.
note: not trolling you, these are my actual concerns.
I'd love to hear you expand on that (specific cases? the progression of delusion? were they crazy to start out?).
But these are mostly people in their early to mid twenties who have little to no actual experience in the real world. They seem to believe startups and entrepreneurship was invented by this one man. The fact that after almost 200 investments, there are a sum total of two possibly viable businesses that may end up coming out of this enterprise seems to have no effect on that conviction (and one of them (airbnb) is teetering really close to edge of being unsustainable (pending the question of legal liabilities of renters as well city ordinances etc.)).
It really is a cult of personality with all connotations of the word "cult" coming into play.
edit: I just realized, there is no way that pg can respond to this. he cant confirm my ideas, because that would admit that there is a bubble and would be very much against his personal long term interests. he also can't deny my arguments because by responding to some random troll on the internet ( me), he lends credibility to what I'm saying, which would only confirm that I am at least partially right, which would, again, be against his long term personal interests. his only winning play is to not respond at all. but crazily, now that I've said this, I've essentially tipped his hand. the non response response is now considered a response because I called him out on it. by not responding he is saying that my arguments hit too close to home to respond to. they are not easily dismissed by a flipant comment.
I suppose he could always hide behind saying that he didn't see my response to his response.
... fuck it, pg, don't respond. I hereby declare that you not responding means that my arguments are wrong. I concede.
I also hereby declare that I am just a random troll on the internet and my ideas should not be taken seriously. this is especially true on hacker news because they break the standard circle jerking that goes on. you guys just keep living in your fantasy world, and ill keep on living in mine.
Given opportunities, I disagree with our site's owner probably more often than not, and even I think this site would be better if it was moderated more aggressively and less transparently by him, at least with regards to submissions. This was a stupid story and it produced a stupid thread and everyone can see that, and yet 'pg can't suggest the obvious and react to it without being beset by anonymous Internet trolls, all of whom have valiantly set aside the billions of dollars their intimate knowledge of the tech product market should be making them in order to spend their time here educating us on how exploited YC founders must be.
Stop being such a wuss, Paul, and start torching these threads. Burn them with fire.
two things: 1) I would say all of this to pgs face if we were discussing this. he is a man, not a god, and if he can't handle criticism than he should do some personal reflection and work on that. disagreements are not necessarily bad. 2) you obviously can't counter my argument, otherwise you would have done so. you have added nothing to.this discussion except tried to debase my arguments and ideas by essentially calling me rude. who cares if my presentation is rough if the ideas are good? idiots, that's who. this is life, not preschool.
edit: you edited your comment after I posted. I respond.to your edits by saying that pg doesn't need you to white.knight for.him and you should stop being such a brown noser.
Wouldn't it be funny if that was all it took to get me to shut up? :)
its like it doesn't even matter if you shut up or not.
Of course he could.
He could point out that the meta-comment-game wherein any response whatsoever is considered to "lend credibility" is a silly game, and that in reality, whether or not he chooses to respond to you says nothing about your credibility. Then he could agree or disagree with your actual point, and either confirm or challenge your credibility with facts, instead of engaging in the silly distraction of a side-game.
Your arguments must stand or fall on their own merit.
On their own merit, I find your arguments lacking. In particular, you are lacking concrete examples. The list of YC companies is known (http://yclist.com/ and http://ycuniverse.com/ycombinator-companies). Surely if pg was getting "ridiculous prices for things with little to not actual value" you could identify some specific companies the market overpaid for, and the effect that overpayment had on overall yc returns.
Out of all the garbage that you've written, this is the only thing you are right about.