I just have one concern, however.
Like most people on HN, I have a ton of respect for PG i.e. how smart he is, his willingness to share his knowledge with the world, and the way he has helped change Silicon Valley for the better.
However, what happens if/when PG decides to hang it up? OR if "God forbid" he's forced to hang it up like e.g. Steve Jobs?
Some cynics accuse YC of essentially being a (benevolent) cult with PG as the guru with his own cult of personality. I wouldn't go that far, but you can't deny that PG essentially IS YC and without him it may be very difficult to maintain this kind of success, much less scale it.
I have no affiliation with any of these accelerators and forgive me for overgeneralizing, but it seems like 500 Startups and/or TechStars, while not quite as heralded as YC, have done a much better job of hedging this kind of risk via a much more decentralized network with multiple mentors/"gurus" in multiple cities.
So I have two questions - (1) PG, do you ever see yourself "moving on" and starting something brand new that is not YC-related, and if so, (2) what is the "Steve Jobs contingency plan" for YC?
This business is more naturally decentralized than a company like Apple. It consists mostly of individual conversations between founders and YC partners, and most of those conversations already don't include me.
However, as the public face of YC, the public perception of YC would be greatly affected if he left that role. And this could potentially have an adverse effect on attracting the best startups, and thus over time weaken the whole structure.
Heroku - W08 - $212M > Salesforce 
OMGPOP - S06 - $180M > Znyga 
SocialCam - W12 - $60M > Autodesk 
Loopt - S05 - $43.4M > Green Dot 
$40M+ Exits with Rumored Prices:
Parse - S11 - $85M > Facebook 
If Cloudkick's product was generating material revenue, they wouldn't have shut it down recently.
My arm chair quaterbacking puts the deal closer to $10M for investors, and maybe a nice bit of earnout.
$30-50mm seems to be the consensus in this and some other places.
$30MM cash was in the 10-K filing.
From the 10K > During 2010, except for the $50 million repayment of our line of credit and cash paid for an acquisition of $30 million, we were able to maintain a consistent level of cash and cash equivalents while growing our business by maintaining our disciplined use of capital.
while I am making wishes, I'd also like to know what percentage of that total valuation is owned by cofounders rather than investors.
We ourselves don't know the percentage owned by founders. But considering that investors continually complain that YC companies are overpriced, it may be higher than the industry average.
The average valuation of the 268 of those 511 companies that have valuations (by being acquired, raising an equity round, or going out of business, in which case it's zero) is $43 million.
Isn't it almost always going to be the case that the founders got diluted by the same proportion as you did? In which case, based on your comment below of YC being diluted from about 6% to about 3%, presumably the founders (who started out owning almost all the stock) would now be around 50%.
I feel like I must be missing something obvious here.
In all seriousness, congratulations pg. You've played your cards very well the past 10 years.
3% of (US$ 11.5 billion) = 345 million U.S. dollars
6% of (US$ 11.5 billion) = 690 million U.S. dollars
When one of them goes public, we'll find out how much of that one is founder-owned :)
Thanks for the info.
Back in 2011, pg estimated the value of the top 21 YC companies at $4.7 billion (http://ycombinator.com/nums.html ).
EDIT: and my post is immediately obsolete, as pg has posted a current estimate in a sister comment.
There's enough uncertainty in how accurate the individual valuation numbers are for airbnb, dropbox, and the 30x40 club to dominate the error.
Honestly I felt like he was the first founder I'd met in NYC that wasn't a bullshitter. He was straight forward, and actually helpful.
Those guys have been working on Rap Genius for years and years -- before anyone in the tech industry had heard of it. They made it because they wanted it, and the site grew with the community.
They silently built an internet empire and didn't care about PR stunts or hype until they had REAL traction (because that's the only thing that really matters)... Which is a lot more than I can say for most NYC startups.
Honestly, I think there's so much potential in the idea -- it's a rocketship. If you're an engineer in NYC looking for a job, you should hit them up.
The "rapper/swag" thing is not all of their personality.
I know they probably want to portray a certain image, but gawd...Sunglasses WTF ?
> A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each.
I wonder if you could apply this same methodology to VC (the v-index)
> A VC firm has index v if v of his/her Nc funded companies have had valuations of at least $v million, and the other (Nc − v) funded companies have had valuations of no more than $v million. (In some inflation adjusted dollars.)
$mm 0 0 0 0 5 10 10 15 22
v-index = 5
$mm 2 4 4 5 8 8 8 10 14 17 20 22 25 50 55 60 100 200
v-index = 10
Python snippit for calculation.
return max(v if sum(x >= v for x in valuations) >= v else 0 for v in range(len(valuations)))
> pg says in a later tweet reply  that it is 37 out of 511.
So ycombinator's v-index is likely 37.
I know a friend of mine who sold his YC company and left. So I guess for him he was just wanted to make a quick exit.
@heynavid "@paulg which one was the biggest surprise to you?"
@paulg "@heynavid Since I suspect they won't mind me saying so, Rap Genius."
@RapGenius "@paulg @heynavid WOOP! I was surprised that PG is tight with NWA, personally.. http://rapgenius.com/Nwa-express-yourself-lyrics#note-318551 "
> "Now, getting back to the PG, that's program, and it's easy"
Means "Parental Guidance".
> Unlike most songs on the album and by N.W.A, the song is almost devoid of profanity and violent content.
This kind of blind worship of money makes hackers look like wise-guy could-have-been doctors but instead were lazy and decided to make a business around popular markets for some dollars.
The dollar will collapse soon.