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I have no inside knowledge of YC, but I get the impression that "PG essentially IS YC" is just not true. He is the public face, communicator and prime founder; but the other partners, the people who support them, and the YC alumni network, at this point, I would wager, together contribute more value than he does.

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.

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