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Ask PG: Any plans to make the YC talks public?
49 points by trickjarrett on June 24, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments
I saw that Kevin Rose came and spoke at YC last night, and of course we know that other entrepreneurs do regularly as one of the benefits of being in the YC family.

I can completely understand that the talks take place in a safe environment such that companies may reveal details they don't want public, or that the entrepreneur may be giving sneak peeks into their own upcoming projects, but even so I was wondering if these talks are recorded with the intent to be published sometime down the line?

I think the answer has to be 'no', or they simply won't get people to be as candid.

Not that I wouldn't like to see them too, but this has been asked before. At the end of the day, YC is a business, and this is part of the benefits of getting in, so those of us outside will just have to live without it. C'est la vie.

It's not because we're a business that we don't broadcast the talks, but because the speakers wouldn't say the same things. These talks couldn't exist broadcast.

But we're happy to share everything we can. Pretty much all the general stuff I tell startups I publish as essays, and Jessica has interviewed many of the speakers (and plans to interview more) about as much as they are willing to say publicly.

What I meant is that as a business, your priority is to get the candid talks for your people, rather than something you can broadcast to the world. Obviously the 'open' stuff has plenty of business benefits in terms of publicity for you, and the YC funded businesses, so you're not just going to close stuff up for the heck of it.

I doubt a CEO would be "candid" in any environment. You can't really say anything without realizing that it might end up getting reported the next day.

Two people can keep a secret, as long as the other person is dead

Depends on the person. If you're talking about a 60 year old CEO of a public company, you're probably right. They'd never tell you anything. But the 30 year old founder of a still-private tech startup is a different matter. I've learned all sorts of things I never knew from the YC speakers. In fact I'd say these talks have been my biggest single source of info about what actually happened in the early days of famous startups.

Well, I've never been to these talks, don't know pg, and don't know the people involved, so I'm just reporting what I read. Argue it with pg if you think they ought to do things differently.

oh I'm not saying the talks should be public, its one of the reasons why people do YC. I was just replying to the candid part of the response.

> they simply won't get people to be as candid.

I believe pg has explicitly given this reason before when saying 'no'.

You are correct. He's said the talks at YC were off the record for that reason.

Google publishes techtalks. They always save "delicate details" for the question break, which is not recorded.

Google publishes some tech talks but there are many many more that are only internally available. Maybe in a similar way selected YC talks could be published.

Is that for some strategic reason? Surely no one goes to work at google for access to the tech-talks...

When you already have interesting people coming to speak, why don't you make a separate short interview or summery and publish? Would be great both as a promotional thing and as a "log" for the ones who were there.

That sounds like a really smart idea. Something like a blurb on X's advice for startups...

It'll be great, if you could do that

Occasionally, pg will transcribe one of his talks into an essay. Read his essays. Same with Joel.

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