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After attending the conference, I'm even more convinced that 2014 could be the tipping point. I was blown away by both the depth and quality of the presentations. There was a degree of openness that I've really only seen at a YC dinner (which are all off-the-record). This was one of those magical events, like the first Startup School in 2005, where everyone there was realizing as it was happening, that this was something unusual.



Honestly it was probably the best conference I've ever seen (I'm a male and I watched online).

What was really special is that people there were actually giving useful, practical advice instead of just telling the story of their company. There was no bravado, no bullshit, and it sounded like the speakers actually wanted to help people in the audience and pass on advice instead of promoting their companies.

Oh and the segment on fundraising was probably the most useful and forward talk on fundraising I have ever listened to in terms of practical advice.

There's a statistic - Ben Horowitz used it in a talk once - that on average an educated woman will educate at least 4 other people in their lifetime, whereas you're lucky if a man educates one. I felt like this really rung through as I was watching this.

You should watch the stream of the conference if you haven't.


How many teachers are male vs female? I feel like this is simply a statistic resulting from what each sex does more of professionally.

It would be like saying, "on average an educated man will write at least 8 applications during his lifetime, whereas you're lucky if a woman writes one". Completely ignoring the real problem, men outnumber women 9 to 1.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10475740/...


Probably partly due to the media induced paedophilia paranoia in the UK. (I know a male primary teacher and I heard he had to go through the crap of a girl accusing him of something inappropriate.) I doubt that happens to women often if at all.


> There's a statistic - Ben Horowitz used it in a talk once - that on average an educated woman will educate at least 4 other people in their lifetime, whereas you're lucky if a man educates one.

How was that defined and measured? Or in other words, [citation needed].

Luckily, I've educated many people with nit-picky anonymous and pseudonymous internet comments, so I must have great karma.


Hey - I'm so sorry I didn't link the video for you!

Here's it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQnDDKDiSy8

It's 6 minutes in: "If you educated a girl in the developing world, you educate 5 people, because if you educate one girl, on average, she'll educate at least 4 other people through the course of her life."

I feel really bad for not linking it. Thank you so much for the reminder.


> "If you educated a girl in the developing world, you educate 5 people, because if you educate one girl, on average, she'll educate at least 4 other people through the course of her life."

I believe the [citation needed] is meant to ask for the source of this fact, i.e. whoever investigated this phenomenon and measured it.

To me, the statement is rather dubious because even the thesis is (in general use of the word educate) loosely defined -- Does a mother educate the children, is it the teacher who educates them, or do we count both? How often do we count the father as well? What about when a foreman teaches a fresh employee, is that education also?

Unless we exactly specify what is meant by education, this statement seems "purely inspirational" to me, i.e. rather meaningless.


You should ask Ben then! He's a really smart and accomplished guy and I'm sure would be very happy to share that with you.


This is how myths get started. He said it and then I 'passed it on', because if it came from him so I assumed it to be true, 'cause he's a pretty swell guy, rinse and repeat.


In other words, it's an argument-to-authority (discarding the Latin here). Claiming "some famous guy said it!" is no more a proof than claiming "crazy, homeless Bill said it!": a convincing argument should be able to stand on its own weight, without being stated by a credible source.

If the hypothetical 'crazy, homeless Bill' said that the sun were bright, he'd be correct regardless of the fact that it came from 'crazy, homeless Bill'. If Ben Horowitz stated that 1 = 2, then he'd be wrong, regardless of the fact that he's 'Ben Horowitz'.


Argument from authority is a formal fallacy, but in terms of practical reasoning it's a valuable tool. If you find that someone has been reliable in their claims in the past, you would be a fool to not give some weight to future claims. Of course, that has to be modulated by your priors for each claim. But it is perfectly reasonable to form a weak belief on a respected person's say-so.


I don't know the source of Ben's quote, but there's a well-known "ripple effect" from educating a girl. It's largely because educated women tend to stay within their local community where they reinvest in their family and community, whereas educated men are more likely to move away to seek opportunity.

"According to Camfed, when you educate a girl she will earn up to 25 percent more and reinvest 90 percent of her income in her family." http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons_plans/important-ed...

I couldn't find the original research cited, but my family lives in a remove village in the developing world... and you can definitely see the educated boys move to the capital city and the educated girls stay in the local community.


>but there's a well-known "ripple effect" from educating a girl

If it's so well known then either provide us with the research that proved such an effect, or stop spreading dubious, sexist nonsense.

Seriously, this strikes me as sexist gibberish. I know I've personally educated 3 people so far, as far as software development goes. With one, I've spent a great deal of my free time educating them. Yet you come to me and tell me -- with nothing more than folklore and a spurious link regarding an unrelated issue as proof -- that men don't educate anyone.

The more outlandish a claim, the more proof it requires, and simply saying "some famous guy said it!" isn't a proof, and nor is linking to a source (your PBS link) which is essentially irrelevant to the claim. I would also say that the surest way to ensure fewer men educate people is to tell them that educating people is a gendered trait that belongs to a gender other than their own; pay serious heed to engaging in sexist tripe like this, because it may set a terrible precedent for the generation that follows.

Zmitri (the person who raised this spurious nonsense) has seriously offended me here, and so have you by claiming it has any factual basis. Please remedy this either providing proof for the apparent-nonsense, or rescinding your support for this claim.


It really was a great event, congrats YC and jl for putting this on.

My Co-founder went and I watched the entire event online(I'm a guy and her SO) it definitely got me excited knowing so many awesome women are starting companies and building great things, we just talked on the phone for an hour about all the things people she met are building and I'm blown away.

No conference I've ever been to had so many compelling speakers packed into the same day back to back.

Just another reason I keep hanging out on HN and admiring what YC does for founders ... of all types.

Thanks YC


Make it not 'unusual' and do it again next year, and the year after.

I have often wished I was in a position to apply to yc, not so much because of the investment, but because of the energy and the community.


I didn't watch any of the conference and I hope you don't get flamed for providing woman-startup-specific advice ... People who claim there aren't differences between men and women are confused. I don't think it's sexist until you start subscribing to the idea that a person is limited in some way by their gender.

You called yourself "shy but determined" and I think that determination is what really matters. We all have strengths, but adapting to or overcoming our weaknesses makes us grow.


@Jessica: Do you guys plan on having the female founders conference again next year or making it a yearly thing for the next couple of years?




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