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board of directors has fiduciary responsibility over an organization, usually approves management plans, determines ceo compensation, etc.

our board of overseers is modeled after what universities do. it should be much lighter touch than a board of directors.




It is a great list but missing one person.


the board of overseers has a lighter touch perhaps but also the executive guillotine. even if the latter power is exercised rarely, the will of the overseers is final authority. to be sure the current overseers deserve no doubt in their moral commitment to YC, but as YC grows in influence, wealth, prestige and power, so too do its overseers, and the shadow of moral hazard darkens. actions impossible yesterday become intolerable today and invisible tomorrow.

as someone who cares about the future of YC, i am glad that a mechanism is in place to guard the integrity of the YC president, and i wonder mechanisms are in place to guard the integrity the YC board.


"but as YC grows in influence, wealth, prestige and power, so too do its overseers, and the shadow of moral hazard darkens. actions impossible yesterday become intolerable today and invisible tomorrow."

I feel like that should be a quote from a Harry Potter novel.


i only posted it here because JK Rowling still blocks my emails.


"the shadow of moral hazard darkens" - are you referring to this definition of "moral hazard"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard

If not, can you clarify what you mean?


Yes, I mean a moral hazard in the sense of a divergence of best interests between YC and an overseer.

of all the leadership structures YC has experimented with, the board of overseers seems least proportional in terms of the power of the body and its investment in YC. consider the prior era of YC where all rewards and losses in both finance and reputation fell upon PG and Jessica. once sama became president, he put skin in the game in by staking his professional reputation on YC's success.

i pose the concern of moral hazard because one piece of information has yet to be made public: how board members are impacted by YC's success or failure.


A worrisome issue indeed, the prudent next step would be to establish an ideology committee and emergency commission for combating mutiny and sabotage


Could you elaborate on how the board of overseers were picked? Why these individuals?




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