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That's by far the worst company they ever invested in.

See here for PG's take on this:


Which basically boiled down to him trying to argue that people must want malware because they clicked through a deviously worded dialog box.

From building spam filters to funding a spam company. Building things people want? Ha!

I guess it's worth noting other YC partners in that thread also defending malware, for example Garry Tan: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5093746

It seems like the culture of spam and malware is deeply embedded in YC these days.

It's just disrupting something or other.

I dunno, there's a few contenders. Scribd was pretty bad. RapGenius was pretty bad in terms of the people.

Edit: Oh, and Quora, even if that wasn't much more than YC lending its name.

Impossible to have so many investments and not have a few bad apples. Still surprised PG did not distance himself further from installmonetizer, otoh props for standing by his investment and doing damage control for them at the expense of the YC cachet.

PG defended scribd (much as InstallMonetizer), including automated scribed links on HN, even as it was hijacking people's content and widely loathed.

And Airbnb was spamming Craigslist posters (https://growthhackers.com/companies/airbnb/ - but of course selling cereals is the anecdote preferred by storytellers), and I have freelancer friends who got totally screwed by YC companies ("We can't pay for your work right now but we'll hire you and give you tons of equity right after demo day!" ... only to never respond to their emails ever again. Yes, the few of my friends to whom this happened could have been less naive, but still shitty).

The vast majority (but not all) of startups do dubious things. That's to be expected in an environment that glorifies "breaking things" and worrying later if what they're doing is legal or not. Being YC affiliated does not change that in the slightest bit.

What was wrong with RapGenius? I actually like them. Simple idea executed well. I still use Genius regularly.

People disliked them because the founders acted like obnoxious fratbros, but the specific claims of wrongdoing were over blackhat SEO ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6956658 ) which ended up getting them penalised by Google.

The other commenter covered the blackhat SEO / Google smackdown. As far as the people:


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