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surprised to read that he was an early investor of Google. I wonder how that came about?

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He was active in tech circles long before that sort of thing was cool. He was a passionate advocate for Apple and the Mac during the dark days before The Return of Steve, for instance, and used to write a regular column in one of the big Mac magazines (can't remember which one, unfortunately). You couldn't read the columns without realizing that he wasn't a non-techie posing as one -- he really was a power user, a gigantic nerd who loved everything Mac at heart.

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that's not really fair to the kid. All of us are born with advantages that others lack. Every person living in America has access to wealth and connections that the average African can only dream of. That shouldn't take away from anyone's success here or diminish any of our accomplishments

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The "appeal to Africa" fallacy: comparing one's problems to problems that are worse does absolutely nothing to address either set of problems.

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This is logically incoherent. The fact that a larger disparity exists between the ultra-wealthy in the West and impoverished people in the third world (though, to be fair, many parts of the West are beginning to resemble the third world) does not invalidate the point that inequality also exists within the first world.

Just because impoverished Africans can't get Ashton Kutcher to invest in their startup doesn't mean that you or I can.

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that's not fair. So if someone is firing a gun at you, you can't fire back with a gun? She bullied those men, costing one of them their job. How else do you respond except by bullying her?

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the best comment yet. there seems to be a growing segment of the population (mostly from the left) that wakes up each day looking for ways to be offended. It seems like such a miserable way to live one's life.

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yeah, there's more to it. The founder Mick Mountz was an HBS guy, he went around for awhile networking with alums to try to get the initial cash investment. Eventually connected with Ajay Agarwal of Bain and landed some seed money.

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what I wonder is if/when YC will start to take institutional money....that's what's going to take YC up to upper caliber of VC funds.

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sequoia is already an investor

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no, I meant like direct to institutions like pension funds.

why would a pension fund give money to Sequoia, and then have them give it to YC? that's an unnecessary management fee the pension funds have to pay

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Because the pension funds want to invest such huge amounts of money that I suspect Y Combinator wouldn't know what to do with it.

If a pension fund wanted to invest $250m in YC, they'd have to scale up by so much I doubt it would work the same.

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so are you saying there is an upper limit to entrepreneurship? I don't think so.

I wonder if pg has written anything about this, if there is some point of diminishing returns in the lean startup scene

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I think there's an upper limit to the quality of entrepreneurial mentorship you can give, mostly as a function of (1) the mentors and (2) the mentor-entrepreneur ratio. Right now, YC invests in roughly $20k/company * 60 companies/batch * 2 batches/year = $2.4M per year. If they were forced to invest 50-100x that in a year, it'd be really hard to find 50-100x more mentors on the same level as the existing ones.

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I think Reddit is the greatest thing to come out of the first batch.

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And I always think that if you pitched it to anyone at the time, how many would've laughed in your face?

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Can't find a link, but I think I saw somewhere that pg/YC actually pitched reddit to the reddit team because they liked the team but disliked their original idea.

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Pretty ballsy either way.

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And Loopt

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I doubt they were as altruistic as you describe. They probably viewed it as a good business investment. When you consider the elevated prices they pushed these books out at, and the fact that their online website is festered with ads, it's pretty clear that this is a firm that is primarily interested in the bottom line.

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I'm sure more carbon is being used in cutting down the trees to turn into paper, and then shipping all of that paper to customers.

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Actually chainsaws are pretty efficient.

I say there is no way more "carbon" is used shipping a few thousand books than powering the entire internet.

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you think it's more efficient to ship everyone an entire set of encyclopedias than to keep wikipedia's servers running?

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I agree. If you don't have an idea, on what basis are they judging you? what is their filtering process? If you are in your early twenties, what exactly have you accomplished that would separate you from the herd? Nothing, except which schools you have attended. I'm guessing the main filtering process YC will do is to filter based on which schools you attended, so in that way, YC is basically adopting the recruiting process that investment banks do.

I wonder what % of those YC funds attended the Ivy League or other private u's vs. those who went to state schools?

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