Y Combinator

I often forget to mention the fourth founding member of Y Combinator . Today I won’t.

yc500Honestly, I never heard of this organization until I had a few weeks of work at Anybots – a maker of avatars for virtual telepresence. My friend John Sokol gave me call. He said, “I need your help. I’m working at a very cool robotics company and we need to fix this thing.” (That part for another day.)

Trevor_Blackwell_2007In the course of things, I came to know Trevor Blackwell. He is best known in the tech community for creating a walking robot on Valentine’s Day 2007. Later I came to know of Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, wife of Paul, & Robert Morris.


Robert Morris is best known for creating and letting run wild the firstRobert Tappan Morris
Internet Worm. The ironic part was that he was a student at Columbia while his dad was security expert for the government.


Jessica LivingstonJessica Livingston is best known for Startup School and her book, Founders at Work (2 of 32 chapters online).


Paul Graham, head of Y Combinator, is best known for his essays on Paul Grahamentrepreneurship. He also appears to be an astute observer of culture, stating on closing the Boston office of Y Combinator,

“Boston just doesn’t have the startup culture that (Silicon) Valley does.”

Paul also notes there are two important things to understand about startup investing (as a business)

  1. that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners
  2. that the best ideas (initially look) like bad ideas.