Startups Open Sourced
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on what I consider to be a great collection of interviews with founders of some of the most exciting startups. These interviews are more candid than anything I’ve read anywhere else.
In Startups Open Sourced, I interview 33 startups. Of these 33 startups, 20 of them are funded by Y Combinator, so this is approximately 10% of all the startups Y Combinator has funded since 2005.
I saw an e-mail this morning PG sent the YC founders mailing list that said the YC team was pretty busy until May 3rd doing interviews. I thought, “this seems like a good time to finally launch this book.” I think this is particularly helpful to YC applicants, since I ask a lot of founders about their experience applying and going through Y Combinator. I was hoping to launch sooner, but this has taken a lot more time than I anticipated. I have probably read this book from cover to cover about 10 times now, but I still find myself going back to it to read some of the founders’ stories. That’s probably a good sign.
Collectively, these startups have raised approximately $90 million from investors, which actually isn’t a lot of money. These startups are operating in a relatively lean way, but they are creating jobs and many of them are very profitable at this stage.
What’s in the book?
In the interviews, I ask the founders a lot of different questions. Most of the topics are around:
How founders got their start in entrepreneurship
What kinds of classes founders were taking in college
How founders came up with their ideas
How founders met their cofounders
How founders obtained user growth
How founders raised money and their overall experience and recommendations (including applying to Y Combinator, tips for the interview stage)
How founders achieved revenue
Points where founders doubted themselves or thought they would fail
How founders dealt with the trough of sorrow
Founders’ biggest challenges
How founders stay motivated
How founders hire and find talent