Paul Graham Said What?

11 Oct

After writing my blog yesterday regarding the high turnout of applicants for the Y Combinator start-up batch session, I stumbled across article in The Atlantic Wire about the founder of Y Combinator, Paul Graham, visit to New York City last month.

I may be a little late in the game with my critique of Grahams’s speech during the first ever Y Combinator New York event, YC NYC, but I thought it was relevant in terms of my last blog post.

YC NYC was a conference/reception event where people had the opportunity to not only mingle with the Y Combinator founders but also start-ups that came through Y Combinator (think Airbnb, Dropbox). During the event attended by many with hundreds waiting outside with hopes of access to the sold-out event, Graham did something odd. He preached to the audience about how Silicon Valley will always be better than New York’s Silicon Alley.  Really? Was this the best platform to start the “we’re number one cheer?”

The Atlantic Wire reported:

“New York cares too much about money,” Graham said. “As long as finance continues to exist in NYC, it will drain too much talent from NYC’s tech scene.”

I do understand what I believe Graham was trying to get at: New York has Wall Street, a possible competitor or downfall to innovation, but I find it ironic he is the one stating New York cares too much about money.

As the founder of Y Combinator, Graham has funded approximately 380 start-ups. The current class for the upcoming winter session will most likely exceed the largest class of 63. Keep in mind, Y Combinator started in 2005 with a class size of eight which means the last summer class was seven times as big as the first.

As of right now, Y Combinator has shelled out approximately $646,000 in funding with, on average, a 7% stake in each start-up. This last summer, Graham told TechCruch the top 21 companies had a value of $4.7 billion, which means his 7% stake has a value of $329 million. Not bad. I wonder if the growth in class size at all correlates to success equaling more money for Graham?

Again, if you are one of the lucky 3% to get accepted into Y Combinator go for it—the experience will change your life and make Graham’s wallet that much bigger.

[Image taken by Niall Kennedy on Flickr]

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One Response to “Paul Graham Said What?”


    1. Move Over Silicon Valley—Competition is Heating Up « Outside the Box - November 20, 2011

      [...] of the best cities in the world wouldn’t take a lot of convincing. On the other hand, I wrote a post about Paul Graham’s criticism of New York. As the founder of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley incubator, Graham believes New [...]

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