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I went to Y Combinator’s Startup School on Saturday (that’s YC-founder Paul Graham, in case you don’t know) even though most people in Silicon Valley see the material there as “too basic.” My goal is to perpetually learn and apply and to learn as much from the audience as from the killer line-up of speakers Y Combinator recruited.
Anyway, these are The 9 YC-Types that I met that day — and a fewof the things you can learn from them:
1. Mr. Never Woken Up Before Noon. Codes and compiles well into the early morning. Only wakes up at 9AM for killer content. Fresh in from Europe. Is full of wonderment that 12 zip codes in Northern California contain 90% of venture money. Doesn’t know about the 9 VCs you’ll want to avoid meeting, but gosh darn they have great accents.
2. Mr. Silver Bullet Detector. A.K.A, a VC. Wants to find the next Google, Myspace, Yahoo!,
and get his carry (you-know-what) popped with the this 3rd fund.
3. Mr. DDSS Founder Presenting. DDSS stands for Dumb-Down-Sandbag-for-Success. During AM presentation said stuff like, “money matters with how many people you hire. The more money you have the more you can hire.” No where near as dumb as the things he says — even though he pretends he didn’t present during lunch.
4. Mr. Glad-Hand Palm-Presser. This might be taken as good or bad news, but no one fit this description here.
5. The All-Academic. Took copious notes of everything said, multi-tasked by updating the blog and googled relevantly real time. He pees on his own ideas and just needs to dumb down a lil like speaker #5 and speaker #6.
6. Mr. Moonlighter. Works corporate job but fantasizes about jumping ship. Committing to 6 hours on a sunny Saturday is as close to fully immersed in start-up culture as he’ll ever be.
7. Mr. Ohio in The Hood! From middle America and spooged when David Hansson
from 37Signals gave his 2000/$40/12 months 1,000,000 formula. Avoided the entrepreneur rock piles that collected outside by the pizza tables and somehow met the three other Ohio State Buckeyes in the room
8. The Aberration(s). One really hot girl. One guy over 60. One Chinese restaurant owner. One person who brought their schnauzer. I miss Baxter.
9. Mr. Multiple Question Asker. From one of the two audience microphones, they’ll make statements, ask four part questions and generally bully as much as possible.
10. The Jeff Bezos Coat Tail Rider. Somehow got Bezos to pitch his
knee deep in term sheets.
Larry Chiang is the founder of duck9 and a frequent contributor to Found|READ. His earlier posts include: 9 Techniques For Closing a Deal via Voicemail, How to Work The Room; 8 Tips On How to Get Mentored ; and 9 VCs You’re Gonna Want To Avoid, 9 Things Stanford B-School Won’t Teach You and most recently, How to Build Good Credit for Your Business.