20VC: Sam Altman, Y Combinator President on What Makes Truly Great Leaders, Why We Will See A Compression of Seed Funding & The Future Scaling of YC
Posted on 17th January 2018 by hstebbings1
Sam Altman is the president of Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. Sam is also the co-chair of OpenAI, thenon-profit AI research company, discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence. Prior to YC, Sam was co-founder and CEO of Loopt, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2005 and acquired by Green Dot in 2012. Sam also founded Hydrazine Capital, whose stellar portfolio included the likes of Zenefits, Flexport and Soylent.
1.) How Sam made his way into the world of startups with Loopt and YC? How he came to invest with Hydrazine Capital and then rejoin YC as Partner and now President?
2.) Having watched and seen Paul Graham since Batch 1, what does Sam believe makes Paul Graham the special leader he is? What makes Sam and Paul such great Partners? How did they enact the transition of Sam to President? How did it change the relationship?
3.) What is Sam’s tactic that he uses to fully evaluate the skills and execution of a founder? When investing where did Sam make his most frequent mistakes? Why does Sam expect seed stage investing as a whole, will compress? Is Sam concerned of too much capital in the market at present?
4.) Question from Jack Altman: what is the main difference between a great seed investor and a great Series A investor? Sam has said before he likes to invest in messy, somewhat broken companies”. How does Sam determine between the fixable and the unfixable? How much of a role does price play in his evaluation of an opportunity?
5.) One of Sam’s recent goals was “figure out how to scale YC 2x”. How does Sam think about this in terms of stage? Will YC replace VC with lifecycle funding? How does Sam think about YC’s expansion geographically into China? How does Sam assess the vertical expansion of deep tech and bio tech that YC is going after?
NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.
Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!