Generating Ideas at YC

Fun excerpt in Vanity Fair from Randall Stross’s new book, The Launch Pad, about Paul Graham and Y Combinator.

The VF piece follows one of 64 teams invited to participate in YC’s accelerator from their initial meeting with Graham and other founders to their first pitch in front of a large room of Silicon Valley investors.

At one point, the team in question is struggling to find the next big thing. Graham gives them advice on how to generate new ideas:

“Three things. One: founders are target users. Two: not many people could build it, but founders are among them. Three: few people realize it is a big deal…What will people say in the future is an unmet need today?”

Pretty basic stuff, but informative and helpful for focusing a team’s energy.

That particular team later pitched and launched Ridejoy, a service that matches people with cars with folks who need rides.


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