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The Launch Pad
Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups
In The Launch Pad, Randall Stross, author of eBoys and Planet Google, takes a behind-the-scenes look at how tomorrow's hottest startups are being primed for greatness.
Twice a year, in the heart of Silicon Valley, a small investment firm called Y Combinator selects an elite group of young entrepreneurs, from around the world, for three months of intense work and instruction. Their brand new, two- or three-person startups are given a seemingly impossible challenge: to turn a raw idea into a viable business, FAST.
Each YC session culminates in Demo Day, when investors and venture capitalists flock to hear pitches from the new graduates. Any one of them might turn out to be the next Dropbox (class of 2007, now valued at $5 billion), or Airbnb (2009, $1.3 billion).
Randall Stross is the first journalist to have fly-on- the wall access to Y Combinator. He tells the full story of how Paul Graham started this ultra-exclusive institution, how it chooses among hundreds of aspiring Mark Zuckerbergs, and how it teaches them to go from concept to profitability in record time.
The Launch Pad is both a gripping narrative and a gold mine of useful insights.
'A must-read for anyone interested in the realities of modern entrepreneurship' -Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup
'Stross's account of the best new entrepreneurs and the exciting companies they're building at startup schools is a great read for founders and would-be founders alike' -Marc Andreessen, cofounder, Andreessen Horowitz
Randall Stross writes the "Digital Domain" column for The New York Times and is a professor of business at San Jose State University. He is the author of several acclaimed books, including eBoys, Planet Google, and The Wizard of Menlo Park. He has a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University.
288 pages; ISBN 9780670923489