Y Combinator And The Fresh Blood Of Innocents

When I see my quote about the new batch of Y Combinator companies printed in this CNET article by Daniel Terdiman it just looks weird to me, different than how it sounded to myself when I thought/said it (bolded the part about the innocents):

While some of the teams that are part of Y Combinator include tech industry veterans, many are made up of first-time entrepreneurs, and that’s something Arrington finds refreshing.

Arrington said he appreciates that the teams coming out of Y Combinator tend not to be jaded and are mainly made up of “young guys that have never been screwed over” by standard Silicon Valley politics. And these teams are “re-energizing Silicon Valley with the fresh blood of innocence,” he said.

Of course, Arrington has a vested interest in the success of many of the companies presenting here. He said CrunchFund will likely invest in about 15 of the startups in the current Y Combinator program.

I meant “innocents” not “innocence” but the meaning clear. Only in print it sounds so jaded and sinister – like we’re sending lambs to slaughter.

What I was thinking when I said that is more about the “man in the arena” stuff, how entrepreneurs should fight on in the face of constant criticism from the press and other people who express jealousy through criticism, as well as the exhausting, cumulative and soul destroying wear and tear that entrepreneurs endure as willing or unwilling participants in Silicon Valley politics.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know what I mean. If you aren’t, you probably don’t.

Anyhow, back to Y Combinator. Twice a year I get to sit in on a magical event, where dozens of new bright eyed and bushy tailed founders get on stage and show the world what they’ve built.

They talk about how they want to change the world. And no matter how absurd their dreams (one founder today said “our software will literally be installed on every Internet connected device in the world”), I can’t help but be swept up in the moment.

So what if a year from now some of these founders will have failed miserably. So what if others get churned through the machine and come out the other end a little less than whole. A few will become giants and lead future generations of entrepreneurs. And in six months or so a whole new batch of ‘em will be coming through again. And they’ll be just as bushy tailed as the last ones were.

Today was a good day in Silicon Valley. It was Y Combinator Demo Day, where everyone is a unique and special flower, with nothing but happy days full of promise to come.

17 thoughts on “Y Combinator And The Fresh Blood Of Innocents

  1. adam says:

    Mike, as a first time entrepreneur you motivated me to work even harder. We’ve hit the rough patch. But reading your post made me smile in rather gloomy day!

  2. nickkampe says:

    I’d rather skip the startup school bullshit and just work directly with you and your network.

  3. Sid Burgess says:

    This isn’t just a great day for Silicon Valley! The whole world reaps the hard work of these folks and we are proud to watch them charge forward into their dreams.

  4. Douglas Crets says:

    It sounds that way because when you put it in print, you deliver to its context, the community, and I am sure there are a few jaded souls out there in the valley.

  5. missophelia says:

    “Today was a good day in Silicon Valley. It was Y Combinator Demo Day, where everyone is a unique and special flower, with nothing but happy days full of promise to come.”
    Wow!!!! Mike go easy on the post techcrunch break! Are you a kinder less edgy self all of the sudden? Don’t make us doubt please…

  6. good to see so much fresh innocent blood out there trying to achieve something.

  7. Matthew Ho says:

    As an entrepreneur, I know what you mean. Its really great to see these potential world changing startups come out of YC. Be great to see a 6 months or 1 year review – “where are they now” blog post. I’ll be keeping tabs on 99dresses and YourEngine.

  8. … Mike, I assume that you still give “journalists” the benefit of the doubt… I don’t. As I indicated on a previous comment, I consider them a bunch of snakes to be avoided… Yes, you can talk to them, have a drink with them, but sooner or later, they will bite you, stab you in the back and more. Why? Because it is their perverse nature, and because they consider it a “higher” duty [as taught in journalism school] to add, express, inject their own biased, uninformed and/or malicious personal “opinions.” — just remember the tale of the frog who wanted to cross the meadow and the scorpion… “That’s it what I do!”
    Jealousy and intense envy are the background for their destructive attitude — they have chosen a life where they have to write/talk about what other people are actually DOING! which is creating companies, jobs, opportunities and more while they are on their way to success… Ok, sometimes we fail, but as I understand it [as entrepreneurs, we have lived it] failure is a necessary part of success…
    I do think that what Terdiman wrote was intentional — IMHO.

    • Alyson says:

      Man, that is sinister. Who are you hanging out with?!?! I think you just haven’t met the right reporters who actually admire the founders they cover.

      • … name ONE.
        ALL reporters and “journalists” believe that they are better than anyone else and what they write/say/report is THE TRUTH — of course, over time we learn that they actually fabricate their own brand of it… example: the NYT, Washington Post, LA Times, etc. — the list is long, and shameful. Not to mention those on major TV networks. Most of these specimens go on to write “books,” actually showing that they live in a world of fiction.
        It is a total perversion of the First Amendment — regrettably, and because of sheer ignorance/stupidity, most Americans believe that it means they can say/write or
        communicate/do whatever they want… morals or ethics, or respect for others be
        damned… IMHO of course.

        • Engineer says:

          David is absolutely right. I once had a reporter ask me out on a date under an assumed name because she wanted to get a story… I didn’t know our date was a sham until the story came out.

          I’ve repeatedly seen events that I witnessed first hand deliberately misrepresented by the media.

          They have an agenda, and are never unbiased. “Objectivity” is a tone, not a standard for them. They want to seem objective, of course, but they aren’t.

          If you can, do. If you can’t teach. If you can’t even teach, you report.

  9. Oh boohoooo. Yeah. It’s totally the meanie-pants journalists’ fault that your company isn’t doing well. It could never be — gasp! — a lack of coherent business plan, ignorance of how to scale, or downright shitty product that invites the bad press you might have receive.

    Listen, buddy. I can promise you that at any decent journalism school, the last thing you are taught is to inject personal opinions. Reporting 101 teaches a Jack Webb approach to trudging a beat, gathering information and creating a narrative that tells the who/what/where/when/why/how only.

    And, very rarely are people with perverse natures, filled with “jealousy and intense envy” (or any similarly redundant, negative traits), the type to go into journalism. You’re picking a career where few ever make enough money to survive doing it full-time — what is perverse about that, other than the anti-capitalistic obvious? The most legit journalists are dead broke, uber-passionate truth-tellers, looking to call B.S. on the kind of lying, malicious, back-stabing scorpions you describe.

    You want to live in a world where charlatans get to just run amuck, pushing out crap products and selling tin mines to us all, with no one there to blow the whistle because it’s disheartening to the entrepreneurial spirit? I sure don’t.

    • Engineer says:

      How can you make that promise when you’ve never been to journalism school? Especially when you admit he’s right only a few sentences later:

      “The most legit journalists are dead broke, uber-passionate truth-tellers, looking to call B.S. on the kind of lying, malicious, back-stabing scorpions you describe.”

      They are dead broke so they see everyone as a malicious back-stabbing scorpion and they can’t wait to get some dirt to use to “call BS” on…. even if they have to make it up.

      I mean, how many stories have we seen about Apple abusing workers in china? How much coverage did Daisey get? Yet it has all been lies all along….

      • skwulf says:

        I can make that promise because I have been to journalism school. I wouldn’t have voiced such strong opinions on the subject otherwise.

        The paranoid extremism you’re expressing about journalists only proves my point. I’m not saying ALL journalists are saints, or that none of them are. Merely, I was explaining the ideal — journalists would be watchdogs, fair and factual as they could, prepared to voice the truth regardless of loyalties or compensation. Is that an ideal we see at all news organizations or blogs today? Far from it. But there are individuals like this out there, and I am glad they exist.

    • henway says:

      Heh, i never ever trust anyone that wants to put a certain profession in a special unique bucket, morally and human-character wise. Not even the President can resist the temptation of sex. Why should we believe you when you say journalists are always after the truth, and not jealous/envious of others success?

  10. Michael La Rosa says:

    “So what if a year from now some of these founders will have failed miserably. So what if others get churned through the machine and come out the other end a little less than whole. A few will become giants and lead future generations of entrepreneurs. And in six months or so a whole new batch of ‘em will be coming through again. And they’ll be just as bushy tailed as the last ones were.”

    That….that is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Bravo…bravo.

  11. More Blood. More Blood. More Blood.

    (Watch the extended cut of Watchmen, you’ll get it)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,765 other followers

%d bloggers like this: