Photo: Bloomberg TV
Y Combinator‘s Paul Graham just gave a pretty good interview on Bloomberg TV about startups and the tech industry.Graham, on top of being really smart, is also the most likable guy in Silicon Valley and very witty, so it’s always worth watching him.
Here are some choice quotes (some are paraphrased):
- Y Combinator doesn’t invest in startups, they invest in founders. His top advice to entrepreneurs? “The most important thing is your co-founders.”
- “If you have some kind of big visionary plan, you’re probably Webvan.”
- Graham said the most valuable YC startups are Dropbox and AirBnB. After being reminded that Heroku sold for $200 million, he responded: “You couldn’t buy Dropbox or AirBnB for $200 million.”
- On Facebook’s sky-high valuation: “Would you bet money that Mark Zuckerberg is going to fail? … That’s very scary!”
- On startup valuations: “Valuations are 2-3X what they were in the trough of the recession.” … “If you’re investing in a startup at a $10 million valuation, you’re not saying it’s actually worth $10 million … You’re saying it has a 1% chance of being worth a billion.”
- On whether there’s not a bubble, he noted, rightly, that prices sometimes go up, but that’s not the same thing as a bubble. A bubble is “a mania.” That’s not what is going on right now.
- On the risk that Apple might become the Microsoft of mobile: “Monopolies always tend to suck, you know.” … “It is a richly ironic situation. I wonder what Steve Jobs is thinking. Doesn’t he see? He’s the guy in that old Apple commercial who’s the mean dictator.”
Bloomberg disabled embedding, you can watch the video here →
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