Silicon Valley's Top Startup Factory Once Funded A Company Because The Founder Looked Like Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

Venture capitalist Paul Graham runs Silicon Valley’s most successful startup accelerator.

Y Combinator has an acceptance rate similar to that of an Ivy League school, and a track record for producing billion-dollar startups.

Storage startup Dropbox is valued at $4 billion, and home rental site Airbnb is valued at around $2.5 billion. The value of YC’s portfolio is approaching $10 billion and many of its companies have also had clean exits. Think Heroku, OMGPOP, and Reddit. The average value of a YC-backed company is $22.4 million. 

But Graham doesn’t always have the best judgment when selecting startups to participate in YC. In a lengthy profile of YC on The New York Times, Graham revealed that he has his own biases.

“I can be tricked by anyone who looks like Mark Zuckerberg,” Graham told Nathaniel Rich of the NYT. “There was a guy once who we funded who was terrible. I said: ‘How could he be bad? He looks like Zuckerberg!”

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