Less than a month ago, Sam Altman, the new President of Y Combinator, officially declared that "Sexism in tech is real." That was the first sentence of his post on diversity. Sadly, there is now more proof of sexism in tech for those that still need convincing. Right before meeting a reporter from Re/code, Y Combinator cofounder Jessica Livingston was hassled by an investor.
Ever since Paul Graham stepped down from Y Combinator, the Stanford of startup accelerators has been trying to give off a more welcoming vibe. The attempts thus far have seemed awkward, half-hearted, and therefore insincere. As though Sam Altman got PR advice on crisis control from a YC bro-founder: Just tell 'em what they want to hear.
Industry obsessives talk about Product Hunt—a leaderboard that lets members vote on new apps, devices, and other assorted technologies—with a sense of gratefulness. Venture capitalists use its hand-picked daily list to find a diamond in the deluge. Founders use Product Hunt as an alternative launching pad: TechCrunch without the noise; Hacker News without the hate.
Soylent, the semen-esque food substitute financed by venture capitalists, is nothing if not resilient. It can keep you sated for hours with a full, gaseous feeling. It can even withstand reports of rats in its kitchen and still show up in The New Yorker. But slurping the fun out of life's most basic pleasure requires some social media marketing.
Eden Alexander is an adult film star and cam girl. After a "near fatal" reaction to a common prescription drug and a month of chronic pain, she tried to crowdfund $4,000 for her medical care. Hours before she was taken away in an ambulance, she got a notice that the online payments company WePay had cancelled her emergency fundraiser.
Y Combinator, which has been going through an identity crisis, just welcomed Quora (a $900 million, 7-year-old company) into its summer batch of early-stage startups. The accelerator will also invest in Quora's latest round, which happened one minute ago and was supposed to keep the Q&A site independent "forever and ever."
Airbnb is about to close a round of funding that will value the company at $10 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal. That's four times as much as the company was valued in 2012, when it raised $200 million. This time, the valedictorian of the sharing economy is raising between $400 million and $500 million led by private equity group TPG.
Y Combinator, that mecca for hardcore hackers running on pure Paleo and possibility, has lost one of its own to the dead pool. The door-to-door laundry service Prim, which let San Francisco denizens mimic the perks of their corporate brethren by barking "DO MY LAUNDRY" for $25/bag, is no longer in business.
This weekend, Bing Nursery School, an elite institution for precocious little 2-to-5-year-olds, is holding its 25th Annual Harvest Moon Auction with all proceeds going toward student scholarships. As you might expect from a nursery school where Stanford University connections count so heavily, a handful of the items from the online auction are awfully startup-oriented.
What if the perfect liquidity event for Silicon Valley was not a blockbuster IPO, or an acquisition that paid out at some insane multiple, but a literal exit from the United States of America? No more lumbering bureaucracies, no lobbying incumbents, no "petty" laws, no obstructionist unions. That's what a Stanford lecturer and genetics startup cofounder Balaji Srinivasan proposed at Y Combinator's annual startup school this weekend.