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Y Combinator's How to Start a Startup

Everything we know about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts.

About this site

This site was created to host Creative Commons content from the Stanford CS183B class being put together by Sam Altman, President at YCombinator and going from September 23rd through December 4th.

In this course, Sam will lead us through 20 killer sessions with the likes of startup experts like Peter Thiel, Aaron Levie, and Reid Hoffman to discuss how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more.

A letter from Sam Altman, President at YCombinator about the course:

CS183B is a class we're teaching at Stanford. It's designed to be a sort of one-class business course for people who want to start startups.
Videos of the lectures, associated reading materials, and assignments will all be available here. There will be 20 videos, some with a speaker or two and some with a small panel. It'll be 1,000 minutes of content if you watch it all.
We'll cover how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more.
You can't teach everything necessary to succeed in starting a company, but I suspect we can teach a surprising amount. We've tried to take some of the best speakers from the past 9 years of Y Combinator dinners and arrange them in a way that will hopefully make sense.
We're doing this because we believe helping a lot of people be better at starting companies will be good for everyone. It will hopefully be valuable even for people who don't want to start startups.
Talks like these have really helped Y Combinator founders create their companies. We hope you find it helpful too!

How the course will work

All of the lecture videos for this course will be uploaded to startupclass.samaltman.com after the in-person lectures every Tuesday and Thursday. Universities will also be organizing groups to watch the videos together, as well as peer evaluate the projects.

Given the official mailing list, Facebook Group, Youtube channel and website (startupclass.samaltman.com) launched by YC are likely to get a little unwieldy, startupclass.co was created to:

1. Create a timely and easy access point for all the YCombinator "How to Start a Startup" lecture series videos, associated readings, and assignments.

2. Have a single, ad-free place for meaningful discussion for each of the lectures so we can collaborate and learn from each other.

3. Open-source the discussion. All lectures, discussion and content here will be under a Creative Commons license to foster the most openness and creativity possible.

4. Let you track progress. Within the course, you'll be able to track your progress from lecture to lecture by clicking "complete".

We're hoping to get speakers and experts to engage with the group. Looking forward to seeing you inside.

Your Instructor

Sam Altman
Sam Altman

Sam Altman is president of Y Combinator and was the cofounder of Loopt, a location-based social networking app, which was part of YC's first batch in 2005 and acquired by Green Dot in 2012.

Prior to taking over as Y Combinator's president, Sam was a part-time partner at Y Combinator since 2011. You can read Sam's essays on startups and technology at his blog.

Sam has consistently been recognized for his entrepreneurship. He was featured in Inc. Magazine's Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 and BusinessWeek's Tech's Best Entrepreneurs.

As an early innovator in mobile location services, Sam joined Apple CEO Steve Jobs on stage at WWDC 2008, presenting Loopt as one of the first applications in the iPhone App Store.

Sam has been a valuable source for many media outlets including Charlie Rose, CNN, The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous others.

Class Curriculum

  Let's do this!
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  Project 1
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  Project 2
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course runs from September 23rd 2014 to December 4th 2014 and takes place every Tuesday and Thursday. Once the video, readings and other materials are available, they'll be immediately updated here (They'll also be available on Youtube and iTunesU and on the official website).
How long do I have access to the material?
We pledge to keep them up indefinitely - but if for any legal reason we need to take them down, we reserve the right to do so. This said, we have enabled video downloads so you can download the video file easily and watch them offline.
Where can I find the community for the course?
The Facebook group you can request access to is here. Additionally, hundreds of other University groups have been set up you can find on the official website.
Is this content under Creative Commons?
All of the content in this site will be openly available to anyone to use and is under a Creative Commons License which was been make available by YCombinator from the official class website here.
Who is behind the creation of this site?
This site was put together by the team at Fedora, a site which allows anyone to teach or create their own online school. If you're having any challenges, send an email over to [email protected]
Who do I thank for this sweet typography?
All fonts are free to use on Google Fonts and their usage pattern is inspired by Scott Hurff.

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