I went to Startup School on Saturday! Being a regular visitor on Hacker News, I applied at the right time and got invited 🙂 ! The event was at the Stanford Campus and I have to say, its just awesome! I wonder how people there get any studying done :-). I really had a great time and have already decided to attend the event next year for sure!
There was an impressive line-up of speakers for the event, the list of Speakers:-
Sam Altman,Founder, Loopt:- Hyper excited! Had 8 shots of espresso before the talk apparently 😀 But spoke well about how to get funded and so on.
Marc Andreessen,Founder, Ning, Opsware, Netscape; Creator of Mosaic :- Was a Q & A session with Jessica Livingston asking the questions which were submitted online by people. Was a really good talk, one of the better talks during the day.
Michael Arrington,Editor, TechCrunch :- A really popular guy, and presented the talk from a Tech blogger’s perspective but I found the talk boring. Also, the dude had a black eye, I i guess some people don’t like his posts!
Jeff Bezos,Founder, Amazon.com:- This was the longest talk of the event, and I kind of disliked that, the talk was a hour long advertisement of Amazon Web Services! The problem is, everyone there already knew what it was and was using it to some extent or the other, and we wanted more than just an advertisement for it.
Funny moment during the Q & A with Bezos, nervous guy stepped up to the mike and thanked him for gmail :D.
Paul Buchheit,Founder, FriendFeed; Creator of GMail :- Very interesting talk, Paul speaks in a calm and monotonous manner with some dry sarcasm intermixed. Enjoyed listening to him(although his talk was right before lunch!)
Paul Graham,Partner, Y Combinator; Founder, Viaweb :- Biggest disappointment of the day for me, the talk felt like PG was just reading out an essay and was really boring, although the talk had some good points in it.
David Heinemeier Hansson,Creator of Rails; Partner, 37Signals :- Clearly the best talk of the day! http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/981-the-secret-to-making-money-online thats the link and I highly recommend everyone to check it out!
David Lawee,Vice President of Corporate Development, Google; Founder, Xfire :- Was the first talk of the day, interesting talk.
Jack Sheridan,Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati :- Was a talk about the legal aspects of starting your own company, etc, was interesting to a lot of people, but I sheepishly admit that i dozed off during the talk :-).
Greg McAdoo,Partner, Sequoia Capital:- Really good talk, loved the surfer analogy, although David Heinemeier Hansson’s talk right after this one blew away the surfer analogy!
Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google:- This one again was a disappointment, Peter Norvig is one of my heroes and he gave a boring talk at the end of the day about some probability based algorithm and how to use data to your advantage..may not have been the best topic for the last talk of the day.
All of their talks can be found online on justin.tv here:
Techcrunch covered the event and blogged about it, link: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/04/19/packed-house-at-y-combinator-startup-school/
Photos from the event on flikr.com
Later, went with Dave, a linux and hardware hacker to Super Happy Dev House(http://superhappydevhouse.org/)! Met a lot of interesting people there, including Tom Music(founder of http://haikoo.org/), one of the founders of the Ironman game(http://ironmanthegame.marvel.com/index.php), Ani(who’s working on a really cool financial application idea for lending and borrowing money) and a bunch of other people who’s name I don’t remember, as I was really drunk by dinner time! Headed back home around midnight :-). Definitely one of the best days since I’ve been here in San Jose, Life is Good.