How to Start a Startup

Sam Altman and the folks from Y Combinator offer up this amazing course from Standford University.


This course includes lectures from: 

  • Sam Altman

  • Dustin Moskovitz

  • Paul Graham

  • Adora Cheung

  • Peter Thiel

  • Alex Schultz

  • Kevin Hale

  • Marc Andreessen

  • Ron Conway

  • Ben Silbermann

  • Alfred Lin

  • Patrick & John Collison

  • Aaron Levie

  • Reid Hoffman

  • Keith Rabois

  • Ben Horowitz

  • Marissa Mayer

  • Hosian Rahman

  • Kirsty Nathoo

  • Carolynn Levy

  • ...and more!

With Sam Altman & Guests



Sam Altman & Dustin Moskovitz - Introduction to the Course, "How to Start a Startup"

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Dustin Moskovitz, Cofounder of Facebook, Asana, and Good Ventures, kick off the course. Sam covers the first two out of four key features a startup needs: 

  • Ideas

  • Products

  • Teams

  • Execution

And Dustin discusses why to start a startup. 


Paul Graham - Before the Startup

You'll learn about the counterintuitive parts of startups. Graham also discusses how to have ideas. He delivers an informative (and highly amusing) talk. 


Peter Thiel - Competition is for Losers

Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal and Palantir, discusses business strategy and monopoly theory in this episode. 


Kevin Hale - How to Build Products Users Love

Kevin Hale, Founder of Wufoo and Partner at Y Combinator, explains how to build products that create a passionate user base invested in your startup's success.


Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, & Parker Conrad - How to Raise Money

Sam leads a panel Q&A on fundraising in this lecture with Marc Andreessen, Founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz, Ron Conway, Founder of SV Angel, and Parker Conrad, Founder of Zenefits. 


John Collison, Patrick Collison, & Ben Silberman - Hiring and Culture

Stripe and Pinterest - two companies well known for their strong cultures. The founders, John Collison, Patrick Collison, and Ben Silberman, take Q&A from Sam in this lesson. 


Reid Hoffman - How to be a Great Founder

So you've learned how to get started, how to raise money, how to build products, and how to grow. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock Ventures, addresses many of the questions and confusions that might be cropping up. Especially on how to be a great founder. 


Ben Horowitz - How to Manage

You are not the only one whom your decisions impact. Ben Horowitz, founder of Andreessen Horowitz and Opsware, discusses this important management perspective that founders miss, with of course, the gratuitous rap lyric or two sprinkled in. 


Hosain Rahman - How to Design Hardware Products

Hosain Rahman, CEO and Founder of Jawbone, covers the design process for building hardware products users love. 


Legal and Accounting Basics for Startups

There's a lot that goes behind the scenes in running a startup. Getting the legal, finance (equity allocation, vesting), accounting, and other overhead right will save you a lot of pain in the long run. 

Kirsty Nathoo, CFO at Y Combinator, and Carolynn Levy, General Counsel at Y Combinator, cover these very important topics. 


Sam Altman - Later-Stage Advice

Sam caps off this podcast course with the things you should ignore when you start, that become important a year in (after product-market fit). 


Sam Altman - Team & Execution

Sam teaches about the last two of the four areas a startup needs:

  • Idea

  • Product

  • Team

  • Execution

He also covers tips on finding co-founders, hiring and firing, and how to execute. 


Adora Cheung - Building Product, Talking to Users, & Growing

So you have an idea. How do you go from zero users to many? 

Adora Cheung, founder of Homejoy, covers:

  • Building Product

  • Talking to Users

  • Growth


Alex Scultz - Growth

Alex Schultz gives an overview of Growth for startups, speaking from a position of authority as the VP of Growth at Facebook. 


How to Get Started, Doing Things that Don't Scale, Press

This lecture features three speakers:

  • Stanley Tang, Founder of Doordash, who covers getting started

  • Walker Williams, Founder of Teespring, who covers doing things that don't scale

  • Justin Kan, Founder of TwitchTV and Partner at Y Combinator, who covers press


Brian Chesky & Alfred Lin - Culture

Brian Chesky, Founder of Airbnb, and Alfed Lin, Former COO of Zappos and Partner at Sequoia Capital, discuss how to build a great company culture. 


Aaron Levie - Building for the Entreprise

Aaron Levie - founder of Box, enterprise master, Twitter comedic genius. He'll convince you to build for the enterprise. 


Keith Rabois - How to Operate

What should the CEO be doing on a day to day basis? How do you make sure the company is moving in the right direction? 

Keith Rabois, Partner at Khosla Ventures and former COO of Square, tackles the nitty gritty: how to operate. Lots of actionable takeaways from this lecture!


Emmett Shear - How to Run a User Interview

Building product and talking to users in the early stages of your startup are the two things you should focus on. 

In his lecture, Emmett Shear, Founder and CEO of and Twitch, covers the latter. What can you learn by talking to users that you can't learn by looking at data? What questions should you ask? How can user interviews define or redefine your product goals? 


Sales and Marketing - How to Talk to Investors

Tyler Bosmeny, Founder and CEO of Clever, starts off this lecture with an overview of the Sales Funnel and how to get your first $1 million. 

Michael Seibel, founder of and Socialcam and Partner at Y Combinator, follows up with a lecture on how to talk to investors - the pitch.

Dalton Caldwell, founder o fimeem and show page on Awesound, closes up.