Matt Brezina is a Schreyer Scholar graduate, a member of our External Advisory Board member, founder of Xobni and now Postagram. Oh, and a real mensch! He has some very interesting thoughts about how to become an entrepreneur. For those not familiar with Y Combinator start at their site: http://ycombinator.com/
I’ve always been interested in starting companies. Ten years ago I was an undergrad at Penn State. I was told by professors, my parents & the press that the best way to start a company was to go to graduate school, become an expert in your field and start a company with a classmate. Ten years ago grad school probably was the best place to meet potential co-founders. That’s what Larry and Sergey did. That is how Filo and Jerry met.
So I went to grad school.
I did not love my time stuck in the dark corners of the control systems lab at the University of Maryland. The opportunities to evaluate and work with potential co-founders were lacking. Note* I realize this concentration would have been higher at a place like Stanford or MIT. Luckily I met Adam Smith on Craigslist during a summer internship, we became roommates, did a lot of brainstorming over hot pocket dinners and eventually started Xobni together.
From the outside Y Combinator may simply look like a new disruptive venture fund. And it is. But the secondary effects may be even larger.
I often say Paul Graham doesn’t do YC for the money, he does it to teach. He is a professor in a new type of university. And as an entrepreneur himself, of course it is a university he founded.
Read it all YC: The new grad school | The Blog Of Matt Brezina.