We Need A YC for Everything
This is Problem #3 on my list of The World’s Biggest Problems.
The front doors into the most exclusive industries are hidden.
For example, how do you break into Hollywood?
- The short answer is you need to know somebody.
Hollywood is full of gatekeepers – producers, directors, agents.
- If you don’t already know one of them, you’re not getting in the front door.
- Those who do break through without connections take a grueling path to success, facing rejection and harassment.
Silicon Valley used to work the same way.
- Founders had to know VCs through a past exit or their HBS/GSB class to raise venture capital.
- Even if you did get funded, they’d replace you as CEO with one of their MBA buddies.
Y Combinator created a new front door for venture capital.
- This massively increases the pool of potential startup founders.
- Anyone in the world can apply to YC, and they’re just one 1-hour application + one 10-minute interview away from access to the best network in startups.
- YC gives power to founders through transparency and collective bargaining.
Getting accepted into Rock Health (2012) and Y Combinator (W15) changed my life.
- I had already co-founded one small business (Avomeen) but I had no startup network in 2012.
- Rock Health gave Labdoor the first $100K and office space we needed to move to San Francisco.
- Y Combinator gave us the network and credibility to raise a $1.5M Seed and $4M Series A.
Who is building new front doors to other exclusive industries?
- Let’s call this “YC for X”, where X is any important field:
- YC for Politics:
- YC for Journalism:
- Old: NYT, WSJ, etc.
- New: Substack, Twitter
- YC for Finance:
- Old: MBA (for Associates), Math PhD (for Analysts)
- New: Crypto, Robinhood
- YC for Intellectuals:
- YC for Music:
- Old: Record Labels, Radio Stations
- New: YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud
When we increase access for elite individuals to exclusive industries, everyone wins.
- How many lost Einsteins (and Jobs, Obamas, Buffetts, etc.) are blocked by gatekeepers?
We can open access for all to elite industries.
- We need more altruists in politics.
- See: YC for Politics
- We need a middle class for startups.
- See: YC for Mittlestands
- We need to bring manufacturing back to American hubs like Detroit.
- We need to make it easier to launch and scale new nonprofits.
- See: YC for Nonprofits
Who all is building YC for everything?
Access (The Front Door) is #3 on my list of The World’s Biggest Problems.
- This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.