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Lecture 1 – How to Start a Startup (Sam Altman, Dustin Moskovitz)

April 2, 2015 49 Comments

Lecture Transcript:

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Dustin Moskovitz, Cofounder of Facebook, Asana, and Good Ventures, kick off the How to Start a Startup Course. Sam covers the first 2 of the 4 Key Areas: Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution; and Dustin discusses Why to Start a Startup.

See the slides and readings at

Discuss this lecture:
Video Rating: 4 / 5

- Startups - Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital - TWiST #291

Chris’ interview was so incredible that we couldn’t contain it in just one episode, so today is only part one–you’ll have to check back soon for part two!

*Disclaimer: Chris has a potty mouth and we’ve attempted to bleep out all of his swear words. We apologize in advance if any snuck by our censors.

1:00 Welcome everyone! Today on TWiST we have Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital.
2:30 Thank you to Hiscox for supporting the show. Everyone go to to get a free quote online in less than 15 minutes.
5:00 Chris, welcome to the show.
6:15 What is it that you do on a daily basis?
9:15 Chris: There’s a lot of garbage getting funded today.
10:00 What does it mean to be a founder in your book?
12:15 Is fearlessness a good trait?
14:45 Has it become too easy to become a founder?
19:15 How did you wind up being an investor in companies like Facebook, Twitter and Uber?
20:00 Chris shares the story of how he found himself in a huge financial hole.
25:30 Thank you to for their support of the show! Everyone go to and use the code TWIST for your free, 4-week trial.
28:15 Chris resumes his story of how he gambled and lost big.
29:45 What happens when people come to collect on the debt?
34:30 What was Speedera’s business?
35:00 How did you land at Google?
38:15 Chris: My first angel investment was in Photobucket.
40:00 Is it right that you once took over on the secondary market for most Twitter shares?
44:30 True or false: people in the Valley tend to be like “dude, I got you,”–until the money comes in.
47:45 Has VC behavior gotten better or worse in the last decade?
50:30 Tell me about Garrett Camp of Stumbleupon.
51:45 Twitter, some would say, is screwing over the developers that helped build it. What’s your take on that?
1:00:00 Are you slowing down on angel investing right now?
1:01:45 Chris reveals the existence of the fund Lowercase Stampede.
1:03:30 What gives you the ability to look at a new space with fresh eyes?
1:05:30 How did you get involved in Hollywood?
1:07:00 What do you think the impact of Kickstarter is on the entertainment business?
1:10:15 This concludes part one of Jason’s interview with Chris. Party two is coming soon–stay tuned!

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Keep up with the latest from our sister company, LAUNCH:

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Live Blogging LAUNCH Education & Kids – Day Two

Jason: @jason
Chris: @sacca
Hiscox: @hiscoxsmallbiz @stampscom
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Comments (49)

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  1. Saurabh Hooda says:

    I had to stop lecture every few minutes, take a break and digest things
    that were said. This lecture is like *firehose of startup advice :)*

  2. setttime says:

    3:10 .. What are the much easier ways to get rich ? :-)

  3. Victor Del Prete says:

    Much of this is for mass consumer type business, not for SaaS.

  4. oh yeah says:

    It’s easy to say “follow your passion” if smth you are passionate about is
    such a mainstream thing as programming. You can become a great founder with
    a quite high net worth, and not worry the rest of your life about such
    things as stress and constant panic about being laid off. It’s easy to say
    that when you could afford to go to Harvard, then got into Google and was
    making 6-figure income. But, damn, the world is much more complicated than
    that, and many people want to be rich, but can’t easily find their passion,
    and can’t afford to go to Stanford, and don’t have superbrains, and their
    parents live their whole life under constant stress. Sorry, but this
    “passion about an idea” just sounds too romantic for lots and lots of
    people. Go to Ukraine now, for example, where the currency devalued 2 times
    relative to dollar in half a year, and tell those people “just follow your
    passion, or find an idea you are passionate about”. Ask them how many would
    like to be financially independent while they have been living for 20 years
    in constant stress and uncertainty, where bureaucrats are stealing buckets
    of cash from taxpayers. Gosh, those people (taxpayers) would LOVE to get a
    few million bucks in their bank account and just be like “f*ck it all”.

    I know quite many people which are not passionate about their thing, but
    they got quite rich doing it. So the advice that “you can’t succeed if you
    are not passionate” is BS. I have a friend who won a national-level
    chemistry olympiad and he does not even like chemistry. That is an
    outstanding achievement, yet he doesn’t like the subject. There are
    entrepreneurs who don’t particularly like it but are very successful. Gotta
    filter some of the BS about passion, talent and passion are not the same
    things. I know plenty of people which are very passionate about something,
    yet they are not as good at it as talented ones but with no passion. 

  5. The Better Man Project says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  6. CampHacker.TV says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  7. Jan Tißler says:

    Habe mir mal die erste Lektion *des Stanford-Kurses „How to Start a
    Startup“* angesehen und finde den ganz vielversprechend. Kann man gratis
    online verfolgen. Hier mehr dazu:

  8. Ali Erdogdu says:

    #YCombinator Tarafından hazırlanan “How to Start a Startup” serisinin ilk
    dersi. İlginizi çekebilir diye düşünüyorum. Enteresan şeylerden
    bahsediyorlar. Türkçe altyazısı da mevcut.

  9. Emil Dahlman says:

    It is sad that this has 300k views while the last video has 15k. If you
    read this: Please stay the course, there are very good advice in all of the
    videos (except maybe the one with the chinese cleaning lady)

  10. Eode9 says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  11. F. Philip B. says:

    Ever interested in starting a business?

  12. Sikharin Kladkhem says:

    The way he read the script is really annoyingggggggg

  13. ugo fred says:


  14. Sandra Giffin says:

    *Video Series on How to Start a Startup*
    *Lectures from YCombinators course. A must watch for startups*

    This series has great presenters from prominent companies. It is a useful
    resource for startups.

    #startup #entrepreneur #startuptips #growthhacking 

  15. Dan Martell says:

    Awesome video!
    Enjoyed your video!
    I really loved your clip.

  16. Lazaro Alejo says:
  17. Pareto8020 says:

    Dustin strikes me as a top class bloke through and through who totally and
    utterly deserves to be a billionaire success story. I really value his

  18. Innovative Media Planners says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  19. Immensely Social says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  20. Soapbox Social Media says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  21. Elijah Bee says:

    Thank you!! This is priceless!!!

  22. Pegke Customer loyalty program says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  23. Stellar Media Marketing says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  24. MClothingCo says:

    Video: How to Start a Startup:

  25. Aaron Zakowski says:

    If you are an entrepreneur or work with start ups, then this incredible
    with +Chris Sacca is a must watch.

    I know it’s long, but it’s worth it.

    via +This Week In Startups

    #Startups #entrepreneurship 

  26. Mengmeng Chen says:

    This is such an amazing talk. Especially starting in 20 min when Chris
    started to talking about how he comes back from debts

  27. William Oliver says:

    Brilliant interview. Loving this. 

  28. jordanfan954 says:

    Great interview! I’ve learned so much from this. My first time hearing +Chris
    Sacca and he’s awesome. Very candid!

  29. Dan Golka says:

    Jason’s tone on this is fantastic. He engaged Chris better than anyone else
    and that is why this goes over 2 hours. Don’t miss this one! Watch both
    parts. A+

  30. Dave says:

    This is the definition of authentic content! Great interview. Thanks.

  31. Chris M Cloutier says:

    There are tons of great interviews with really intelligent people. This
    one however shows how one person went from being millions in debt to being
    one of the best Venture Capitalist’s around. This interview can serve as a
    case study to anyone looking to climb the ladder of success.

    It highlights ways to think outside the box and how to will your way into
    anything you want. It’s about hard work, being positive and never giving
    up, no matter what. Enjoy!

  32. Ryan Stevens says:

    This is part I ….watch it and part II as well

  33. Truthhurtsbitch says:

    Nice info, really awesome vid

  34. Peter McHannigan says:

    Watched this video with the crew at Cucumber yesterday. It’s old but a
    winner. Check it out if you’re interested in startups, investing, or if you
    are considering what to do with your student loan (Chris made 12 million
    with his in 18 months).

  35. John Haden says:

    I dig that that Sacca calls a spade, a spade…. it’s so frustrating to see
    all these wacky ideas getting funding. Then again, perhaps I’m jealous
    cause I’m not getting my shitty ideas funded 🙂

  36. SatchiCreative says:

    Has Chris’s 2nd fund ‘stampied’ I think pronounced got a website? TY around

  37. Kaludify says:

    Love it!! Great one

  38. Pipstar says:

    jason ur tha man people talk shit about u but ur the only one helping and
    inspiring a lost generation thanks.

  39. Oh Manny says:

    Wow just wow more please

  40. Jason Calacanis says:

    thanks pal

  41. バカ外人 says:

    Loved the show! Btw, Jason, I think your email newsletter needs more love.
    I’d love to hear more from you in my inbox. Beats that 140 character
    platform for birds, in my opinion.

  42. Jeff Compton says:

    Epic interview. Only thing that might top it is kimdotcom as someone
    mentioned below. Please get him on Jason! Honestly an internet pioneer.

  43. Lex Toumbourou says:

    “Facebook is who you used to know, Twitter is who you want to know.”
    Brilliant. Exceptional interview. One question: this is a show for adults.
    Why does it have to be censored?

  44. Isaac Grant says:

    Haha, good stuff!

  45. Nitish Upreti says:

    when is the part 2 coming out?

  46. Jason Calacanis says:

    oh yes!! we need to get Kim on … love that guy

  47. mecircle2012 says:

    Amazing Story…. Loving the fact both you guys kept going and there is a
    part 2!

  48. SatchiCreative says:

    Chris Sacca is an awesome guy – looking forward to watching this one!

  49. Jason Calacanis says:

    thanks Ben…. Sacca was in rare form–except he’s always like that! :-p

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