The Launch Pad

  • by Randall Stross
  • Narrated by Rene Ruiz
  • 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Twice a year in the heart of Silicon Valley, a small investment firm called Y Combinator selects an elite group of young entrepreneurs from around the world for three months of intense work and instruction. Their brand-new two- or three-person start-ups are given a seemingly impossible challenge: to turn a raw idea into a viable business, fast.
Each YC session culminates in a demo day, when investors and venture capitalists flock to hear pitches from the new graduates. Any one of them might turn out to be the next Dropbox (class of 2007, now valued at $5 billion) or Airbnb (2009, $1.3 billion).
Randall Stross is the first journalist to have fly-on-the-wall access to Y Combinator. He tells the full story of how Paul Graham started this ultra exclusive institution, how it chooses among hundreds of aspiring Mark Zuckerbergs, and how it teaches them to go from concept to profitability in record time.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Best Book for Start-Up

This is the book that I recommend to anyone who is looking to build or is building a startup.

Why is it so good? Because being an entrepreneur is a lonely, random, dark, stressful and most of the time badly rewarded journey. And those who think it's different are going to get hit hard. Be sure that if building a successful company was easy - much much more people would be really rich, and most of startups wouldn't die in the first year. And in this journey you need peers and friend, teammates and likeminded people around you. This book supercharges your surrounding or compensates the possible lack of it. You just get into the whirlwind of great people, insights, results in startups and a lot more.

How does it helps? Aside from feeling energised and a part of an elite group of young entrepreneurs selected to be lead in the worlds best accelerator, there is a huge lot of business knowledge, purposefully and in smart manner given from all sides - from Y-Combinator partners, from brave young people starting their businesses, from the public they sell their products to, from potential employees, and from what is now history of success of those companies.

This is a book to teach in schools - that would be my suggestion for economics/business classes. This is especially true especially considering the fact that current education leads to where our world currently is - political, ecological and energy crisis, with lots of fields where significant improvements are not just welcome, but urgently required. But as we're in the world where money is the key resource - people should learn how to build up the resource to actually patch or fix any part of our world. But that's polemics. Main idea here - this is a book to re-listen at least once a year. To anyone looking to get it and thinking if it is wort it - I strongly recommend you do get it.
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- Amazon Customer

Must Read for Startups

Would you consider the audio edition of The Launch Pad to be better than the print version?


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Launch Pad?

The paragraph on gender differentiation in the start-up world.

What about Rene Ruiz’s performance did you like?

It was ok.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made a bit frustrated and angry at times with the hypocritical and sexist approach that the lead character selects his start-ups. It's very money driven without any considerations for the best interests of the person. Must read if you are thinking or have recently launched a company - there is some good advice in it about how to pitch and sell your business but i wouldn't go down the route of incubators after this read.

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- Tatiana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-10-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio