FlightCar (YC W13) on MSNBC: Three 18 year olds drop out to change an industry

Watch the full 5 minute interview and hear how 18-year-old founders Shri, Rujul and Kevin got started at SFO, launched a minimal viable product, got a cease and desist, and just kept going. 

"As it turns out, Flightcar is working." --MSNBC

It happens all time. Someone has a great idea, turns it into a company and then nobody’s interested. As a result, the founders of FlightCar wanted to minimize their risk. They had a unique idea to re-think the way the rental car industry works. Before spending too much time or money, they launched their business with the bare minimum to see how customers would react.

via openforum.com

Instacart (YC S12) is now not just easier, but cheaper than buying groceries from the store too

Instacart, a San Francisco-based grocery delivery service that’s taking orders and seemingly kicking butt, has already made ordering groceries online easier — now it’s making it cheaper, too.

As an addition to its multi-store selection of stuff, Instacart now offers consumer a variety of national-brand grocery items at prices much lower than what can be found in stores.

While Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta would not explain exactly where these groceries come from, he guaranteed they are cheaper. “You can just go on and compare the price yourself,” he said.

The service adds yet another value proposition to the company’s growing appeal.

Read the full article in San Francisco Business Times

Draft.io founder Nate Kontny (YC S11) on crashing and burning at demo day, and learning to build products people care about

On August 23rd, 2011, I was sitting on the concrete in the Y Combinator parking lot, trying to find some space to be alone and call my wife. It was Demo Day, and the crowd was full of elite and celebrity investors. We even had a private chat with Ashton Kutcher. But there I was, calling my wife to tell her how terrible this day had been. It was a startup's worst fear, realized: Nobody cared what we were working on.

Now, almost two years later, I'm building Draft, a new way to help people write better. It has things people need, like version control, professional editing, importing/exportingtranscription tools, and social analytics--and the response from users has been incredible. Here's what I learned in the intervening two years that led me to a project that people care about.

Read the full article in Fast Company

Heyzap (YC W09) mobile game ad platform growing explosively: Now running ads in over 800 games

Back in March, I wrote about how Heyzap was introducing advertising to its mobile gaming platform. Now co-founder Jude Gomila says the company has become a significant player in mobile advertising.

Specifically, Gomila sent along the chart showing the growth in publishers running Heyzap ads and the corresponding growth in ad impressions over the past six months. You can’t tell exactly where things stand now, because there’s no Y-axis to the chart. However, Gomila did note that Heyzap ads are now running in 800 games (it was 350 in March), and that number is also growing quickly. He also said that the publishers advertising with Heyzap include big names like Zynga and DeNA.

In the six months since the program launched, ad revenue has grown to the point that it already makes up the majority of its revenue. As a result, Heyzap is looking to expand its team beyond the current 25-person workforce.

Read the full article in Techcrunch

Airbnb (YC W09) introduces hyper-local Neighborhoods guide for Bangkok

Airbnb is furthering its presence in Asia after it introduced itsNeighborhoods feature to Bangkok, which becomes the first location in the region to fall under the company’s hyper-local spotlight.

The company launched Neighborhoods last November, and the feature is designed to allow travellers to get to know a city better, and more easily discover experiences and culture there. It — in theory — makes it easier for travellers to find the part of the city that appeals to them the most; because we’ve all had moments when we booked in to stay at the wrong part of town but didn’t realize until we got there.

Read the full article at TNW

Twitch will be integrated into Microsoft's new Xbox One

Today at its E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that it has integrated with live-streaming site Twitch to allow live streaming and viewing from its upcoming Xbox One game console. The integration will allow Xbox Gold Live customers to instantly broadcast their game streams to their own Twitch channels, as well as view the streams as others.

For Twitch, the partnership could massively increase the amount of content that will be available through its live-streaming platform. While it’s been working with a variety of game developers to make broadcasting from their games even easier, becoming a part of Xbox One will open that streaming capability to a number of new users.

Read the full article on Techcrunch