At some point during each YC cycle, each startup and I stand in front of a whiteboard and we try to figure out what the essence of the company is. Why should anyone care about this startup? What are they making better, and how?
We do this not just to figure out how to think of and explain the company, but also as a check. If we can't come up with much that's new, then maybe the startup should expand its scope.
Usually these notes get erased in a day or two, but the founders of Directed Edge photographed theirs. (The writing on the right is some robot calculation of Trevor's.)