YC Digest - 4/24-4/30

Top Stories from the YC World - April 24-April 30, 2015

Watch
PlatziConf brings YC to Mexico: Watch the livestream here starting at 9am CDT on Saturday, May 2 

Essays
Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls by Jessica Livingston


Launches

Fundraising


DroneBase (YC W15) Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

YC W15's DroneBase is a marketplace for drone services founded by Dan Burton and Eli Tamanaha. 

Read more about DroneBase on TechCrunch:

"DroneBase lets you commission a drone and its pilot for commercial jobs. You just submit your request online, DroneBase finds someone who can do the gig, they come fly and send you the media and data needed.

DroneBase has the potential to both disrupt old ways of getting aerial imagery or doing heavy industry inspections, but also open up options to businesses that couldn’t afford it. Now after graduating from Y Combinator, DroneBase has raised a seed round from Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Rothenberg Ventures, and Launchpad LA."

Rickshaw (YC W14) Provides An API For Local Deliveries

Rickshaw, the same-day delivery platform, launched today on TechCrunch after operating in stealth since the Winter 2014 batch of YC: 

"Ever since Uber launched to enable users to hail a ride with a mobile app, any number of on-demand and same-day delivery services have emerged. In most cases, those companies end up building out their own logistics infrastructure and hiring their own delivery drivers.

But why keep reinventing the wheel if the delivery and routing part of the service isn’t a part of your core competency? That’s the thinking behind Y Combinator-backed Rickshaw, which hopes to enable companies to outsource the logistics layer of the local delivery process in a way that will make same day pickups and drop-offs more efficient for all.

Rickshaw was founded by Divya Bhat and Gautam Jayaraman, two MIT grads who have backgrounds in operations research and computer science. They began building Rickshaw, Bhat says, after she considered working on a startup that would require a fleet for deliveries. Rather than building such a fleet just for their own usage, or reaching out to others to rent capacity on their delivery fleets, the Rickshaw founders thought it made more sense for to work on solving the delivery problem for a bunch of different companies."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Welcome Luke and Rick

We are happy to announce two new additions to the YC team.

Rick Morrison is joining us as a part-time partner.  Rick is the founder and CEO of Comprehend Systems.  Comprehend makes multi-datasource analytics and collaboration tools for the life sciences industry.  Rick will focus on advising our enterprise companies.

Luke Iseman is joining us to help our hardware companies.  He was the cofounder of Edyn from W2014, and he cofounded the boxhouse open-source shipping container home project.  Luke will be responsible for all of our hardware partnerships as well as advising hardware companies on how to get their prototypes and products built.

Welcome, Luke and Rick!

New Hacker News Guideline

The HN team members are some of the most thoughtful people about online communities I’ve ever met. So I’m always excited when they have a new idea to try.

This idea is simple. We’re updating the guidelines to add: "Avoid gratuitous negativity."

Critical thinking is good; shallow cynicism, on the other hand, adds nothing of value to the community. It is unpleasant to read and detracts from actual work. If you have something important but negative to say, that's fine, but say it in a respectful way. 

Negativity isn't the problem--gratuitous negativity is. By that we mean negativity that adds nothing of substance to a comment. This includes all forms of meanness.

Sharp readers may point out that the HN guidelines have always excluded those things. That's true. But it's still enough of a problem in HN threads that this is a clarification worth making. We tried it out last year when we released special guidelines for Show HNs. It worked well there, so we're extending it to the whole site.

New work and new ideas are fragile. Too much gratuitous negativity might be the difference between someone giving up on a crazy idea and building the next Airbnb. Obviously, we want Hacker News to help startups and people doing new work, not hurt them. Building stuff is hard, and you'll always need a thick skin. But we see no need for Hacker News to make the problem worse.
 
The human trait of being unhappy with other people's success is something we’ve all felt and should all try to avoid. Similarly for piling on to others' mistakes. These things feel good in the moment, but they're harmful and lazy. HN is a community of smart people. Let's all apply our smartness to *not* being like that, and see what new and interesting things emerge.
 
How are we going to enforce this? By asking the community to do so. Gentle reminders by peers are the best way we know to make the culture better.
 
HN can never be all things to all people. If you want to be relentlessly negative on the internet, there are other places you can go to do that.
 
I’m excited about this change; the increase in gratuitous negativity as Hacker News has gotten bigger is the thing I’ve liked the least.
 
To support this, Daniel and the HN team are working on another new idea I'm very excited about--code-named "Modnesty"--to turn more moderation power over to the community. We'll be sharing more on that in the coming months.

YC Digest - 3/27-4/2

YC W15 at their last dinner (Photo credit: Pretty Instant)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 27-April 2, 2015
What Happens After Y Combinator: The Marathon After the Sprint (Fast Company)

Launches

Essays
The Magic Thread by Geoff Ralston

Neverfrost (YC S14) Wants To Kill Windshield Frost And Keep Rocks From Ruining Your Day

Neverfrost, a company that's been operating in stealth since the Summer 2014 batch, announced their product today in TechCrunch: 

"Neverfrost, a YC-backed company that has been working away quietly up in Waterloo for the past few years, wants to beef up your windshield’s ability to handle the stray rocks that may come its way — and while they’re at it, they want to end windshield frosting and help drivers save fuel by keeping their car’s interior cooler."

Read the full story in TechCrunch

YC Digest - March 20-26, 2015

Hello from the YC Team at Demo Day (photo credit: April Buchheit)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 20-26, 2015
The deadline to apply to YC S15 is tonight at 8pm PT!

Here Are The Companies That Presented At Y Combinator Demo Day 1 - TechCrunch

47 Startups That Launched At Y Combinator Winter 2015 Demo Day 2 - TechCrunch

Ebola Drugs, Prison Inmates, Real, Live Rockets: Y Combinator's New Launchpad - Fast Company

I Am Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator. AMA - Hacker News

Sam Altman: Why Hardware Could Yield the Next $10 Billion Startups - WSJ 

How Platzi (YC W15) bootstrapped its way into Y Combinator to build the future of education - TNW

A Look Inside Transcriptic’s (YC W15) New Biotech Testing Facility - TechCrunch

Launches
YC S14: Nightingale Launches Its Support Platform For Autism Therapy

YC W15: Pigeon.ly, A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator






YC W15: SmartHires Helps Startups Find Tech Talent Within The Same Investment Portfolio

YC W15: GiveMeTap Offers Free Water And Footfall Data For Stores, And It Helps Africa

YC W15: Introducing Priime - a new way to edit photos on your iPhone

YC W15: Kickpay Is A Marketplace For Invoices That Helps SMEs Get Paid Quickly

YC S14: uBiome Is Now Doing An Indiegogo Campaign To Check Out Dental Bacteria

YC W15: SlideMail Is An Intelligent Email App For The Rest Of Us 

Pigeon.ly (YC W15), A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator

YC welcomes Pigeon.ly to the Winter 2015 batch. Pigeon.ly is building a profitable new category of services for the 20M ppl with family in prison. Read more about Pigeon.ly on TechCrunch:

"Hutson says that 1 percent of the U.S. population has a loved one who is in prison, given the scale of the U.S. mass incarceration system. He estimates it’s a $2 billion market. If you look at competitors, Securus sold to a private equity firm in 2013 for about a half-billion dollars while JPay told CNBC it had $50 million in revenues last year. 
While Pigeon.ly is definitely farther along in terms of product and growth than some of its peers in the YC program, Hutson said it was valuable to join the program anyway. YC partner Michael Seibel, who co-founded SocialCam and Justin.tv, heavily recruited Hutson and has been a big advocate for diversifying each batch of companies
'Being a minority founder building a company, Y Combinator can help. You need to have the right affiliations. You need to be in the right circles. We looked at this as an opportunity to get access to investors and talent.'"

Listen to Planet Money's episode on Pigeon.ly: Episode 610 The Prisoner's Solution