The 5 Laws of Interface Design

Y Combinator's own Kevin Hale is going to be teaching one of his favorite talks on the 5 laws every software designer should know about interface design tomorrow on Platzi (YC W15). It'll be the first time that it'll be recorded and he'll walk designers through the experiments used to discover those laws and visualize the math behind them in ways that makes it easy to see how to apply them in day to day design work.

You can watch and participate in the livestream tomorrow starting at 12pm Pacific Time. 

Atomwise (YC W15) Discovers Drugs For Diseases That Don’t Even Exist Yet

“Here I am just sitting in this house and I’m able to predict a cure to measles,” co-founder of Atomwise Alex Levy tells me over the phone from his apartment in Mountain View, Calif.

Atomwise, a health tech startup in the current Y Combinator batch, has launched more than a dozen projects in the last year to find cures for both common and orphan diseases – diseases that would otherwise be too expensive and time-intensive to tackle. It’s working with IBM to find a cure to Ebola and with Dalhousie University in Canada to search for a measles treatment. Levy says the startup went through 8.2 million compounds to find potential cures for multiple sclerosis in a matter of days."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

YC Digest - 2/27-3/5

Top Stories from the YC World - 2/27/15-3/05/15
Sam Altman On The Elements Of A Successful Startup



How Game of War makes more than $1M a day (Machine Zone YC W08) by Bloomberg

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How rocket science makes a perfect steak (Cinder YC W15)

YC welcomes Cinder to the W15 batch: 

"'Do you want to cut a piece of rocket science steak?' Eric Norman asked.

Those three words, “rocket science steak,” had brought me to this tiny conference room in a shared workspace in the SoMa district here, the famous hotbed of technology startups. And judging by the envious looks on the faces of many of the people on the other side of the conference room’s glass door, I made the right decision.

I’ve come to check out Cinder, a brand-new high-tech cooking appliance from Cinder Cooklabs, a member of the current class of startups in Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s best-known accelerator program, that goes on sale today."

Read the full story on VentureBeat

Lumi (YC W15) Will Help You Customize Anything (Literally, Anything) On The Cheap

"Customization pretty much comes standard in today’s online world. but when it comes to offline goods, we are still limited in many ways by the designs chosen by manufacturers. 3D printing has done its part in changing that, but a new YC-backed company, Lumi, is looking to offer a different set of customization tools.

Lumi turns any graphic into a rubber stamp or silk screen, which sold as a part of a tool kit that includes ink and everything else you need to customize any surface.

The idea started back in 2012 when the Lumi founders, Jesse Genet and Stephan Angoulvant, launched a Kickstarter campaign for a special Lumi printing process. The process included the use of Inkodye (special water-based dye that develops color in sunlight), which can bind to any vegetal or animal fiber, like cotton, linen, wool, silk, suede and wood."

GitLab (YC W15) is part of the Y Combinator family

"As reported by Techcrunch we’re part of Y Combinator’s winter 2015 batch!

At first glance, it might not seem obvious for our company to join Y Combinator since we already have 10 employees and hundreds of paying clients. The reason for joining was learning more about how to grow as a company. We were always really focussed on GitLab and of course we never want to lose that. But we want to avoid as many mistakes made by fast growing companies and to learn from the Y Combinator partners that have seen hundreds of organizations growing fast. There are regular events that feature experts in all facets of building a company, from user retention to enterprise sales. And it is great to hear stories from other startups,what they have overcame and how relentlessly resourceful they have been." 

Sytse Sijbrandij, Founder, GitLab

Read the full post on GitLab's blog

Outbound (YC W15) Helps Businesses Message Customers Over Both Email And Mobile

"With the shift to mobile devices, businesses today have a need to reach their customers wherever they are – and that includes marketing to their customers outside of email alone. A Y Combinator-backed startup called Outbound wants to help today’s marketers run campaigns that go beyond just tracking “opens and clicks,” and can also reach customers using mobile-friendly channels like push notifications, SMS and even in-app messages.

The problem is something with which Outbound’s co-founders, Dhruvkaran Mehta and Josh Weissburg, are personally familiar. The two previously worked together at the car-sharing company Getaround, where Weissburg was focused on activation and Mehta was the engineer who worked on growth alongside him."

Vanhawks (YC W15) Raises $1.6M To Help Put The Valour Smartbike On The Road

"Smartbike startup Vanhawks, part of the Y Combinator Winter 2015 class, has raised $1.6 million from Real Ventures, Olympic triathlon gold medallist Simon Whitfield, Brenda Irwin of Relentless Pursuit partners and various angels. The company will use the funding to help deliver its Valour smartbike, which raised over $820,000 on Kickstarter last year, to its first customers starting this spring. The funding will help the startup overcome some of the challenges it encountered going from concept to full production in Taiwan, and set the company up for future growth plans, which include becoming category leaders in bike-based software.

Vanhawks co-founder Ali Zahid explained in an interview that the startup wasn’t surprised that it needed more funds to start shipping over and above what it raised on Kickstarter, since they were first-time entrepreneurs and didn’t know exactly what to expect when it came time for actual production and manufacturing. Despite missing their initial launch target of late last year for shipping the first Valour bikes out to Kickstarter backers, Zahid says they’re pleased with how things are going now and will start shipping in batches of 25 to 50 bikes at a time this spring, with the intent of working through the backlog by this summer and then offering two- to three-week delivery times on new orders. The funding also helps with the company’s long-term strategy, which extends beyond making bikes."

Read the full story on TechCrunch


Gradberry (YC W15) Curates Technical Talent

Gradberry (YC W15) helps fast-growing companies discover vetted talent. Read more about Gradberry in TechCrunch

"Gradberry is launching today out of Y Combinator to connect US companies with vetted technical talent. Candidates quickly build a talent profile, connecting their GitHub, online portfolios and projects, and LinkedIn account. The talent profile is then vetted by the Gradberry team and approved candidates are passed along to specific employers...

Gradberry has registered 106 companies on the platform which is up from 31 since early February; 80 percent of their customers are a result of inbound traffic. Almost all of that growth has come from U.S.-based employers who now represent 95 percent of their job opportunities...On the other side of the marketplace, the platform has recruited graduates from over 20 universities."

TeamNote (YC W15) Provides Enterprise Communications For Companies With People Out In The Field

Y Combinator-backed TeamNote is building an enterprise communication app that isn’t so much focused on the team, but on helping home base get important information to and from workers in the field.

Unlike many of its classmates at the Mountain View-based accelerator, TeamNote isn’t being developed by a couple of Millennials fresh out of college. Rather, they’re an established team from Hong Kong, and have been working together since 2010...

The original TeamNote app, which only launched last year, focused on secure messaging. This included password-protected conversations, the ability to send a message out to a group and get private replies, and even a feature to make sensitive messages disappear after a specific expiration date. As it expanded, the application has gained features for managing shifts for workers on the field, who can send back messages and photographs related to their work in to their company’s home base to complete tasks. There are also mobile training modules, letting teams quickly get new workers out on the field up to speed without making them sit down and watch an entire training session.

TeamNote is already in use at companies large and small, from teams of ten to organizations like Li Ka-Shing’s property management company Cheung Kong and workers in the Hong Kong and Macau governments.