We put together a list of the top YC companies by valuation as of October 2018. You can see that list at https://ycombinator.com/topcompanies.

Here’s a Q&A with Pete Koomen, Cofounder of Optimizely, one of the companies featured on the list.


What does Optimizely make/do?

Optimizely is an experimentation platform. We help companies use experimentation to unlock innovation and deliver better digital experiences.

How many employees does Optimizely have?

~400

How many founders?

2

What is your most impressive recent product milestone?

We launched a suite of new features at Opticon 2018 last month.

What is the larger impact / societal impact of your product in the space you work within?

We help organizations incorporate the scientific method into their decision-making process, and then scale that to thousands of employees.

What’s an interesting element of Optimizely’s company culture?

We’ve always been intentional about our company culture, and spelled out our cultural values early on:

  • ‘O’wnership
  • ‘P’assion
  • ‘T’rust
  • ‘I’ntegrity
  • ‘F’earlessness
  • transparenc’Y’

We hired Jay Larson as CEO last year and during that transition we updated our values. We kept OPTIFY and added “NOW” (which stands for Now, OKRs, Winning) in order to reflect how our culture has evolved over time.

Looking back, what motivated you to start Optimizely?

We wanted to make it easier to run A/B tests on your website. The original inspiration came from co-founder Dan Siroker’s experience on the 2008 Obama campaign, where he saw firsthand how valuable A/B testing was, and how hard it was to do!

Is what you’re working on now the original idea or did you pivot?

We actually pivoted during the second week of YC! Our original idea wasn’t very good.

Were there moments where you thought the company might die? Describe one of those and anything you learned from it.

What was a particularly important insight you had about your market that made your product work?

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with a young founder?

The two most important skills in a founder are 1. resilience and 2. the ability to attract people that are better than you are. Develop those and you can solve any problem.