Sam Altman Takes Over as President of Y Combinator

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Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) –- Y Combinator President Sam Altman discusses his role at the company on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

You cofounded loop, one of the first companies they invested in.

We were in the first batch in 2005. you have big shoes to fill.

No kidding.

I'm nervous.

Paul said immediately, sam is in charge.

I am not in charge in any way.

It is all sam.

It is a big responsibility.

Y c is something i care about.

I think it is important for startups.

It is really important to do well.

What is your role going forward?

Paul will focus on devising the start of spirit that is what he did when y.c. was small.

And i will handle running y.c., organizing our operations, hiring partners, just making the decisions it takes to run day today.

It is so much incoming, it takes all of your mental cycles and paul will focus on advising startups.

Click 630 startups you have invested in.

They are all in the y.c. network after they are funded.

They never really leave.

Because unlike under a room -- in a regular firm, where we are with them from the beginning, we tend to have close relationships with the startups we fund and even five or nine years after the fact, we help them whenever they needed it.

Why did paul pick you?

I do have the state of y.c. in my head.

I have watched it from the beginning.

I think all of the partners at y.c. are very good and it will be collaborative.

He thinks highly of you in particular.

He put you on a list with steve jobs.

A lot of other founders that are better than me have not yet gone through y.c., but that was flattering of him.

You are being too humble.

What is your strategy?

Why do you think you should be in charge?

The goal for y.c. is that there is this shifted to more startups.

Startups are the driving force of innovation and hopefully economic growth in the future.

I think y.c. can be at the nexus of the new start ups.

So our goal is to fund the best to find the best startups and have them be part of the y.c. community.

One thing people do not understand about y.c., is how tight the community is.

This incredibly forced to have a group of talented people that really care about helping each other.

Growing that community and making sure we have the best startups and helping them is what we are going to do.

Y.c. has had his champions and also its haters, to be honest.

Have you combat that?

The haters thing is frustrating, but i ain't any time you try to do -- think any time you tried to do something different, a lot of people are going to be haters.

Whaley combat that is to keep funding good startups.

As long as we continue to fund the next dropbox, the haters can write mean things online and we will do what we do.

I think it is an important mission.

The world is better off.

Paul tweeted that the total valuation of all of the y.c. companies was $14.4 billion.

It is over $20 billion now.

That is with dropbox?

No comments on any specifics.

What is it without dropbox and air be in the -- b and b? those are the biggest.

In many portfolios, they are close, the top startup is worth more than the rest combined.

The number two was worth more than the rest after that.

It does not scare us.

That is the model.

One of the things that is cool about y.c. is that we will make high-risk bets.

We would rather fund something that could be the next airbnb rather than something will be a $10 million exit.

That is what some of the critics have said.

You have two big hits, some other companies moving up the ranks, but a lot of companies disappear.

That is the model.

That is what we want.

We have something like 17 companies worth more than $100 million.

It is not just of these two.

I think there is many more priming the ranks ray quickly.

Again, if we did not have a big distribution like that, we would be doing something wrong.

The start of model is predicated on the outsized big hits and a lot of failures.

What are you going to do differently?

I most important job is to not screw up.

I have, there are a lot of places we can grow faster and do more to engage our alumni and encourage more people to start startups.

Y.c. feels like this thing that has the momentum of a freight train.

My main job is to not let it get off the track.

Biggest mistake founders make?

There are so many.

Focus on the wrong thing.

There are all of these things that compete for your attention as a founder.

Usually there is one or two that will really actually make you successful.

It is often not what you think.

Founders like to talk about getting coffee with vcs and if you look at the people that have been successful, they've focus on engaging with users and making the core users love them.

The biggest mistake is to focus on anything except that.

What would you say to the doubters?

That you can do this.

I think it is fair to have doubt.

I would say wait and see.

It is reasonable to have doubt.

It is a hard thing to do, but we have an incredible group of partners and alumni and i think we will be able to do great things.

I think we play an important role in starting the business.

I will wait and see and i enjoy talking to paul graham and now you.

Sam altman, thanks for joining

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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