Kevin Hale – How to Evaluate Startup Ideas

YC Partner Kevin Hale walks us through the process of evaluating ideas and how founders should think about their startups. Startup School is YC’s free online program for founders. Sign up to access the full curriculum and over $100k in deals!

Transcript and lecture slides here:

This lecture is part of YC’s Startup School, a free online program and global community of founders. Register and join the community at



0.00 – Why we’re starting with evaluating ideas

1:25 – YC doesn’t just fund companies with traction

2:50 – How can I predict if an investor will like my idea?

5:15 – A startup idea is a hypothesis

6:55 – The problem

10:55 – The solution

12:35 – The insight

14:00 – Founder’s unfair advantage

15:00 – Market growing 20% a year

15:40 – Product 10x better

16:30 – Acquisition model

17:55 – Monopoly

18:50 – Threshold belief

19:10 – Miracle belief

20:10 – Example: YC

23:20 – Example: Wufoo

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