Skip to main content

Startup School: The First 100 Days

  • Published Jan 4, 2018
  • Difficulty Beginner
  • Average rating: 0 Number of reviews: 0
  • (0)
  • Categories: Entrepreneurship

By Julia Huprich

Starting a company is hard. Starting a company and building it into a successful, lasting business is even more so. This course, developed by Y Combinator with Sam Altman and taught at Stanford, aims to teach the fundamentals of starting a startup, with the goal of decreasing the barrier to entry for new entrepreneurs. Instruction focuses primarily on the first 100 days, from ideation to execution, covering the minutiae of company structure, product design, core metric evaluation, ethics and so on. Lectures are taught by experts in the startup space. For more information on the Startup School, visit Path description provided by the Startup School.

Lesson 1: How and Why to Start a Startup

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Dustin Moskovitz, cofounder of Facebook and Asana, kick off the "How to Start a Startup" course. Dustin discusses reasons to start a startup and Sam introduces the 4 key components of starting a startup: idea, product, team and execution.

Lesson 2: Startup Mechanics

Kirsty Nathoo is a partner and the CFO at Y Combinator. She has worked with thousands of companies through all stages of their lifecycle, from incorporation to hiring to fundraising. In this lecture, Kirsty will talk about startup mechanics.

Lesson 3: How to Get Ideas and How to Measure

In today's lecture, we're joined by Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of Slack, and Adam D'Angelo, founder and CEO of Quora. Sam and Stewart will explore the process of getting an idea, followed by Adam on tracking metrics for your company.

Lesson 4: Live Office Hours

In recorded session, Sam Altman and Yuri Sagalov, CEO of Amium, hold live "Office Hours" with three startups: MoonlightWork, Canny and Tuml. They discuss their ideas and their thought processes around building their companies.

Lesson 5: How to Build a Product

This lesson is split into 4 parts. In the first of the four lectures, Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator, interviews Steve Huffman and Emmett Shear on how they built their products as founder-CEO's of Reddit and Twitch, respectively. For the second talk on "How to Build a Product," Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder of Box, joins the class. Jason Lemkin, of SaaStr, sits down with Solomon Hykes, CEO and co-founder of Docker; Tracy Young, CEO and co-founder of Plangrid; and Harry Zhang, co-founder of Lob, to discuss their experiences building products in the third lecture. In the fourth and final episode of "How to Build a Product," Jan Koum shares his journey as the CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp.

Lesson 6: How to Get Users and Grow

Lesson 7: Live Office Hours

In this recorded lecture, Adora Cheung, YC Partner, and Avichal Garg, previously Director of Product Management at Facebook and now an expert at YC, sit down with three startups: Edmission,, and Almabase.

Lesson 8: How to Invent the Future

One of the pioneers of personal computing, Alan Kay thought of laptops and graphical interfaces years before they were realized. At XeroxPARC, Apple, HP and Disney, he has developed tools for improving the mind. In these two lectures, Alan shares his story and how to think about building for the future.

Lesson 9: How to Find Product Market Fit

Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and CEO of Segment, shares his experience on finding product market fit.

Lesson 10: Public Relations and the Press

Sharon Pope, head of Programs and Marketing at YC Continuity, walks through how to think about PR and the best practices for working with the press.

Lesson 11: Diversity and Inclusion

Kat Manalac, partner and Director of Outreach at YC, hosts a panel with Makinde Adeagbo (dev/color), Cat Perez (HealthSherpa), Jennifer Kim (Lever), Ashu Desai (Make School), Mitchell Lee (Penny) and Cristina Cordova (Stripe) to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce for early stage companies.

Lesson 12: How to Build and Manage Teams

Anu Hariharan, partner at YC Continuity, sits down with Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures and previously the founding CEO and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, to talk about belief systems around hiring, and how to manage your company's growth internally.

Lesson 13: Live Office Hours

In this recorded session, Kevin Hale, Partner at Y Combinator, and Dalton Caldwell, Director of Admissions and Partner at Y Combinator, hold office hours with three startups: HubHaus, Lambda Intelligence, and Commaful.

Lesson 14: How to Raise Money and Succeed Long-Term

Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity, previously CFO, COO @ Twitter, CFO @ Pixar) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term.