Dalton & Michael on what AI means for the future of startups

by Greg Kumparak7/13/2023

Title card that reads "Dalton & Michael"

AI and LLMs. Will the ever-evolving models grow to consume the idea of startups as we know it, or is this the beginning of a whole new era for startups — akin to the arrival of the iPhone?

On the latest episode of Dalton & Michael, YC Group Partners Dalton Caldwell and Michael Seibel open up about how they feel about AI right now — where the conversation around AI tends to go astray, how startups are adopting AI (in ways both good and bad!), and why they’re excited about the people they see starting companies in this field right now.

“There are people that I’ve been funding,” says Dalton, “They have a great job, they actually like their job, and they’re choosing to leave because they know at this moment in history — because they’ve become domain experts at AI — that this is the moment to do a startup. Imagine if you worked on cloud computing for years, and then all of a sudden Amazon Web Services comes out. You’d be like ‘Oh! They’re calling me in! This is my moment!'"

One key takeaway that comes in around the 10 minute mark: if you’re building in this space, what’s only possible now because of these tools? What’s that deeper, second layer? Comparing it to the possibilities opened up by the iPhone and the App Store, Michael makes the analogy: “It was obvious that maps would come to the phone. It wasn’t obvious that Uber was going to come.”


  • Greg Kumparak

    Greg oversees editorial content at Y Combinator. He was previously an editor at TechCrunch for nearly 15 years.