The Technical Advisor for Silicon Valley on HBO: Ed McManus

by Y Combinator5/17/2017


Google Play


Craig Cannon [00:00] – Hey, this is Craig Cannon, and you’re listening to Y Combinators podcast. Our guest today is Ed McManus. Ed was a technical advisor for Season 3 of Silicon Valley on HBO. He came in to talk about what his experience was like working on the show. So, we ended up talking about middle-out compression, moving Pied Piper to AWS, and how to get into the incredibly niche profession of technical advising. All right, here we go. Okay, so today we have Ed McManus. He was a technical advisor for Silicon Valley on HBO, Season 3. So Ed, what’s your background?

Ed McManus [00:31] – Okay so I was technical co-founder of a Y Combinator startup called Yard Sale. And we launched two products. Both were marketplaces for iPhone. So, similar to Craig’s List for iPhone. The first product was called Yard Sale, and the second product was FOBO. And we sold the company in 2015. And yeah, that’s my background.

Craig Cannon [00:56] – And somehow you became a technical advisor for a comedy show.

Ed McManus [00:58] – Selling out, yeah.

Craig Cannon [01:01] – Okay, how’d that happen?

Ed McManus [01:03] – Yeah, it was so weird. It felt a lot like luck. So the sort of story here is, we were cranking hard on our startup for four years. Sold it in 2015. In the acquisition, it was kind of mostly just to do right by our investors, return as much as we could. But it was not like phenomenal outcome for the company. But all of our investors had been aware that we were looking for our next thing. And it just happened that randomly someone from HBO reached out to Greylock, who was one of our investors, and asked them the question, hey we’re trying to put together this team of superstars from the tech world, who would you go after? And both me and my co-founder were on a list of names that Greyloc sent back. And from there, I think it was just a matter of being available. It was vaguely unemployed,

Craig Cannon [02:12] – Vaguely unemployed, sort of funny.

Ed McManus [02:14] – Right, right. And it was kind of a crazy story, because they sent us an email, and I’ve been a huge fan of the show for a really long time. And as soon as we got that, it was like, it was apparent to me that this was a drop everything and make this happen kind of opportunity. So they flew us in for an interview. It was kind of weird, because it actually wasn’t an interview, it was like our first day at work.

Craig Cannon [02:42] – Really?

Ed McManus [02:42] – But we didn’t know this.

Craig Cannon [02:44] – So you and your co-founder were there?

Ed McManus [02:45] – So we actually went on separate days, but we both had a similar kind of experience. I flew in, and I grabbed lunch with one of the other technical advisors from the show. And he’s like, okay you’re all set for your interview. So he drove me over to the studio lot, dropped me off. And I showed up at the Silicon Valley office, and I told them, hey, I’m here for the interview. And no one knew what I was talking about.

Craig Cannon [03:14] – Okay.

Ed McManus [03:14] – So I told them who I was, and they’re like oh, okay I think we know where you’re supposed to go. And so they lead me into the writer’s room, and everyone’s in there. So like the whole writing team

Craig Cannon [03:25] – So, writing production is on, or writing is on.

Ed McManus [03:27] – Right, I see Mike Judge in the corner, and it’s just this weird surreal kind of, I know who you are, you have no idea who I am. You know, anytime you encounter someone that you consider to be a celebrity. And it turns out that no one had told them either, that I was showing up to interview. So it was just like they gave me a seat, and I listened for like three and four hours, three or four hours, and just gave input wherever I could. And it turned out that most of the job is sort of sitting and listening, and it’s very rare that you actually have to speak up and help them course correct. But occasionally they would ask a question. Sort of like, can you walk us through the fundraising process, given the company’s at like a seed stage? And I’d provide some color there, around that.

Craig Cannon [04:18] – And so your first day ends, and you just leave and go home?

Ed McManus [04:22] – So I just walk out. I flew back up to San Francisco. Got a call that night, and they said hey, it went great, we’d like for you to join. They wanted me to start that Monday. This is on a Friday that I interviewed.

Craig Cannon [04:37] – Of course.

Ed McManus [04:37] – So I had one weekend to sell everything. I just had a sidewalk sale, got one of my friends to help me out. And I sold about 80% of the stuff that I owned, just to really commit to this, and I drove down to Los Angeles on Sunday night. I got in at like three in the morning or something, on Monday, and had to show up at nine o’clock the next morning, for my first full day of work.

Craig Cannon [05:05] – Okay, so just drop us into the context. What’s happening in the show at the beginning of Season 3?

Ed McManus [05:10] – Yeah, so at this point, I think the first, maybe two episodes had been written. It was still very early in the development of the season. But they had outlines made for the first five or so episodes. And beyond that, it was kind of like no one really knew where the season was gonna go. Yeah, so when I showed up, I was just trying to find my footing. It’s very, to be honest, it was hard, it was really hard, because I’ve never done anything in entertainment, I’d never worked with people like this before. Everyone there was just off the charts brilliant.

Craig Cannon [05:45] – Were they technical at all?

Ed McManus [05:45] – So almost everyone in the room had a very solid understanding of how startups work. Not technical though, in the sense of they couldn’t write code. But one of the things I was surprised by was how well the writers sort of understood Silicon Valley, and just the material they were covering. Sort of like a common theme of my time in the show was actually I didn’t have to do a whole lot of correction. They kinda got it. So before every season, they actually come up to San Francisco, for a week, or two weeks, and meet with a bunch of startups. So every writer goes through this kind of like, crash course to get up to speed. And so by the time they actually start working on the season, they have a pretty good understanding of how things work, and what life in startups is actually like.

Craig Cannon [06:40] – And so given that, where do you find yourself providing value every day of the show?

Ed McManus [06:45] – Yeah, so for the most part, it was, like I said, it was kind of, the job was explained to me it’s almost like being a lifeguard, right? So you kind of sit on the sidelines for a bit. When you see something going wrong, that’s when you actually say something. So I was on hand to answer any questions, and that kind of stuff. But at the same time, I wanted to recognize that I’m not a comedy person. That could not be further from my skill set. So I tried to sort of not pitch jokes, or do anything like that. I just recognize that that’s not what I’m good at. Instead, I was thinking through sort of the technical details, sort of like the strategy, given where the company was at that point in time. What are the kinds of things that they’re gonna try and do?

Craig Cannon [07:40] – And so were there points where you felt they were going off course and you had to correct it?

Ed McManus [07:44] – Yeah, there definitely were times where that would happen, but nothing major, right? I don’t think, there were no huge course corrections as a result of my input. There were definitely some tweaks here and there, but for the most part, if the writers wanted to do something, we could find a technical explanation to justify it, then doing it right. And that’s kind of true, I feel like that’s not super surprising, right? These guys are fantastic programmers, supposedly they can do whatever they want. We can find a justification for almost any kind of story point. So the way it would work is, they would come up with these scripts, and we would. So they, sorry, the first step of the process was to come up with these outlines, and from there, they would hand it off to a single writer, who’d go off and turn it into an actual script. And they would, more or less, just leave blank spots in the script.

Craig Cannon [08:51] – Oh, okay.

Ed McManus [08:53] – And so the bulk of my job at first, was just like fill in the blanks. Yeah, it was just yeah. I thought that was gonna be easy, but it’s actually, it’s fairly, it’s not super easy, because you have to come up with a dialog, okay you have two lines to explain sort of the technical details of what’s going on here. You can’t get into the technical details, so you have to keep very, fairly vague, right? And that was tough.

Craig Cannon [09:23] – You can’t get into the details, because folks are essentially they aren’t gonna understand, or you don’t have enough words to fit in?

Ed McManus [09:30] – It’s a combination of both, right? Even if we could dedicate 30 minutes to just the technical aspect.

Craig Cannon [09:34] – Talking about compression.

Ed McManus [09:36] – No one would watch it. That’s not why people are interested in the show. So, the tech is there to serve the story. It’s like. And I think that’s the right way to do it. The technical details in another five years, are not gonna be super important. The stuff that people are gonna relate to, the characters, it’s sort of like their own motivations, like the emotions, that kind of stuff.

Craig Cannon [10:04] – And so, what examples did you fill in for? What gaps did you have to fill?

Ed McManus [10:08] – I mean, anytime one of the characters says anything technical at least something that.

Craig Cannon [10:13] – That was you?

Ed McManus [10:13] – Either I wrote, or reviewed. So, for example, if it was something related to compression, sometimes if it were something that were really specific to an expertise, like I’m not a compression guy, but we have folks who are working with the show who are. So in that case, we would send it out to them, get their feedback, and then sort of try and bring everything together to make it work for the scene.

Craig Cannon [10:38] – Okay, and so then going back then, can you talk a little bit about the entire premise of Pied Piper? Is that possible? Is the compression algorithm they tried to do at the end of season one a thing? What’s the deal with that?

Ed McManus [10:51] – Surprisingly, yes. So when I, so there’s a couple of pieces here, but one is that when I first showed up, I was like, this technology’s too good, right? If this were a real thing, Pied Piper would never fail. There’s no chance, right? They could not fail. And so the challenge is like, how do you make them fail? At the end of every episode? And so every episode arc is kind of things look great. It’s almost like the anti-Entourage, right? That’s how some of them were thinking about the show, where like Entourage, things start off horrible, and then by the end of the episode, they’re fantastic. Right? Silicon Valley is the opposite. Silicon Valley is like, things seem like they’re going so great, like everyone’s on track to being a billionaire, and by the end of the episode, the sky is falling.

Craig Cannon [11:39] – Never.

Ed McManus [11:40] – So the challenge was to take this technology that’s like, can’t lose, and turn it into something that they keep stumbling over. So that was really tricky. And then. What was the sec.

Craig Cannon [12:01] – Oh, the algorithm at the end of Season 1.

Ed McManus [12:04] – Yeah, the surprising thing with middle-out, is that there is actually technical background for it, and it is actually the result of a lot of machine-learning developments applied to compression. So the theory behind the tech is actually plausible. This is a piece of software that could exist. Mostly likely would not have the same characteristics that middle-out does in the show. It’s great for streaming, it’s lossless, it has all these performance characteristics, which are very difficult to achieve in the real world. So if this thing existed in the real world, it’d be no question, absolute breakthrough.

Craig Cannon [12:50] – But wait, why wouldn’t it exist? What are the issues there?

Ed McManus [12:52] – Just because, well, it would just be a scientific breakthrough for something like middle-out to exist.

Craig Cannon [12:59] – Okay, gotcha.

Ed McManus [13:01] – That’s what it comes down to.

Craig Cannon [13:03] – Okay, gotcha. So one of the things that I was wondering, is like, often times we find, at least around YC, Google, or Hooli, isn’t gonna immediately replicate whatever you’re working on. Do you ever bring that up, that the startup versus giant company thing, is maybe not the most common thing happening in Silicon Valley?

Ed McManus [13:24] – But it does happen, right? And I think it happened more in the past. So a lot of the knowledge the team is drawing on, is actually coming from the dot com boom. Like in the 90s, imagine Hooli’s actually Microsoft, right? Microsoft was this significant threat. If Microsoft was coming after your market, watch out. Right? So maybe a better comparison today would be Facebook right? Google, we all have, all of my experience is with Google being the dominant company. Those guys are just so nice. That’s something that’s new, right? That didn’t used to be the case. So now I think it’s kind of plausible that we can say, well a big company is not gonna go after a small startup. But I think that’s a new thing. It may not be the case for much longer. Like Facebook, for example, is getting a little bit more aggressive, going after smaller spaces. And so yeah, I think that is a legitimate concern.

Craig Cannon [14:22] – Okay, fair enough. I mean, it sets up the story really well.

Ed McManus [14:25] – And yeah, if nothing else, it’s good for driving the story forward.

Craig Cannon [14:30] – Okay, were there any things left on the cutting room floor that you were really excited about? That just got pulled from the show?

Ed McManus [14:37] – So, yeah actually, there were I think like one or two episodes toward the end of the season, so like episode I think like, episode nine or something, where the plan was actually to go to Ephemerisle. So Ephemerisle is kind of like Burning Man in the Delta, here in Northern California.

Craig Cannon [14:57] – Yeah, I was on a boat that sank there.

Ed McManus [14:59] – That’s awesome. And it sounded like it was gonna be incredible. That actually got cut, more for production reasons than for technical reasons. But that left the show with this hole in the season, and so there was like this mad dash at the end of that writing period, to fill it in with two or three new episodes, which is like, incredibly difficult.

Craig Cannon [15:29] – So what episodes were those? Was it like the luau thing?

Ed McManus [15:34] – Yeah, it starts there. I think the luau is episode seven or something. But it was all around the beta launch. And so what we were left with, was this hole of a couple of episodes at the end of the season, and the challenge is like, okay, we’re kind of screwed here, what can we do? And I feel like if I pointed to any episodes that I added the most to, it would be those three. They ended up pulling directly from our experience with Yard Sale. Launching a beta, and not being totally sure, at first, whether this thing is working or not. And getting a really strong, positive signal early, and then, four or six months in, you’re looking at the numbers, and you’re thinking, maybe this thing’s not as strong as we thought.

Craig Cannon [16:28] – Yeah, and were you guys, so if I remember correctly, that’s also when the numbers are being faked, right?

Ed McManus [16:33] – So that, yeah that happened a little bit more towards the end. That’s like things were getting so dire, they were about to run out of money, they go off and start faking some numbers.

Craig Cannon [16:44] – Oh, okay.

Ed McManus [16:44] – And that originally was gonna be, sort of a plot around growth hacking. And then it just etched its way into fraud. But there was this whole fascination around growth hacking, and buying users, and that kind of stuff. And of course, when you take yourself back to five years ago in the start up world, four or five years ago, growth hacking was this new, hot thing. It seemed like a legitimate way to sort of like get your product to product market fit. So it was like super alluring. And then it entered this kind of like, this gray hat world, and just got gradually worse and worse.

Craig Cannon [17:23] – It’s so great.

Ed McManus [17:25] – And so the show ended up being kind of like a reflection of sort of where that was going. Yeah, there is definitely legitimate, and sort of like bad, at growth hacking.

Craig Cannon [17:38] – And were there moments, when you think about growth hacking in the industry, or whatever, there are often prominent figures, were you ever asked to put someone on the spot, and it felt like too on the nose, making fun of them directly, or is that just kind of like all fair?

Ed McManus [17:54] – Yeah, we have a references to Theranos, in the show. But that was kind of like very common knowledge at that point. I think that the show would not go after anyone, unless it were sort of already a big story. A lot of what the writers end up using, is stuff that gets pulled from the headlines. Really it’s like real stories that they sort of re-shaped to kind of fit the situation that the Pied Piper guys are in.

Craig Cannon [18:27] – Cause that’s what I always wondered, right? It always feels like, not to say that it’s basic, but it is popular culture, Silicon Valley, right? So were there moments where you were trying to push it to be more, like Ephemerisle is actually a really good example, but were there other more like, fringe things people were trying to put in, that folks would be like, I don’t know about this, and take it out?

Ed McManus [18:49] – If anything, I wanted more of that stuff on the show. So, one of the, I remember watching Season 1 and Season 2, and thinking, why are these guys building their own servers? It doesn’t make sense. No one in this sort of world does this. And it felt really inauthentic to me, and so Season 3 comes around, I’m finally in the position to do something about this, and one of the things that I was like, we have to get the guys to move to the AWS. At the very least, right? I think that if we could’ve gotten then to Roku, that would have been even better.

Craig Cannon [19:20] – That’s great.

Ed McManus [19:20] – But there was. The audience for Silicon Valley is interesting, right? Because it’s not most startup people, but there are a lot of technical people, who are sort of like into it. And so a lot of the technical folks who watch, they’re not, they’re maybe not on the bleeding edge of trends that are catching on in the startup world. For startups, if you’re not building on AWS, you’re really behind. It doesn’t make sense. And so watching the show, as someone who had actually done it, a startup like that, was something that didn’t sit well with me. So Yeah, got them to move to AWS, had to make a case for that.

Craig Cannon [20:11] – That’s really great.

Ed McManus [20:11] – We expected a lot of push back from developers watching the show, saying like oh, they would never move to AWS, they want control over their own servers, whatever those complaints might be. It was fine. No one really complained, so the timing ended up being good.

Craig Cannon [20:32] – That’s so cool, so what about all those other elements, like where the show touches the real world right? So we talked before we were starting the interview, about you doing things that were on-screen elements that weren’t writing. When do those things come into play, and what did you work on in particular?

Ed McManus [20:50] – Yeah, so if you watch any episode, just pay attention to stuff in the background. Because the show is designed to be possible. You can freeze frame anything, and look at the documents, for example, in their hands, or the whiteboards in the background. All of that stuff, is like me, and or some of the other consultants working on that.

Craig Cannon [21:12] – Just like writing on Post-it notes?

Ed McManus [21:13] – Yeah, right, exactly. Like the scrum board is a good example of that. Every Post-it has something that we had to sit down and spend time thinking about. And yeah. I both love and hate the process of making those whiteboards. There were times where walking the cast through sort of, there was one scene in particular, during the feedback, the user feedback session, where Richard gets up and starts drawing some stuff on a whiteboard. So I had to walk him through each of those pieces of okay, this is what this graphic here means, and that kind of stuff. And that was awesome. There was another time where we had some code displayed on a projector. And I got to walk Mike through what this code actually did. I think in the second episode, we hid an Easter egg in some C code that we had just flash on screen for a second.

Craig Cannon [22:15] – And people are pausing at.

Ed McManus [22:17] – Yeah, exactly. Pausing it, copying it over, and actually compiling it. And it was kinda cool. I wrote a really simple compression algorithm. It’s hard to even call it a compression algorithm. But I took this character string, and you can decompress it, expand it into a larger string, which just got printed to the console. I can’t remember what message we settled on, but.

Craig Cannon [22:43] – But someone ran it.

Ed McManus [22:43] – Yeah, yeah, it ended up being a big post on Reddit.

Craig Cannon [22:46] – That’s amazing.

Ed McManus [22:48] – Those attention, that attention to detail.

Craig Cannon [22:51] – Was that code online anywhere? Were you guys on GitHub, doing all that stuff?

Ed McManus [22:56] – So yeah, so it’s online now. It wasn’t originally. And so the show has not done a ton of crossover into the real world. Last season, we had this character, Winnie, and I actually created a GitHub profile for playback purposes, right? So just you want an authentic looking GitHub profile, and the best way to do that, is to make a GitHub profile for that person. So I made one for Winnie. And we had to populate it, both with a fake commit history, and also with projects that she would have pushed to. So, set all this up, got the screen shots and the playback finished. Then I forgot to delete the account. So as soon as it aired, people were searching on GitHub for this character’s user name. So she showed up. And so it ended up going viral on Reddit. And I was just instantly flooded with pull requests, and it was a really awesome experience, and it was one of the first times that the show really crossed into the real world, in an authentic way, because it was accidental. But it was very cool to see.

Craig Cannon [24:07] – Were there ever any moments where you were actually thinking about building some kind of software thing, that would overlap? Or was that never crossing the mind of the show?

Ed McManus [24:15] – Yeah, there’s one idea in particular. I was working on an audio project at the time, and realized that we could pretty easily encode text in an audio file. And so one of the pitches in the writer’s room, was to have a character that would play a little clip of audio for some fantasy app that he was working on. And anyone with the corresponding app, could decode the audio, and it would be a secret message that we could send out.

Craig Cannon [24:52] – A little Easter egg.

Ed McManus [24:52] – Yeah, exactly. A little Easter egg that we could send out to all of the viewers.

Craig Cannon [24:56] – That’s amazing. And what about the people being introduced in the show? The other characters. Do you, as a startup guy for the show, are you trying to pull out those characters to throw them in, or do they never even ask you for that kind of thing?

Ed McManus [25:12] – All of that, very little of that comes out of a technical need. So it’s almost exclusively just for story purposes of moving things forward. And so there is an opportunity to provide some input, and say this is what this person might work on, and that would be a good example, of like a blank left in the scripts. So someone’s title. And so even the small things like that, which are not necessarily like, it’s not code, right? It’s not related to programming, but it is a technical detail. And so you can give them a title, for example, that’s tailored to the startup world. And so, that was a good example of the kind of thing.

Craig Cannon [25:54] – Right, okay. But you don’t have to predict the future and bring people in? Okay, that makes sense. So, I know this is a very obscure kind of job but if someone who was in the startup world, wanted to get into it, how would they get into it, and then how do they get good at it?

Ed McManus [26:13] – Yeah, it’s a tough one to answer, right? Because this isn’t a real job. This doesn’t exist in the way that you can’t apply to be a technical consultant really. You kind of luck into it a little bit. And there are, I guess I can think of three different routes to sort of get into a position like this. The first two are not very reliable. The first is just you kind of be someone in my position, who just worked really hard at startups, right? And I never thought that this would lead to something in entertainment, in the entertainment world, but it did. The second, is to be an expert in some specific field. At no point will you be doing that so you can get to work on a show. The third, I think, is kind of the best route, and that is to work at an agency, or some kind of organization that also works with production companies. And the guy who brought me onboard, Jonathan Dotan, who is sort of the main consultant for the first two seasons, that was kind of his path in. And for that, you kind of just be on the lookout for promising scripts, and then try and jump on them when you can. And the benefit of that, is you get in early. And you can stick with the show for a long time.

Craig Cannon [27:50] – Are you dabbling with other shows at this point?

Ed McManus [27:53] – No, it was a real big, I had a hard time figuring out whether or not this is something I wanted to continue doing. Because on the one hand, it was an incredible experience. On the other, I know that my position is up here in San Francisco, working on startups. It’s doing actual startup stuff, not sort of the.

Craig Cannon [28:12] – Pretend?

Ed McManus [28:15] – Yeah, exactly. And so after this last season, I just felt like I needed to come back. Yeah, I don’t know. It was definitely, I was kind of 50/50 on it for a while, but just felt like I had given them all my stories. If I went back for another season, it would be like, I don’t know what to tell you at this point.

Craig Cannon [28:39] – You haven’t worked on a video chat app?

Ed McManus [28:40] – Right, right.

Craig Cannon [28:43] – So who do you think is doing this particularly well? What other shows are really technical, in an interesting way, that’s somewhat possible?

Ed McManus [28:52] – Right. There’s a couple of shows. There’s two shows I’m watching right now, that I’m obsessed with. One is Mr. Robot, and even when I was on Silicon Valley, I kind of said this is the gold standard for both playback, and technical accuracy. They really nailed it. So the technical details are sound. Sort of the technical story actually plays a pretty big role in the show as a whole. And everything about it feels good. The second show I’m watching is Halt and Catch Fire. Which I actually just started watching a month ago. And it’s fantastic. It’s so good. And the thing is, it takes place in the early 80s, so the tech that they’re talking about, it’s not something that I’m familiar with, and I imagine there’s only a couple dozen people in the world who will really pay attention to the details.

Craig Cannon [29:48] – And are watching the show at the same time.

Ed McManus [29:49] – Right, so maybe in some sense, it’s almost like an easier job. Yeah those two shows in particular, I think, are really great. Every new show that comes out on the scene though, has a really high bar. So I don’t know if Silicon Valley is just kind of leading the way here, but it seems to be a real strong trend, especially as production budgets go up. Another big thing you said, like season orders are going down, right? So now instead of producing 20 episodes a season, they’re only doing 10, which just means the quality of every episode is so high that they can afford to take the time to reach out to the consultants they need to really get the details right.

Craig Cannon [30:38] – Yeah, I’m curious to see if given Amazon and Netflix spending billions of dollars on new programming, if they’re just gonna throw a ton of technical people into it. Even the science fiction shows, because it seems like it’s a tremendous value add. And there are so many nerds who wanna do this. Has it gotten you excited about working in comedy, or anything? Or doing comedy?

Ed McManus [31:00] – So I felt like a part of my brain was getting exercise that had been dormant for the six years of doing a startup. So it was great. I don’t know if, I don’t think I have a career of comedy ahead of me, definitely not. But it was still an incredible experience.

Craig Cannon [31:24] – That’s awesome, dude. Okay, so what’s next for you?

Ed McManus [31:27] – I don’t know. Startup, I think. It ended up being a really cathartic experience, working on the show. And the last three episodes of Season 3 were such a bummer. There is one scene where Richard is just lying in the bathtub, and it just seems like everything has gone wrong. And I remember really associating with that, and just thinking, oh man, I’ve been in that place. So there were definitely a year or two years after doing my startup, I didn’t wanna write code again. And this is one step in the process for getting back into it, and yeah. Now I’m pretty stoked to jump into something again. I feel energized, and rested.

Craig Cannon [32:16] – All right, well that last question, why is YC not in Silicon Valley?

Ed McManus [32:21] – That’s a question that I asked the writers, and I started to realize that it was kind of on the radar, but they didn’t really understand the significance of Y Combinator in Silicon Valley fully. And as soon as I started realizing this, I kind of backed off a little bit. If Y Combinator in Hacker News specifically, like Hackers News.

Craig Cannon [32:41] – Yeah, that was a huge surprise.

Ed McManus [32:42] – Right. Hacker News is never mentioned. I brought this up at one point, and realized it was just barely on their radar. I felt like, maybe I shouldn’t push this. Maybe it’s all right if this is just kind of a secret. But that was definitely something that I’ve thought a lot about. Hacker News is the place to go, YC is the place to go if you’re doing a startup.

Craig Cannon [33:11] – Well, we may have just outed ourselves.

Ed McManus [33:13] – Don’t be shocked if that shows up in the next season.

Craig Cannon [33:17] – Thanks man, you were great. Thanks for listening. Please remember to subscribe to the show, and leave a review on iTunes. After doing that, you can skip this section forever. And if you’d like to learn more about YC, or read the show notes, you can check out See you next week.


  • Y Combinator

    Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200). The startups move to Silicon