Max Chafkin on Muck Rack

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Contributing Writer — Fast Company

Writer, mostly for @fastcompany. Worse half to @lagorio. Fast shipping, great communication, A++++++ great ebayer!

Ebola Drugs, Prison Inmates, Real, Live Rockets: Y Combinator's New Launchpad — "My name is Nadir. I am CEO of Bagaveev Coporation. And the space race is back." The line, delivered with deadpan intensity by Nadir Bagaveyev, was part of the 31-year-old CEO's 150-second presentation at Y Combinator's Demo Day earlier this week.

The Y Combinator Chronicles — When startup incubator Y Combinator launched in 2005, founder Paul Graham was a little-known entrepreneur advocating strange notions about how to grow a startup. In retrospect, those weird ideas proved revolutionary and YC currently has a network of some 700 portfolio companies with a collective valuation of $30 billion.

How Y Combinator Startups Manufacture FOMO — In late February, Tom Harari sat down to do something he hadn't done for a few months: plot his company's revenue on a simple line graph. Harari's laundry-on-demand startup, Cleanly, had been in growth mode, rapidly expanding its laundry delivery service from two New York City neighborhoods in early January to cover much of Manhattan by the end of February.

Why Y Combinator Funded a Radical Political Party in Argentina — "I got my five guys!" It's a Wednesday morning in mid-February, and Pia Mancini isn't talking about hamburgers. After countless phone calls, emails, text messages, and many, many bad lunches at conferences, she has found a handful of users to test out her company's new collaboration platform.

Legendary Angel Investor Ron Conway Isn't Looking At Your Idea, He's Looking At You — "No one, VC or angel, has invested in more of the top startups than Ron Conway," Y Combinator founder Paul Graham recently wrote. "He knows what happened in every deal in the Valley, half the time because he arranged it."

The Secret Million That Y Combinator Invests In All Its Startups — "This is the heart of the business. This is our server rack." Max Hodak and I are standing in front of a large clear acrylic box about the size of a shipping container.

How, and Why, Y Combinator Got Serious About Diversity — This Saturday, 800 startup types will gather in San Francisco to watch inspirational and biographical speeches by some of the brightest stars in Silicon Valley. Among the speakers are Adora Cheung of the cleaners-on-demand startup Homejoy, Kimberly Bryant of the Google-backed nonprofit Black Girls Code, and Danielle Morrill of upstart research firm Mattermark.

Warby Parker Sees the Future of Retail — "We're down to the wire here!" a young woman in flowing floral slacks and a crop top barks in the direction of a sound guy, her voice rising urgently. "The speakers aren't working." It's a lovely early summer evening in Venice, California, the low sun casting long shadows and throwing warm golden light on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

This Man Will Get You Pregnant — Troy Spada is eight months old, weighs about 20 pounds, enjoys giggling and putting things in his mouth, and is, like all babies, a blessing in the eyes of his parents. And he might not exist were it not for a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Max Levchin.

“Guys, Let’s Grow The Hell Out Of This Company”: How Y Combinator Startups Go Big — Liz Wessel has a number in mind: a jaw-dropping digit that she believes will be significant enough to convince even the most skeptical audience that she's onto something big.
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Mar 26, 2015

For @fastcompany, I write about how @sama and @ycombinator are trying to push Silicon Valley out of its comfort zone…

Mar 17, 2015

love these new tv options, but $40/mo for apple TV + $15 for HBO + $50 for internet won't be cheap…

Mar 16, 2015

new @rewritepodcast! we interview @praddenkeefe on his new @NewYorker piece on the Troubles in Northern Ireland.…

Mar 16, 2015

@arrington I'd happily get your perspective on the series, if you have something to me chafkin [at]

Mar 15, 2015

Spent the past day and a half watching the first five episodes of HBO's The Jinx. Best thing I've seen on TV in a long time.

Mar 12, 2015

@stephanierieger Agree with you on glanceability. I think there's something there for some users

Mar 12, 2015

@stephanierieger I might be wrong. Just genuinely don't understand what the advantages are.

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