A Focused Culture

One thing I’ve noticed going through Y Combinator was how consistent were the messages repeated by the partners, the staffs, and the alumni network. As a startup founder, you should do two things: “write code and talk to users.” The more recent version is: “build product, talk to customers, and exercise” – which I think is a natural evolution, since YC funds a lot of non-software-only companies these days and the partners are getting a bit older. 😉

The entire message is around “Growth” and the way to get there is by writing code and talking to users. And stop doing anything else. Sounds simple, right?

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Where the Grass is Always Green

When I was eleven, my family moved to the United States, due to my father’s job working for the Korean government. I still remember my first ride from JFK to some urban parts of the New York city. Still a bit jet lagged, I was struck in awe looking at the graffitis on the streets of NYC. I’ve only seen graffitis from the movies and the sheer unfamiliarity of the view somehow got me scared and excited ambivalently.

Taking a bite of freshly baked extra cheese pizza was a pleasant surprise to my taste and grabbing the oval-shaped ‘football’ for the first time got me all confused.

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VISAs for International Founders Doing Startups in U.S.

Hello there foreigners and immigrants. Yeah that’s you (and me).

Today, I’m going to save you few bucks from expensive consulting fees with the immigration lawyers. Sadly, below does not cover the details, but will give you an idea of which route you can take.

There are five VISA types for international founders/entrepreneurs entering the U.S.: L1, E2, EB5, H1B, O

Let’s go through each of them briefly below:

1. L1

  1. For whom? Expats(execs, managers, specialists) working at US Entity (with minimum of 1 year employment history at the foreign company)
  2. Duration & Extension 3 yrs + 3 yrs (+ 1 yr for execs/managers) (total 6 ~ 7 yrs max)
  3. Difficulty Depends on the company (must show that it will survive, easier with $1M+ previous funding)
  4. Quota Any time (get the result in 15 days after filing using premium processing)
  5. Family/Spouse can work? Yes
  6. Greencard Yes

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Our 7 Core Values at SendBird

Company values are what the people within the organization believe in. Decisions, actions, hires/fires, promotions/demotions are based on the company values and they are the fundamental building blocks for a strong, great company culture.

Of course, there are many good values in the world, but company values cannot list them all. Rather, the company’s core values should embody a set of unique beliefs, and should be simple enough to be remembered and used during daily conversations and work.

So, without further ado, here are our seven core values at SendBird:

1. Endless tenacity for customers

“Only the paranoid survive” – Andy Grove, Intel

Customers existed before a company did. Facing a problem, few people dared to find a solution, and customer value was created. The organized and deliberate effort of finding a solution later evolved to become a company that we know today. We exist to satisfy the customers, then to leap beyond the status quo and create innovative solutions to problems that the customers are not even aware of yet. The journey will be challenging and frustrating, but endless tenacity is the only path to the true customer happiness.

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Lecture 20 – Later-stage Advice (Sam Altman)

Sam caps off the How to Start a Startup series with things you should ignore when you start, but become important a year in. Thanks for watching How to Start a Startup. Hope you learned a ton!

Lecture 19 – Sales and Marketing; How to Talk to Investors (Tyler Bosmeny; YC Partners)

Tyler Bosmeny, founder and CEO of Clever, starts off today’s lecture with an overview of the Sales Funnel, and how to get to your first $1 Million.

Michael Seibel, founder of Justin.tv and Socialcam and Partner at Y Combinator, then goes over how to talk to investors – the pitch.

Dalton Caldwell, founder of imeem and App.net and Partner at Y Combiantor, and Qasar Younis, founder of Talkbin and Partner at Y Combinator, then perform an investor meeting roleplay to give you a taste of how it actually might look behind the scenes.

Three segments in today’s lecture – Lecture 19 of How to Start a Startup.