Paul Graham‘s Y Combinator has launched a social news service called Y Combinator Startup News. It is very similar in form and function to Reddit, a company funded by Y Combinator and acquired by Cond√© Nast/Wired in the fall of 2006. The content will focus primarily on startups. In addition to being a test for Arc (a new dialect of LISP), the primary goal is to get to know future entrepreneurs through the community news site. As Paul says in the announcement:
You can tell a lot about the users of a site like this from the the links they post and their comments in discussions. There are a number of Reddit users that I know only by their usernames, but I know must be smart from the things they’ve written. We’re counting on the same phenomenon to help us decide who to fund.
Getting to know entrepreneurs at an early stage is important for Y Combinator. They invest small amounts of money to get ides and companies kick-started. Paul’s popular Startup School, Reddit (when it was smaller) and his online presence had previously been the main methods. Now he’s got Startup News and luckily for the rest of us he’s made it very public so we can all benefit.