Four short links: 28 September 2010

Inside Y Combinator, Freemium Numbers, Javascript IDE, and Microfinance Open Source

  1. What Happens at Y Combinator — a fascinating infomercial for Y Combinator, but it’s interesting despite the soft focus. Usually we advise startups to launch when they’ve built something with a quantum of utility—when they’ve built something sufficiently better than existing options that at least some users would say “I’m glad this appeared, because now I can finally do x.” If what you’ve built is a subset of existing technology at the same price, then users have no reason to try it, which means you don’t get to start the conversation with them. You need a quantum of utility to get a toehold.
  2. Going Freemium, One Year Later (MailChimp) — Throughout history, and across all the businesses he researched, the ratio of free-to-paid-subscribers ultimately ended up at the dismal ratio of 10:1. There were a lot of awesome presentations at that Freemium Summit. But this was the presentation (just this one slide, really) that stuck in my brain. (via Hacker News)
  3. Cloud9 IDEThe Javascript IDE by Javascripters for Javascripters. Source is open source and on GitHub. (via RussB on Twitter)
  4. Mifos — open source software for microfinance. (via msbehaviour on Twitter)
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