Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

March 4, 2019

From: Reddit AMA

Apparently you did a talk at Y Combinator in its early days. Any particular memories of Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian and Aaron Swartz when they were young?

I did do a talk, and even went to the very first Demo Day. As it happens, I was there with my then-10-year-old precociously-business-oriented son … and he kept a scorecard of the companies. His best pick was a company called Kiko, that was a calendar system. I almost invested in that. In the end, that company didn’t make it (it got sold on eBay I think), but its founders went on to start Twitch…. My son’s other comment was that Sam Altman (who had a company called Loopt) was “the most businesslike person there”. Curiously, I think Sam now runs Y Combinator… I did see the Reddit presentation at that Demo Day, but I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t make that much of an impression on me. I knew Aaron Swartz … and he talked to me a bunch about his company Infogami (as well as about “eating only white food” and other curious things). [Actually, as I write this, one of the other things I remember about that Demo Day was talking to a slightly older entrepreneur who was unhappy with his VCs but was pleased that he’d just managed to install his dog as his CEO…..]

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