Startup School Week 8 Recap – Adora Cheung on Prioritizing Your Time and Kevin Hale on Evaluating Startup Ideas

We’ve cut down the eighth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.

First a lecture from Adora Cheung. Adora’s a partner at YC. Her lecture covers how to prioritize your time.

Then a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is also a partner at YC. His lecture is the second part of his talk on how to evaluate startup ideas.


00:00 – Intro

00:32 – Adora Cheung – How to Prioritize Your Time

2:12 – Real vs fake progress

4:10 – How to determine if you’re prioritizing the right tasks

4:42 – Keep a spreadsheet of ideas related to moving your primary KPI

7:32 – Grade the new and old ideas once a week based on potential impact

9:52 – Consider the complexity of each task

11:32 – Don’t try to do everything at once

11:52 – How do I know I’m prioritizing my time well?

13:42 – What if I can’t complete my tasks in time?

14:02 – Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

15:32 – Moving fast

16:47 – Kevin Hale – How to Evaluate Startup Ideas Pt. 2

18:52 – How to apply to Y Combinator

20:17 – As a YC partner, you don’t need to sell me

21:12 – Can I understand the idea? Am I excited by it? Do I like the team and want to work with them?

21:47 – How do I describe my company in a very efficient manner?

22:52 – Making your idea legible

25:12 – Things to avoid when describing your company

27:34 – Be conversational

28:02 – Avoid jargon, no preamble, and be reproducible

28:47 – Nouns: what are you making, what is the problem, and who is the customer

32:47 – Using the X for Y formula of explaining your startup

36:57 – Be concise without leaving out the key nouns

40:47 – How to adjust a description


Google Play


A transcript is on the way.

Via Y Combinator.