The $100 Million Conversation with Justin Kan of Y Combinator


For those of us who are die-hard fans of Twitch TV, Tech Storm got up close and personal with its founder Justin Kan who was in Singapore as EmTech Asia’s speaker. This gave us the chance to probe into the minds of the investors responsible for backing some of the world’s most recognizable billion-dollar-valued technology companies like AirBnb, Dropbox and Reddit. Kan is now Partner with an American seed stage accelerator who invest in tech companies at its early stage named Y Combinator. So before you decide to jump onto the bandwagon of entrepreneurship as the next possible trailblazer, find out Kan’s advice for all would-be entrepreneurs.

TS: What do you think is your crystal ball reading on how the year 2030 is going to look like?

JK: 2030, oh my, that is a long time. People usually underestimate the amount of technological change that happens over a 15 year time horizon. But I guess I will take a shot, so I think self driving cars are going to be a thing, no one is ever going to drive anything again. So like all deliveries for an example would be either done by a self-piloting drone or by a self-driving delivery vehicle that just comes up to you and some robot takes it into your house. I think transportation will be very different, you can just press a button and a pod will come to you and then fly to wherever you at. There are already drones that you know, can already carry a person. I think there would be a network of those. You can basically get to wherever you want. Then I think most people might not even have to leave the house because you will spend all your time being able to communicate directly with people via virtual reality like environments. What else? And I think actually by 2030, I think we might have computers that just interface directly with our brains. So if you like need to learn anything or know anything, you just like think it and then it happens. I guess we will see what happens though, that is what I hope happens. I am waiting for the brain computer.

TS: You mean like the Hollywood movie Mission Impossible or should we say Mission Possible?

JK: I don’t think it is impossible. I mean if you look at what people have already created, there are already robotics that you can control with your mind. Like amputees have robotics that can be controlled with their mind. There are already mental interfaces, just that It is just not very easy to use or very accurate, right? But hopefully within 10 to 15 years, we would have made some advancements towards that.

Justin Kan, Partner of Y Combinator

TS: What is the one thing you would say to our fans out there who are dreaming to be the trailblazing entrepreneur?

JK: The hardest part is just to get started, you know you got to take the first step to be successful with your own company. You know, what you should do. Most people are scared to quit their job and get started, but you should start building stuff. Even if it is in the context of your current job, even if you are still at school – that’s what I did. I started working on my first start-up when I was still an undergrad and so it was just a natural transition to be working on it full time.

By Jason Tan & Geralyne Kaye Ong / January 28, 2016 9:21PM GMT+8 Singapore

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