Sam Altman
@ycombinator
61 recommendations

Recommendations by Sam Altman

Sam Altman's Review:

A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Citieshas, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Foundation
book
by Isaac Asimov

Sam Altman's Review:

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire–both scientists and scholars–and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Man's Search for Meaning
book
by Viktor E. Frankl

Sam Altman's Review:

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
book
by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos, Leo Janos

Sam Altman's Review:

From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America’s high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America’s most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation’s brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed’s legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure)
book
by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel

Sam Altman's Review:

After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, “lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely.” The three books are The Timeless Way of BuildingThe Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a fast reactor system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in the decade 1984 to 1994. The IFR project developed the technology for a complete system; the reactor, the entire fuel cycle and the waste management technologies were all included in the development program. The reactor concept had important features and characteristics that were completely new and fuel cycle and waste management technologies that were entirely new developments.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we’ve ceased to use carbon from the ground—either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes’s still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion — and indeed our future.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Anna Karenina (A Penguin Classics Hardcover)
book
by Leo Tolstoy, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky, John Bayley

Sam Altman's Review:

Tolstoy’s epic novel of love, destiny and self-destruction, in a gorgeous new clothbound edition from Penguin Classics. Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

If you have a paid product with less than a $1,000 customer lifetime value (LTV), you generally cannot afford sales. Experiment with different user acquisition methods like SEO/SEM, ads, mailings, etc., but try to repay your customer acquisition cost (CAC) in 3 months. If you have a paid product with more than a $1,000 LTV (net to you) you maybe can afford direct sales if your product is easy to sell. But unless your LTV is more like $5,000 or higher, it may not work. Try selling the product yourself first to learn what works. Hacking Sales is a useful book to read.

Ref: http://playbook.samaltman.com/

The Old Way: A Story of the First People
book
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Sam Altman's Review:

One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots–and the roots of life as we know it. When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for 15,000 centuries.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

The Trial of Socrates
book
by I.F. Stone

Sam Altman's Review:

In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an “intellectual thriller.”

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Brave New World Revisited
book
by Aldous Huxley

Sam Altman's Review:

When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Of all the scientific achievements of the past century, perhaps none can match the deciphering of the human genetic code, both for its technical brilliance and for its implications for our future. In A Life Decoded, J. Craig Venter traces his rise from an uninspired student to one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in science today.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Zero to One
book
by Peter Thiel , Blake Masters

Sam Altman's Review:

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Fundamentals of Plasma Physics
book
by Paul M. Bellan

Sam Altman's Review:

This rigorous explanation of plasmas is relevant to diverse plasma applications such as controlled fusion, astrophysical plasmas, solar physics, magnetospheric plasmas, and plasma thrusters. More thorough than previous texts, it exploits new powerful mathematical techniques to develop deeper insights into plasma behavior.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

The Fall
book
by Albert Camus, Justin O'Brien

Sam Altman's Review:

Elegantly styled, Camus’ profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer’s confessions is a searing study of modern amorality.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Pandaemonium: The Coming of the Machine As Seen by Contemporary Observers, 1660-1886
book
by Humphrey Jennings, Mary-Lou Jennings, Charles Madge

Sam Altman's Review:

This is an incredible read, and as we sit in the middle of the software revolution it’s worthwhile to see what people thought as the industrial revolution was happening.

Ref: https://blog.ycombinator.com/ycs-winter-reading-list/

Legend of Henry Ford
book
by Keith Sward

Molecular Biology of the Cell
book
by Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, David Morgan, Martin Raff

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Thinking, Fast and Slow
book
by Daniel Kahneman

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Winning
book
by Jack Welch

Sam Altman's Review:

This book answers the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder? 

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

The ART OF WAR FOR LOVERS
book
by Connell Cowan

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman onTwitter through his Ask me anything session. 

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423017

 

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423017

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

🐳 "What's the best thing you learned from Paul Graham?"

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 15: @KatManalac + co on Diversity and Inclusion!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 16: @anuhariharan interviews @vkhosla!

Sam Altman's Review:

YC Research: Universal Healthcare

Sam Altman's Review:

This is extremely true:

Sam Altman's Review:

This is amazingly sourced and written:

Breaker - Product Hunt
product
by @sferik

Sam Altman's Review:

As a podcast fan, excited for this YC co that launched today!

Sam Altman's Review:

How to Build the Future with @drewhouston!

Sam Altman's Review:

YC 2017 Annual Letter:

The Transit of Venus
book
by Shirley Hazzard

Sam Altman's Review:

Re-reading this book tonight. It's incredible.

Sam Altman's Review:

An unsupervised learning result from OpenAI!!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School first lecture is up, and the speaker list:

Sam Altman's Review:

New post on how WeChat grew by my partner @AnuHariharan:

Sam Altman's Review:

Class 3--great insights from @stewart and @adamdangelo on ideas and metrics!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School Lecture 2: Kirsty Nathoo on Startup Mechanics

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 4, office hours:

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 5, great product I:

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 13: How To Find Product/Market Fit. Excellent!

Sam Altman's Review:

My friends just launched this, and it's great:

Sam Altman's Review:

Navigating Mid-Success:

Sam Altman's Review:

Affordable Care:

Sam Altman's Review:

A great side project from @danielgross :

Sam Altman's Review:

A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Citieshas, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Foundation
book
by Isaac Asimov

Sam Altman's Review:

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire–both scientists and scholars–and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Man's Search for Meaning
book
by Viktor E. Frankl

Sam Altman's Review:

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
book
by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos, Leo Janos

Sam Altman's Review:

From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America’s high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America’s most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation’s brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed’s legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure)
book
by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel

Sam Altman's Review:

After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, “lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely.” The three books are The Timeless Way of BuildingThe Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a fast reactor system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in the decade 1984 to 1994. The IFR project developed the technology for a complete system; the reactor, the entire fuel cycle and the waste management technologies were all included in the development program. The reactor concept had important features and characteristics that were completely new and fuel cycle and waste management technologies that were entirely new developments.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we’ve ceased to use carbon from the ground—either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes’s still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion — and indeed our future.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Anna Karenina (A Penguin Classics Hardcover)
book
by Leo Tolstoy, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky, John Bayley

Sam Altman's Review:

Tolstoy’s epic novel of love, destiny and self-destruction, in a gorgeous new clothbound edition from Penguin Classics. Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

If you have a paid product with less than a $1,000 customer lifetime value (LTV), you generally cannot afford sales. Experiment with different user acquisition methods like SEO/SEM, ads, mailings, etc., but try to repay your customer acquisition cost (CAC) in 3 months. If you have a paid product with more than a $1,000 LTV (net to you) you maybe can afford direct sales if your product is easy to sell. But unless your LTV is more like $5,000 or higher, it may not work. Try selling the product yourself first to learn what works. Hacking Sales is a useful book to read.

Ref: http://playbook.samaltman.com/

The Old Way: A Story of the First People
book
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Sam Altman's Review:

One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots–and the roots of life as we know it. When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for 15,000 centuries.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

The Trial of Socrates
book
by I.F. Stone

Sam Altman's Review:

In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an “intellectual thriller.”

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Brave New World Revisited
book
by Aldous Huxley

Sam Altman's Review:

When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Of all the scientific achievements of the past century, perhaps none can match the deciphering of the human genetic code, both for its technical brilliance and for its implications for our future. In A Life Decoded, J. Craig Venter traces his rise from an uninspired student to one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in science today.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Zero to One
book
by Peter Thiel , Blake Masters

Sam Altman's Review:

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Fundamentals of Plasma Physics
book
by Paul M. Bellan

Sam Altman's Review:

This rigorous explanation of plasmas is relevant to diverse plasma applications such as controlled fusion, astrophysical plasmas, solar physics, magnetospheric plasmas, and plasma thrusters. More thorough than previous texts, it exploits new powerful mathematical techniques to develop deeper insights into plasma behavior.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/

Sam Altman's Review:

The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Sam Altman's Review:

Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

The Fall
book
by Albert Camus, Justin O'Brien

Sam Altman's Review:

Elegantly styled, Camus’ profoundly disturbing novel of a Parisian lawyer’s confessions is a searing study of modern amorality.

Ref: http://blog.shelfie.com/2015/10/20/24-good-books-to-read-heres-what-sam-altman-of-y-combinator-is-reading/#8230

Pandaemonium: The Coming of the Machine As Seen by Contemporary Observers, 1660-1886
book
by Humphrey Jennings, Mary-Lou Jennings, Charles Madge

Sam Altman's Review:

This is an incredible read, and as we sit in the middle of the software revolution it’s worthwhile to see what people thought as the industrial revolution was happening.

Ref: https://blog.ycombinator.com/ycs-winter-reading-list/

Legend of Henry Ford
book
by Keith Sward

Molecular Biology of the Cell
book
by Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, David Morgan, Martin Raff

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Thinking, Fast and Slow
book
by Daniel Kahneman

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe these books.

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Winning
book
by Jack Welch

Sam Altman's Review:

This book answers the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder? 

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

The ART OF WAR FOR LOVERS
book
by Connell Cowan

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman onTwitter through his Ask me anything session. 

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423017

 

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423017

Sam Altman's Review:

Recommended by Sam Altman through twitter ask me anything session:

Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10423439

The Transit of Venus
book
by Shirley Hazzard

Sam Altman's Review:

Re-reading this book tonight. It's incredible.

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School Lecture 2: Kirsty Nathoo on Startup Mechanics

Sam Altman's Review:

YC Research: Universal Healthcare

Sam Altman's Review:

This is extremely true:

Sam Altman's Review:

How to Build the Future with @drewhouston!

Sam Altman's Review:

YC 2017 Annual Letter:

Sam Altman's Review:

An unsupervised learning result from OpenAI!!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School first lecture is up, and the speaker list:

Sam Altman's Review:

New post on how WeChat grew by my partner @AnuHariharan:

Sam Altman's Review:

Navigating Mid-Success:

Sam Altman's Review:

Affordable Care:

Sam Altman's Review:

🐳 "What's the best thing you learned from Paul Graham?"

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 15: @KatManalac + co on Diversity and Inclusion!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 16: @anuhariharan interviews @vkhosla!

Sam Altman's Review:

This is amazingly sourced and written:

Sam Altman's Review:

Class 3--great insights from @stewart and @adamdangelo on ideas and metrics!

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 4, office hours:

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 5, great product I:

Sam Altman's Review:

Startup School 13: How To Find Product/Market Fit. Excellent!

Sam Altman's Review:

My friends just launched this, and it's great:

Sam Altman's Review:

A great side project from @danielgross :

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