I thought PG came in a little strong when he said this:
One quality that’s a really bad indication is a CEO with a strong foreign accent. I’m not sure why. It could be that there are a bunch of subtle things entrepreneurs have to communicate and can’t if you have a strong accent. Or, it could be that anyone with half a brain would realize you’re going to be more successful if you speak idiomatic English, so they must just be clueless if they haven’t gotten rid of their strong accent. I just know it’s a strong pattern we’ve seen.
I’ve seen PG on stage, his videos and his mannerisms. I’m sure he didn’t mean that. PG is a very factual person, he’s merely stating data collected from the sessions. YC itself, hosts a ton of companies with foreign-born CEOs.
Rightfully so, this comment sparked a ton of criticism. The most constructive one i’ve found was Om Malik’s, where he attempted to drag us back to what’s important : brilliance and not flaws.
I don’t think for a second, that PG is slipping up. This calculated comment drove a wedge between “YC” and “everyone else”. From an economical standpoint, I conclude that PG is creating a shortage of supply, maintaining the exclusivity of the YC club.
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