Y Combinator Names First New Partners Since 2005: Paul Buchheit And Harj Taggar

Prestigious startup incubator Y Combinator has just announced that it’s adding two new partners: Paul Buchheit, who created Gmail and founded FriendFeed; and Harj Taggar, a former participant in the YC program who has been working there over the last year to help advise startups.

Buchheit is the better known of the two — in addition to Gmail and FriendFeed, he also created the first prototype of Google’s AdSense and coined its motto “Don’t be evil”. To take the new position Buchheit is leaving Facebook, which he joined last summer when the social network acquired his company Friendfeed. Given Facebook’s rapid growth this is a bit surprising, but
Buchheit is financially secure and Y Combinator is surging as well.

Taggar founded Auctomatic, a service that helped users sell things on eBay that was acquired by Live Current Media in March 2008 for $5 million in cash and stock.

Given Y Combinator’s success, these are certainly coveted spots. Y Combinator hasn’t added any Partners to its team since it launched in 2005; other partners include Anybots founder Trevor Blackwell, Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, and Robert Morris. YC also recently named Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian as its ‘Ambassador to the East’.

Here’s YC founder Paul Graham’s post on the news:

In case anyone doesn’t already know who he is, Paul Buchheit was responsible for three of the best things Google has done: he wrote GMail, built the original prototype of AdSense, and came up with the phrase “Don’t be evil.” After leaving Google he started FriendFeed, which last year became Facebook’s largest acquisition to date. He’s a good friend as well as one of the world’s best hackers; for years we’ve considered him an honorary YC partner.

We hired Harj Taggar earlier this year to work advising startups alongside me. He wasn’t technically a partner, but we quickly realized that he was one de facto—that among us his opinion carried as much weight as any of ours—and that it would be mean of us to delay recognizing this officially. Harj’s arrival significantly improved how well YC operated. He’s a large part of the reason we were able to fund 36 startups in the summer 2010 cycle.