“In the Studio” rolls on this week by hosting an ex-management consultant who grew tired of that career path, wrote a book about how to prepare for and perform well during case-style interviews, self-published the work and started to make money from those sales proceeds, and eventually ended up in YC to help build out his new content-publishing business, Hyperink.
Kevin Gao brings the razor-sharp analytical skills of an employee from a top management consulting firm to the world of startups. As the CEO and co-founder of Hyperink, an early-stage company with the goal of organizing the web’s blog content around people and topics, Gao and his colleagues have a bold vision to bring structure to a web overrun with content and knowledge but also face challenges to prove scalability in their model to investors who generally tend to shy away from such businesses.
In this discussion, Gao and I quickly survey a range of topics, from the state of e-books today and what we can can expect in the future, what Amazon may do in this space, and how Hyperink’s technology crawls the web for content and pairs that information with human curators to create a “book-like” experience for the customer. The folks at Hyperink also were gracious enough to create an e-book for me, which went through my entire blog and organized it quite well (you can buy a copy here). Finally, Gao shares his experience of leaving consulting to enroll in Y Combinator (during the year the “Start Fund” was announced) and how going this route provided real value to him and his team and how he learned to handle the investment process with more leverage.