Y Combinator is extremely influential in tech startups and startup culture.
Peter Thiel, an investor who often participates in Y Combinator, is donating $1.25 million to Donald Trump’s political efforts, which has incited outrage among the tech community with many calling for Y Combinator to sever ties with Thiel.
Y Combinator has apparently decided not to. President Sam Altman defended this position in a blog post, framed as a Clinton endorsement, that begins with a partial overview of how reprehensible and dangerous Trump is, but ends with a defense of continuing Thiel’s involvement in Y Combinator that’s effectively framed as a free-speech or tolerance issue.
I completely agree with Arment.
One thing doesn’t sit entirely right with me about this, though. Y Combinator is getting a decent amount of flack for this, and rightly so – a sexual assaulter like Trump should be in prison, not in the White House. However, where’s all the outrage about Tim Cook organising fundraisers for Donald Trump’s political party? Why is that fact almost silently swept under the rug and brushed aside, but Y Combinator gets skewered for doing the same thing? Why is Tim Cook supporting Donald Trump okay, but Y Combinator not cutting ties with someone supporting Donald Trump not okay?
Is it, perhaps, because Apple and Tim Cook get graded on a curve, to use a phrase popular in the Apple blogosphere?
It’s almost as inconsistent as iOS. I guess that runs deeper than I thought.