back to Startup Notes

The People

Startup advice from 10 founders and investors, including Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, Chase Adam and more.

The Book

30 pages of completely redrawn, full-color doodles, notes and drawings. They're printed on genuine . Find out more about the books.

The Cause

All my and FiftyThree's profits will be donated to Watsi, YC's first non-profit. Watsi crowdfunds low-cost, high-impact medical care for people in need.

Like everyone else at Startup School, I was mesmerized by Chase Adam’s talk about Watsi, the nonprofit that funds medical care for people around the world. His talk left me wanting to help out somehow.

When I drew my Startup Notes, I wasn't expecting it to get as popular as it did. I received hundreds of emails about the project. Many asked me to sell a physical copy, which I had no intention of doing.

Then I had an idea. Bill Morein from FiftyThree, the company behind the iPad app Paper, had reached out to me about Startup Notes. It just so happened that they had just released a new product called Book that lets you print a custom Moleskine book directly from Paper. I asked if FiftyThree would be interested in printing and selling Startup Notes as a physical book, and donating part of it to Watsi. FiftyThree liked the idea, and offered to donate their entire profit to Watsi. So, neither FiftyThree nor I will make any money off this — after printing costs, everything goes to funding medical care via Watsi.

We reached out to Chase, the founder of Watsi, and they were also on board.

The doodles in the book have been completely redrawn in full color, and look beautiful printed on a Moleskine notebook. They're filled with quotes from all the Startup School 2013 speakers — Mark Zuckerberg, Ron Conway, Jack Dorsey, Chase Adam and more.

Thanks to FiftyThree for being so generous, Chase Adam for making Watsi happen, Moleskine for making the books, the speakers for doing such an amazing job, and Y-Combinator for putting on Startup School.

Gregory Koberger


Have a question we didn't answer? Please send me an email at

How much money goes to Watsi?

We'll be donating everything that doesn't go toward the cost of buying the Moleskine notebook and printing. The exact amount depends on the number of orders, however at a minimum, one-third the price of the books will go to Watsi. Watsi will publish a blog post after detailing the numbers after the donations are sent to them.

How is money being handled?

The money is being collected by Startup Notes. We'll write a check to both FiftyThree and Watsi once orders are placed.

Is Watsi aware of this?

Yes! We reached out to Chase when we had the idea, and he's on board.

Is this the same as Startup Notes?

The quotes are mostly the same, however they have been completely redrawn using Paper. The original sketches were done in realtime while at the conference, so redoing them gave me a chance to reflect on what was important and how best to present it.

I want to help Watsi, but the book is too expensive / I want to donate directly / etc.

The point of printing this book is to help Watsi, so please feel free to skip ordering the book and donate directly to Watsi.