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On December 4, 2015, BP commented on Barrick Gold Corporation :

Z – As you make very clear, Barrick Gold seems to be quite adept at both core aspects of the gold-mining value chain: exploration and extraction. I think both of these facts are especially interesting since, as you note, “Barrick grew from a startup to the world’s largest gold miner in under three decades.” I would have guessed that gold mining would have excessive barriers to entry. How did Barrick break in? Were they very well capitalized from their previous life as an oil and gas company? I know you were limited by space, but I would be curious to know what makes their finding costs so low? And, with such a low finding costs, why they pursue acquisitions so aggressively.

On December 4, 2015, BP commented on The Honest Company: No Smoke & Mirrors :

This is very interesting, Joyce. I have one question. How aggressively do they communicate the fact that Honest Co. “extends its sustainability model to all aspects of operations.” As you point out, this sustainability play is very much in line with the rest of their model and seems to underscore a corporate ethos. Do they make this clear on their website and blog? Do you think it is a way to get and retain customers, and build a more holistic image? Or is it just a natural outgrowth from the mentality of the founders?

On December 2, 2015, BP commented on Y Combinator: Accelerating Innovation :

Hey Avi,

Super interesting post. I’ve loosely followed YC, so it was interesting to hear more. You note that “all YC needs is a higher batting average and/or slugging percentage to meet and exceed its investment objectives.” How does YC compare to other seed stage investment funds? Are there any stats out there?

One thing I have always wondered is what portion of YC’s success (or batting average as you put it) is a function of their input (which does seem substantial, per your post) or just their aggressive selection criteria (~2% according to your stats). Are they just very good at selecting the best 2% of start ups? Or do they really add value? It’s almost certainly a combination of the two–but I wonder to what extent. I am not sure how you would get a handle on this, but it would be interesting to test if possible.