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apply for YC #1404

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chadwhitacre opened this issue Sep 6, 2013 · 48 comments
Closed

apply for YC #1404

chadwhitacre opened this issue Sep 6, 2013 · 48 comments

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@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

Applications are open for Winter 2014:

http://ycombinator.com/apply.html

They're now accepting non-profits (good work, @Watsi :-) ).

Will they be interested in an open company?

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

+1 from @jkwade on Twitter.

@andyweissman
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@andyweissman andyweissman commented Sep 6, 2013

I would most definitely explore this

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

+1 from paulg on Twitter.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

+3 in IRC from @clone1018 (ref), @daankortenbach (ref), and @dowski (ref).

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

+1 from @jmathai on Twitter.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 6, 2013

I feel like there was another +1 from someone I didn't really know but I can't find it anywhere.

@mvdkleijn
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@mvdkleijn mvdkleijn commented Sep 7, 2013

I have no opinion either way, but I do have a comment / question: ycombinator is geared towards getting commercial companies in shape. Though Gittip is an open "company", is it a commercial company? I thought no?

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 7, 2013

@mvdkleijn They've started funding non-profits: http://ycombinator.com/np.html. Gittip is in a weird middle ground.

@jkwade
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@jkwade jkwade commented Sep 8, 2013

@whit537 what are you hoping to gain from acceptance into YC?

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 9, 2013

@jkwade Good question. The strongest win-win I see right now is partnering with YC and its companies to invest in open-source through Gittip. What are you seeing as a YC alum?

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 9, 2013

Just posted an application video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nis5gX05WU

Will update this ticket soon with the written application.

@jmathai
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@jmathai jmathai commented Sep 9, 2013

@whit537 I think you need to at least touch on the larger vision you mentioned to me a few months ago that goes beyond software and open source....

@jkwade
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@jkwade jkwade commented Sep 9, 2013

@whit537 I didn't go through YC with Matin and Mahmoud, but from what I can tell the access to alumni network has been one of the most useful parts of having gone through the program.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 10, 2013

@jmathai Okay, I cut that out of the video to try to get it down to 60 seconds. I'll try bringing it back.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 11, 2013

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 11, 2013

Application moved to a gist:

https://gist.github.com/whit537/6723103

@ghost
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@ghost ghost commented Sep 11, 2013

Best of luck Chad! 👍

@clone1018
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@clone1018 clone1018 commented Sep 11, 2013

Love that college story :p

@chrisdev
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@chrisdev chrisdev commented Sep 11, 2013

Good luck Chad!!

@darrencauthon
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@darrencauthon darrencauthon commented Sep 11, 2013

👍

@alexmcroberts
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@alexmcroberts alexmcroberts commented Sep 11, 2013

👍

@mahmoudimus
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@mahmoudimus mahmoudimus commented Sep 11, 2013

👍 go get 'em Chad! Happy to write you a recommendation for YC.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 11, 2013

@gardaud @clone1018 @chrisdev @darrencauthon @alexmcroberts @mahmoudimus Thanks for the support! 👯

@ghost
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@ghost ghost commented Sep 11, 2013

Go get them!

@pydanny
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@pydanny pydanny commented Sep 11, 2013

Go @whit537!

@tshepang
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@tshepang tshepang commented Sep 11, 2013

@kumar303
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@kumar303 kumar303 commented Sep 11, 2013

this is super rad

@jasonamyers
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@jasonamyers jasonamyers commented Sep 11, 2013

GOOD LUCK!

@kirang89
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@kirang89 kirang89 commented Sep 11, 2013

All the best ! :)

@vladoros
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@vladoros vladoros commented Sep 11, 2013

👍

@asghar07
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@asghar07 asghar07 commented Sep 11, 2013

good luck..

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 11, 2013

Thanks, everyone! :-)

Based on @octal's feedback, I've made the following tweaks (reflected above):

  • I added the following sentence to the "impressive thing" question: "I did everything from writing bylaws to pricing and sales to driving truck."
  • I took out the sentence (from the "concurrent commitments" question), "My wife is open to discussing the possibility of my being in Mountain View for three months if it makes sense for Gittip."
  • I added the following sentence to "where would you be based": "Gittip is already a global distributed team. I like living in Pittsburgh because I have family and friends here."
@rgieseke
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@rgieseke rgieseke commented Sep 11, 2013

Some ideas for changes in the application or video:

  • mention that 75 people have commits to gittip.com, 14 in the last month (this might counter single founder concerns), mention the number of people taking money as part of team Gittip (probably number taking > 1$)
  • in the "What's new about what you plan to do?" section give short descriptions of what is actually different, links only for additional details
  • maybe explain in more detail what Khan academy is doing (which is really cool, most companies probably have no idea how to give back to open source) -- it's different from the other patrons, maybe mention that it was John Resig's idea (who is a YC alum) and link to this blog post: http://ejohn.org/blog/gittip-at-khan-academy/
  • the no compensation part probably needs clarification, as there is a model for people receiving and distributing money as a team
  • maybe mention that Gittip could work for musicians, journalists, artists, scientists or others as well
  • I liked the "distributed genius grants for the rest us" slogan, I think it's a succinct explanation
  • maybe mention some success stories like Readthedocs, Alex Pott being able to work on Drupal or Sqlalchemy (zzzeek)
@joonas
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@joonas joonas commented Sep 12, 2013

Best of luck Chad!

I think you should've made this in to a gist or a file/repo so that people could contribute by forking/doing pull requests ;)

@sigmavirus24
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@sigmavirus24 sigmavirus24 commented Sep 12, 2013

@joonas no way for people to send a PR on a gist and no way for him to get a notification about it.

@ehmatthes
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@ehmatthes ehmatthes commented Sep 12, 2013

Good luck!

@colindean
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@colindean colindean commented Sep 17, 2013

👍

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 27, 2013

Based on #1415, I've added the following to the "other commitments" question:

I have a Gittip company retreat January 3-6 in Pittsburgh.

#1415

Kind of kicking myself for not flagging the conflict sooner, before #1415 started gaining momentum. :-(

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 27, 2013

I think you should've made this in to a gist or a file/repo so that people could contribute by forking/doing pull requests ;)

Good call, @joonas. :-)

https://gist.github.com/whit537/6723103

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Sep 27, 2013

Thanks for the feedback, @rgieseke. It's so hard to know what level of detail to include in the application. I guess I'm trying to lean more towards being punchy and high-level to pique interest. Maybe the wrong approach?

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Oct 18, 2013

We're wrestling over on #1603 with whether or not to add a cofounder to the application.

@ceboudreaux
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@ceboudreaux ceboudreaux commented Oct 21, 2013

Last minute, @whit537, I'm sorry, but I'm surprised that no one else has objected to this idea yet. YC invests in order to make a profit. How could there possibly be a return on investment with Gittip? Gittip operates at or below cost. Gittip doesn't generate a profit and so there would be no return for investors.

I've read over the application, and I feel like I must be missing something.

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Oct 21, 2013

@ceboudreaux YC has started funding non-profits: http://ycombinator.com/np.html.

Gittip isn't a registered non-profit, of course. Paul Graham advised that we apply anyway using the non-profit application (Twitter).

@ceboudreaux
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@ceboudreaux ceboudreaux commented Oct 21, 2013

Ah, then I support this too! (Thanks for clarifying. I am baffled by my own ticket-reading ineptitude.)

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Oct 21, 2013

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Nov 5, 2013

We're sorry to say we couldn't accept your proposal for funding.
Please don't take it personally. The applications we receive get
better every funding cycle, and since there's a limit on the number
of startups we can interview in person, we had to turn away a lot
of genuinely promising groups.

Unfortunately we can't give you individual feedback about your
application. This page explains why:

http://ycombinator.com/whynot.html

Another reason you shouldn't take this personally is that we know
we make lots of mistakes. It's alarming how often the last group
to make it over the threshold for interviews ends up being one that
we fund. That means there are surely other good groups that fall
just below the threshold and that we miss even interviewing.

We're trying to get better at this, but the hard limit on the number
of interviews means it's practically certain that groups we rejected
will go on to create successful startups. If you do, we'd appreciate
it if you'd send us an email telling us about it; we want to learn
from our mistakes.

Y Combinator Team

@chadwhitacre
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@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre commented Nov 5, 2013

Thanks to everyone for your support! :-)

@podviaznikov
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@podviaznikov podviaznikov commented Nov 20, 2013

Unfortunate. YC could be really helpful for Gittip.

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