Rejection from the potential customer is infinitely more valuable, because even if they don't give you any feedback (though they usually do) it means that your mental picture of your market is slightly wrong. Every piece of feedback moves the needle. Rejection from YC doesn't move anything anywhere. Or does it? (may be I'm just over rationalizing, I have such bad habit).
For example a strangely large portion of my early kicking-tires-users are either from government or some security/military/intelligence related fields. Like some company that says "if you're not from the law enforcement - move on, nothing for you here" on the front page of their website (they're doing some telecom stuff).
Why? I'm doing some stupid boring datacenter inventory management! No idea whatsoever. But for me it's a question of the universe and everything.
So, folks, move on and get some customers.
(yeah, go ahead, I'm just finishing one more feature, will follow shortly.... :-)
But I don't think it's what Y Combinator looks for - it's not something that will scale to Unicorn-size, it looks more like a good candidate for a bootstrapped startup.
Edit: some nitpicks, "There is no obligations!" on the pricing page doesn't sound right. I do like the "Take no hostages" pledge :) but if it looks like customers might be bigger businesses, you could re-write it to be more serious-sounding.
Edit2: from the guy that manages our datacenter: "It looks nice, we'll take a look".
Speaking of which, anyone want to throw some cash at a 10 year game development project by one obsessed starving artist?
If you're looking for investors Indie Fund (indie-fund.com) is a good option. They'll invest small amounts of money in projects they find interesting for a ~2x return on investment (no equity, etc.) Your game has been in development for a really long time, so you might also want to look into releasing it as an early access game. That might bring in enough money to finish it.
I was rejected but I wasn't entirely expecting to get in. I don't have a co-founder, my prototype isn't finished yet and I am working on my project on the side since I would like to keep paying the bills. Oh well I'll keep working on it, if it can turn into a business when I get some people to actually play with it then that would be awesome otherwise I can pivot easily enough with doing it part time (www.simulated.io if anyone is interested in looking at it).
Even if you have a good product, maybe it's not outstanding - I'm not sure how many people applied, but it's probably even more than the 10.000 they received last year, so you have to REALLY stand out.
Who knows, maybe you were in 200th place out of 10.000 and you barely missed the cut.
The good thing is, the market doesn't care :) it doesn't have a 100 startup limit :)
If you want some unsolicited feedback from a fellow YC-reject: IMO, Visbit is not a novel idea, and you're competing with Google and Facebook and Microsoft and Apple, so yes, maybe the business idea is not what they're looking for.
Your page doesn't immediately tell me what your product is about (the value proposition) or why I should use it. The only meaningful copy I found is "urgent need of a mobile app for easy and powerful photo management", so is it a photo management software app? (that might be useful :) , but I don't think it's "urgent")
I also spotted a few errors in your copy, and also in your post (I don't think "well-collaborate team" is good English, and in the web page, "Creation from Today" is also not idiomatic English), that might have subtly hindered you.
Yes, it is about photo management, photo content discovery, and instant sharing. Kind of all-in-one solution (not sure if that's bad?). I personally have 5000+ photos in my phone and completely lose track. I might have shared 5%-10% of them, but I can't delete the rest as I don't have time to select, and also don't use them anymore. We want to make these buried treasures useful to people.
Sorry, I am international. Will be more careful on the copy.
I do commend yours and the above's attitude!
Additionally, since the answers I had to those questions didn't pass muster with the partners I can either shrug it off (YC is extremely competitive and even they admit they make mistakes all the time) and take the rejection as additional motivation or I can take their decision as truth and take a closer look at my current business model to see what can/should be tweaked. Either way it can be helpful :)
Of course it would be nice if the rejection emails were more personalized, but I just don't think that's possible with the number of applications they receive.
Here's %7 of our company. Take it. Networking? Anyone can send an email to VC's with a link to a product and some stats highlighting its potential.
Edit: and I'm OK with it, we just need to work harder. We do not depend of YC to be successful, but I see all the advantages of being part of the YC club.
But back to work now. Focus is getting the goddamn MVP done and get some real users.
Does this mean, people who haven't received rejection letters, they in all likelihood get invited for the interview? Anyone invited yet?
This is what I'm currently working on: https://www.stay22.com/
Kip is a deep learning search for fashion in IRL stores around you: https://kipsearch.com
I don't think there was a particular reason why they rejected us, most likely that in a bell curve we just weren't as good compared to other applicants.
It was great fun doing the application, and we learned a lot! More importantly, we closed a lead investor/partnership the day before, so even though we were rejected it wasn't a big disappointment.
Execute your idea like you did your application, and I'm sure you'll do just fine, because an idea is only 10% of the battle; the rest is execution.
I honestly didn't think I was ready for YC cause I'm a solo founder and unnaturally focused on upcoming pilot deployments to the detriment of almost everything else. If curious, we're building http://www.smartersocket.com (rebranding as https://www.BeaconGrid.com in like 2 days.)
Still no response.
Rejected and motivated
A very few posted here. Mine is not even ready for sharing to HN (for one thing, it's not in English, the app is not published, etc.), but it's a "Telepresence" app (basically videostreaming + interaction, like Periscope only better :) ), which I hope to market to businesses - I think e-commerce is stuck on the "images" phase, why not realtime video?.
Sorry for the trouble! Looks like we were bounced by your mail server:
550 5.5.0 Mail Denied, contact your postmaster
I supplied another one so we will see if I get something on that one now.
Sorry you got rejected. But why quit hacker news? The people here are very intelligent and have meaningful interactions when it comes topics. They can also help by answering critical questions about what you are doing. So don't quit..
You could be right.
Haven't gotten a rejection email yet, so you making me needlessly excited here! :-)
We've got 150 users, some paying.
And we claim to radically change how processes will be turned into running software, with working proof-of-concept running in browsers.
So don't feel bad if your startup didn't make it.
Our plan has anyways been to keep adding more customers, regardless if we get into Y-combinator or not.
If your business plan depends on Y-combinator acceptance or funding, then that probably is already a weakness.
Congrats to all those that got in.
(I'm not affiliated with YC.)
I would like to try an experiment if I may.
For $40 I will give feedback to any startup that got a YC response email tonight. This applies for startups that got rejected and startups that got invited.
This could be feedback on the main idea, the YC application, beta testing your demo or website, help with writing, or anything else that would help. I expect to spend 30 minutes for every application received.
If at any time you feel my feedback isn't helping, I will refund the full amount. If I don't find time to review your startup, I will also refund the full amount.
I'm doing this partly as an experiment: this could be a startup idea. I want to see if it's possible to earn money giving feedback. I'm also doing it as personal training. I'm not an expert on startups. The more sites and ideas I'm exposed to, the better I can get at finding holes in my work. Charging will likely make you and me more committed to the review.
I want to stay anonymous. I want to see how feasible it is to interpret feedback without knowing who the person giving the feedback is. I believe the way to tell if the feedback you are getting is useful is to pay attention to the explanation you get with it.
Although I can't promise to respond to everyone I will do the best I can to respond to as many people as possible before the November 9th invitation day for YC.
I promise not to share information about your startup.
The email to reach me is in my profile. I'd welcome feedback too on improving the process of giving feedback. Thanks.
A bit self serving.. Isn't it? How about you do it for them for free in the beginning and if they think the advice is very good, then they pay you $40 instead of what you are proposing?
If you are looking to do an experiment, rejected people that are down and vulnerable are not the people for your little experiment.
For user testing, the most important metric is not how many people give us feedback but whether it's coming from a credible and relevant source.
It's easy to get trapped in simple assumptions, and often it takes someone completely removed from the startup world to shape those assumptions into something that has market fit.
You can get the same insight for much less than $40, but some of the best advice I've received has been from people completely disconnected from both my platform, and the startup scene in general.