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YC was always about startups and growth. Ramen profitability was an important milestone because then you weren't dependent on fundraising to survive. But it was always just a milestone, and YC's goal qua investor was to fund companies with a chance of growing big. By the time I got there in 2009 it was quite explicit, but it was clear before then too.

On the point of not growing big, though, there was one area where YC did something fundamentally new: they supported whatever the founders wanted to do. If the founders decided not to try to grow big or to take an early exit, YC was always supportive. But this wasn't because they regarded such outcomes as successful from an investment point of view (they're not). It was because they were decent people. And pg used to say that pushing founders to do something they didn't want to wouldn't work anyway.

Thank you for clarifying those points.

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