We applied 1 hour before the deadline. The Justin.tv guys convinced us to apply that night at dinner but we were worried we might have missed the deadline. I asked Justin Kan to ask PG if it was too late. Below is the original email thread. Once he gave the go-ahead, we applied, and the rest is history.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Graham <##########>
Date: Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: yc applicant
To: Justin <########>, Jessica Livingston <##########>
Tell them to be concise and to explain how they'll make money; the former is always rare and the latter we're looking more closely at these days.
On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 8:30 PM, Justin <########> wrote:
Are the YC applications for the next round completely, 100% closed? There's a company that Mike, Emmett and I have been advising for months that I think would add a lot of value: Airbed and Breakfast (http://airbedandbreakfast.com/). They are basically a CouchSurfing.com for money, where users can list rooms in their houses/apartments for rent to travelers. All of us at JTV are big believers in their business and they've proven that they can knock stuff out and are well on their way to product-market fit (and are making money). Any chance you want to take a look?
I applied about 4 hours before the deadline, if I remember correctly.
I found out about YC that day while reading a Slashdot article that said the deadline was coming up. I put together the application in about 2 hours and sent it off, and marked that Dan would not be able to come out, and Chris would (a total guess).
I called them both the next day and was pretty surprised that after telling them about YC, they both instantly agreed to drop out of our last semester at Penn State and move to San Francisco.
My girlfriend convinced me to apply to YC with the idea for Divvyshot. It was two days before the deadline.
I submitted the application the night it was due and spent that week hacking together a prototype with a friend. Here's the video we sent Jessica after the YC deadline had passed: http://vimeo.com/2044353
I'm curious, are you on a touch screen device? I've accidentally downvoted a number of times because I missed the little arrows with my fingers. It's frustrating that I can't change my vote afterwards. Does anyone else feel like this is a problem? Seems fixable.
We (Auctomatic W07) applied on a whim back in November 2006. We were in London, had no idea how YC would react to a foreign team, and worse, neither of us could hack back then. I remember discussing with Harj just that week that we really should move to the Valley, but it wasn't really obvious how we should. Harj spent about 10 minutes drafting an application and I spent 30 mins on the train ride home that evening editing it. We had zero expectation that anything would come from it.
We got a call from Jessica that we were admitted for an interview a few days later, and booked a flight for Boston. We were there for less than 24 hours, and I remember Harjeet taking the acceptance call from PG as we were walking through airport security, with the TSA yelling at him "put down your phone! Put down your phone now!". In our excitement, we hadn't arranged a place to stay, or bought a US plug adapter for our laptop for the demo. We woke up extra early that morning to get to Cambridge to buy one, and were early to the interview. (I remember reading that being early was bad, so we did our best to lurk around/stay out of sight til it was our turn).
I distinctly remember the euphoria of being accepted. London back then was a horrible place to run a startup and I ended up writing about the move for the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6355289.stm (which ended up stirring a lot of debate back in the UK and eventually led to the creation of things like SeedCamp).
It worked out OK. They sold Kiko on eBay and made about as much money as they would have if they'd had normal jobs. Even their investors did OK, except YC, and they got Justin.tv for their trouble. :-)
I (YC S09) applied about 20mins before the deadline I think. I didn't tell my co-founders. One was living in Malaysia at the time. They had persuaded me to wait till we were 'ready'. We are a UK based company. It was about 2/3am in the morning and I was lying awake regretting that. I felt it didn't fit with the fundamentals of YC mentality - 'screw it just do it'. I was overcome with a great sense of obligation, not just to my co-founders (someone has to make the big decisions) but also to my family and girlfriend who had supported me that far.
I crept down stairs with her phone and mine to video the pitch in the kitchen of the close-to-derelict-renovation job-extraordinaire of a house I'd just bought. Videoing with her phone and timing myself on mine, it took me 15 recordings, fumbling around with 2 phones. You can see the exposed pipe work and partially tiled and stained walls of the filthy kitchen in the back ground; we had no kitchen, bathroom or hot water. The lighting is terrible....it looks more like an interrogation.
A week later our Malaysian based co-founder was on a marathon 7 flight trip around the world only to land into a marathon of meetings I’d set up with YC companies (14 in total) first in London and then in the valley. 5 days later we'd hacked something together whilst meeting these companies and were sat in front of PG having spent the week sleeping on Justin Kans floor with about 5hrs sleep a night.
Live and hope......what better a reason to base decisions on.
We (HireHive) applied 4 days after the deadline. This was the first time that YC had officially accepted late applications. We weren't planning on applying until the winter (if at all). We were just filling out the application as a way to firm up our understanding of the business and then we said "what the heck".
We (Adioso - W09) submitted our application in the last ~18 hours. The cut-off was 4pm Saturday Australian time, so we spent Friday afternoon on the application and submitted it in the evening.
I'd been aware of the impending deadline a couple weeks out, but as we didn't rate ourselves as a big chance we didn't make it a priority. At the beginning of that week I decided that if we had time, we'd spend Friday afternoon on an application, on the off chance we'd get through. Had something important come up relating to a paying client (we were both contracting at the time), it's quite possible we'd have forgotten about it.
It was only after finishing, that from reading through it ourselves and showing it to Fenn's girlfriend, we thought "hey, this actually isn't too bad, maybe we have a chance".
Fanvibe (YCs10) was a late application. We interviewed at the late interview weekend round.
Joe and I had applied the year before with an idea that didn't make it. We were a bit discouraged, and our next venture, which was Fanvibe, was already doing pretty well. We didn't think we needed YC, but boy were we wrong.
YC was the best thing we could have done for Fanvibe! We had metup with Harj the week before the late interviews, and he let us know that YC would absolutely be perfect for us.
That was good enough for us to immediately try for it.
We submitted our application within about an hour of the deadline last year. I was so convinced that we wouldn't be accepted for an interview that I didn't explicitly tell Jason (my co-founder) we were applying. We were both very happy with how things turned out!
We submitted for Simperium/Simplenote (S2010) at the last minute. Since we were already happy and making money, it didn't really occur to us to apply until a friend invited us to apply with him (for something else). We decided it could be a great opportunity to learn new things and meet great people, and it was.
We applied approx. 4 days before the deadline. I knew a lot of apps come in last minute so I set a mental deadline of before the final weekend. We're from the most recent batch (GazeHawk, S2010).
The problem was my cofounder and I were 300 miles apart, so we needed to get online and record a video. I was working long hours and he was finishing his masters, so it was hard to both get online at the same time. We ended up recording it around 4am.
The Fridge was a late applicant in the S2010 round. we missed the normal deadline and submitted a few weeks before the late deadline. we also revised and updated our applications almost up to the day we were emailed we got an interview...
We applied last-minute for Cardpool (W2010) and Anywhere.FM (S2007). Applying last-minute is certainly better than not applying, as YC has been great for us both times :).
We were REALLY worried we'd be way behind everyone else, because we started later (or didn't even have an idea yet in the Anywhere.FM case), but turns out that the pressure of being behind helped us launch by month 2 both times.
AdGrok applied at the last minute. I happened to notice the 'apply now' message on the main Y Combinator page (I was trying to find one of PG's blog posts), which was a couple days before the deadline. We did the video literally at 1145pm on the last day.
What were we thinking? Get it out the door and done as quickly as possible. We were stil at our previous employer at the time and hadn't finalized an idea, so there was some doubt about applying. But once the momentum got underway, our only thought was submitting the best application possible, and fully sketching out our idea. I read the blog posts from other YC companies about the application process, and they were very helpful making us understand what was expected from YC, and what was coming in the application process.
We (280 North) submitted the app on the last day after deciding to apply a week or two before, I believe. Then we worked on our demo (the first prototype of what became 280 Slides) up to the day of the interview.
We learned of the application about 1 week before the deadline. We threw it together in an afternoon, spent a couple days editing, and turned it in just before the deadline. We basically thought "What the hell?" the worst thing that can happen is we don't get accepted, and then we will have only wasted the time we spent preparing the application. We had no demo and barely a coherent idea, so we focused our application on how awesome the founders were. We basically wanted to show that we were smart and we could build things, we figured that would get us to the interview round (and buy us some time to formulate our idea.)
You should apply even if you have to put the application together today. Just for the experience. At worst, you'll waste an afternoon. At best you'll get in, like we did (Cloudant YCS08 - Boston)