Also, "one start-up did not present because it already had a Series A term sheet with a 'no-shop' clause.". The two previous YC start-ups that didn't pitch because of a no-shop clause have been airbnb and Heroku.
You can find my as-complete-as-possible list of YC startups from every session over here: http://ycuniverse.com/startups.php
I'm confused. A "no shop" clause isn't a "no advertise" clause, so why not present? "We're not talking with any other potential investors, but here's what we're doing."
As PG says, deals are always about to fall apart, and often do, so it's silly to act as if they're done before they actually are.
1) GiftRocket http://www.giftrocket.com/
Why would I use this? Why not just give cash? I can see how some people might think of giving cash as tacky or thoughtless. Is GiftRocket supposed to overcome that? I get the feeling that there's something I've overlooked here. Feel free to set me straight.
2) GrubWithUs http://www.grubwith.us/
This is fascinating. They're not just trying to start a company, they're trying to create a whole social movement. If this takes off, it'll be a completely new way to socialise.
3) Like.fm http://like.fm/
Really wasn't sure what to make of this. The concept seems very similar to last.fm. Chatted with Chris Chen using Live Help on the site's home page. He seems convinced that the only two things that they have in common is that both sites record what you listen to. He pointed out that Like.fm allows you to follow people, and will soon have a recommendations system that will "blow whatever you get from last.fm out of the water." He's got my attention.
AmEx gift cards are basically cash. People know that when they buy them. They come with some pretty steep fees ($4 for a $25 card + $5-10 shipping if you buy online). They probably sell ~$10B a year. Maybe more. Just AmEx.
Remember, everything in the gift card market is more restrictive than cash. We're focused on user experience and building something fun, easy, and cool that "just works".
This sounds a bit strange. Are these marketing emails or just receipts?
Edit: Here's another one. My brother, who lives a couple hours away, rarely visits. Can I give him a gift certificate to my house?
So curious about this. Josh who? Any more detail available?
More trivia: two co-founders of two separate companies in the bath have the same name and went Dartmouth a year apart. (Not mentioning the name as one was OTR.)
A few possible explanations, I wonder which is right:
1. I'm on HN more and I pay attention to YC companies more.
2. YC companies are launching sooner and sooner.
3. YC companies are getting more press attention sooner.
4. YC is funding companies that have more product "in place' before going to YC.
But that's besides the point. The point is, YC used to be a program that was 'taking a chance,' by its very existence. Now that it's established, I feel like the world expects them to keep taking more chances - both on the types of people it invests in, and in the process of investing. It's definitely doing that in a number of ways (the Yuri thing, scaling, taking on more partners) - but the aspiring applicants here who haven't yet seen traction (or learned what traction is) see themselves as what YC should be taking more chances on. This may just an extension of the scaling question - with 1,000 applicants, how do you pick out the teams that just need time to prove themselves, and how do you make room for them in a crowded program to give them the mentorship they need?
Congratulations to all of the teams, and good luck!