1) I hope they considered the equity equation- http://www.paulgraham.com/equity.html
2) The old VC joke - "Equity is like manure. If you hoard it up in one spot, all you have is a big pile of ___. But if you spread it around, all kinds of beautiful things can grow."
100% ownership isn't everything. Bill Gates became ridiculously wealthy while owning between ~43% and ~10% of Microsoft shares (adjusted over the years.)
You asked for an invitation, received one, and then withdrew.
a: "Hey, good lookin'. Wanna get some coffee and maybe see if there's any chemistry between us?"
b: "Hmm.... Yeah, ok. Let's go."
a: "On second thought, I don't."
This isn't to say at all that you did the wrong or a bad thing at any step (necessarily).
"I sent the club a wire stating, "PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER". " -- Groucho
If those guys are reading, I'd follow up with a question of what's really important to them:
- Control of the business (key capital & strategic decisions)
- Long term gains on an individual basis
- Contacts & network needed to establish distribution, deals, and partnerships
- Minimizing the number of relationships that need maintenance
If, as there article indicates, they really want to be in control of their success and failure, there is a number of ways to achieve total control without owning 100% of the company. So they should really think about the various options they have available to them. I can appreciate the desire to not have investors - even non-controlling minority interest ones, as even those people need to be nurtured and relationships developed.
So, as a message to the authors, would hope that they seek out some additional inputs as there are a number of clever ways for them to structure their business to achieve their goals, and to gain the benefits that come with YC.
In a community where tech accelerators are declared to be the start of the next tech bubble, I found this article quite interesting.
In a community where Paul Graham Fanboy-ism accusations are often tossed around, I found this article quite interesting.
As frequently as I jump between the above opinions, I found this article quite interesting.
The article isn't about taking the high road. It's not about sticking it to the man. It's a glimpse into their thought process when they turned down something a good chunk of the people here on HN spend their time working towards.
I don't think these guys are wrong for wanting to do things their own way. They've even got the humility to say that they might even screw it all up. But they aren't jumping on the tech accelerator bandwagon, for better or for worse. Since they are the only ones familiar with their product model, they know best what would help them. I imagine they felt quite a lot of pressure to take the interview, but they let their judgement prevail over the emotional/social pressure. Props.