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Saying no to Y Combinator (mysterioustrousers.com)
17 points by mystrous on Apr 19, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

Two things:

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.)


That wasn't "saying no".

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).


Given the other posting on that site from today, I think the author's grasp on reality may be tenuous at best.


I'm an investor managing an innovation program for Quest Software (NASDAQ: QSFT) at http://www.quest.com/innovation-accelerator/.

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.

There's a possibility we may seek other options in the future but for now we both feel doing our own bootstrapping (we already have a successful app that pays the bills) is where we need to be.

In a community where the future of the economy is claimed to be tied to the growth of tech accelerators, I found this article quite interesting.

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.

Bill Gates built his company on corporate clients. Walt Disney built his company on bank loans. Steve Jobs built his company on venture capital. There is no wrong way or right way — just do what works best for you. Also doing it one way doesn't rule out doing it another way at a later point.

Absolutely right. We simply decided this wasn't the path for our company. Folks here seem to think we were ripping on investment which is not the case.

Since these guys don't want the interview, I guess that means there's room for one more... ;-)

Yep. And we wish them good luck.

Some people I've never heard of said no to a small amount of angel money? Stop the presses.

This post suggests that YC is in some way incompatible with the idea of doing what is best for your customers. It's a strange conclusion based on the significant amount of public evidence to the contrary.

Some ideas are probably compatible with a lifestyle business but not with a VC-backed business. Without any details there's no way to know whether that is the case here.

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