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YC Interview Advice From a Guy Who Got An Interview and Didn’t Get Accepted (plus.google.com)
125 points by nhashem on Nov 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments



HN really needs to extend the little "domain preview" in the title to include sub-domains. Seeing "(google.com)" and then ending up on a G+ page always throws me for a loop.


They do this for some domains already ( tumblr.com, blogspot.com, posterous.com, etc.) I have the same issue with plus.google.com.


> YC is an amazing opportunity to work with some of the finest people in the technology industry, it’s not a ticket to automatic success

Find something you are passionate about, work hard, be persistent, and go for it. YC is a great opportunity, and you should be looking for opportunities whenever you can.

But without your own hard work your company will be nothing, and this doesn't change with or without YC.

Yes, it sucks getting rejected from anything, but the only time it's the end of the world is if you give up because of it. My last startup that interviewed at YC, was rejected, and shut down soon after, probably weighed too heavily our rejection (though it was far from the only reason we shut down).

(Disclaimer: I'm a two time rejected applicant, one time rejected interviewee)


Just wondering, were you rejected twice after being interviewed the first time? I'm wondering if they will dismiss you more easily after having met and decided you aren't the type of person they want to fund...


It was a flat reject first, then an interview rejection, then another flat reject. I wasn't actually the one who applied the first time though.

About your statement, I don't know. I can't waste my time thinking about that though. I'm really excited about what I'm working on right now and I've learned a ton in the last few years. Going for it is all that matters to me now.

I will be applying again next round though :)


Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to hear the tale from the side that didn't get in.

By the way, I've seen one or two outdoor advertising startups pop up here and there over the last year or so ... which means your original idea may have legs. If I remember the names or stumble on them again, I'll be sure to come back and post the companies ... in case you're interested or just mildly curious.


Adstuc.com is one. Saw a presentation a while back and it looks like they have some traction although its still in beta.


I was just taking a look at ycuniverse and noticed that the 4th startup on the list, trunk.ly was acquired by AVOS(Delicious) and I have not gone through the whole list yet. A friend of mine always reminds me "are you playing to play or are you playing to win?".I would also like to quote the last paragraph from the blog post.

"We still know that chance is there and believe that we can do it. It's always been up to us to prove it, being accepted into YC, or not, doesn't actually change that fundamental requirement. We've got great supporters and more ammunition in the bag still - so it's back to the grind stone again and let's move forward (another thing that wouldn't change whether we were in YC or not)."


It sounds like they were excited to hear about as you said "extending your tenacles into the offline world." You probably didn't hit the notes they were hoping for. I know the article was to serve as more of an informative on the interview process but I'm wondering why you didn't take the acceptance as a sign that you should continue you working on the idea. Sure it might need some restructuring but that's where the persistence comes in.

Great article though regardless. Oh yeah, and the design/logo sucked ;)


I don't think getting into YC should impact your decision to move ahead with your startup. It should not matter. And you should assume you won't get funding and you will take longer than expected and you will be in debt. Then figure out how you will make it work... so when it happens, you won't feel like throwing up and getting a panic attack


Oh. Hey, I remember you! I got rejected with you guys! (At that same bar, with the Plurchase fellow.) This is a small forum indeed.

Just one piece seems missing from this article. If you're not doing Adeptley.com - what are you doing now, and do you regret not doing Adeptley?


Thanks for sharing your story. Are you guys still pursuing 'Adeptley' or pretty much gave up on it after the rejection?


Very interesting post nhashem. Btw, what was the second idea that got rejected from YC, any possibility you can share?


I got about 30 blog entries by interviewees over here: http://ycuniverse.com/interviewees.php


No offense, but if you didn't get accepted, wouldn't it be better to not follow your advice?


So you only learn from your successes and not your failures?


No, but perhaps only success can prove you've learned from your failures.


Regardless, it's still good information.


Top Advice: When In Doubt, Make Sure to Capitalize Every Word (Except For a Few of Them) To Grab People's Attention and Make Their Eyes Bleed


shrug sometimes a lame idea is just a lame idea. Sounded more like you just wanted to be part of YC for the sake of being part of YC and not start a company you would be super-passionate about.

I mean, also, your website you put up kind of looks like you spent 2 nights on it.


I thought the website looked neat. It's not going to win any competitions but it's well done and a good start. The idea is interesting too. If this person wasn't passionate about what they were doing, I'm sure they wouldn't be writing a post to improve their visibility and exposure. I wish them good luck and so should you :P




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