When you apply, you have to be an "innovator", "strategist", or "hacker."
The implication is you can't be, for instance, both an innovator and a hacker. Either you're calling the shots and designing products, or you're just some code monkey that's hooked up with some people who are.
For me, part of the reason I'm an entrepreneur in the first place is the rejection of this kind of dichotomy.
"If you define your personality as creative, it only means you understand what is perceived to be creative by the world at large, so you're really just following a rote creative template. That's the opposite of creativity. Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time." - Chuck Klosterman
Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas. A creative person can certainly recognize that they are good at coming up with new ideas.
I don't try to be modest or arrogant. I prefer to try to be correct. If I'm good at something, I might miss out on opportunities if I think I'm bad at said thing. For example, I might take too much shit at work and not realize I can call the shots because they need me there.
I see no reason why a young man can't be wiser than an old man. Sure, an old man has lived longer, but the young man might have more experience if he's lived better and faced the truth more often. So I think I'm wiser than most people. Reality bears this out: I think there's going to be a housing bust, and then there's housing bust (I thought this was going to happen early 2006). I take Robert Schiller's word for it when he says this is going to be the worst depression since that Great one, and then it happens (early 2007). I could go on, but the point is, would I be better off by saying I'm a fool? I could have made a lot of money off these this crisis if I trusted my gut.
There are also things I know I suck at. I'm terrible at holding my tongue (4 percentile, I'm guessing). I ramble. I'm also really clumsy in a few kinds of social environments, particularly pregames.
If you have nagging doubts about your creativity, ignore them and look at your work. Is it creative? There's really no need to be bashful, at least in private.
Some of the greatest minds have remarked at how little we know but those same great minds realized that they were great in the context of their time.
- who is running it, so they provide real value from real experts
- the reach they have, so that the applicants are top-notch and you benefit from interacting with other rising stars
In the case of DreamIt, it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. If no one has heard of you, no matter how great your coaching will be, you end up with second rate projects and there's not much you can do to make stupid ideas fly. And once you are known for a batch of mediocre projects, none of the smart entrepreneurs want to join your program, and you are stuck.
I hate cronysm, but who you know matters so much and makes such a big difference, it's scary.
When developing most products, you must know that your audience is not an engineering student or a hacker and probably don't know how to SSH into your server.
But I wonder if they have a separate perception of hackers, and if that could imply that they're looking for a different type of hacker than the type on news.YC?
I think the YC crowd is hating way too quickly, there is plenty of room for more then one seed stage YC style fund... especially on the east coast now that YC is full-time in Palo Alto.
Also, it theoretically could be better to be a "big fish" in a small pond than to be a "little fish" in the big YC pond.
1. Y Combinator
One of the founding partners was just appointed head of the FCC.
Disclaimer: I am not associated with them.
They're probably even worse than these Dreamit guys, but they are definitely of the same ilk.
It's like YC except without any of the benefits and with terrible terms. There is no value added.
The environment here are these people. This is why I go on and on about "Chicago is the next Detroit".
They need to hire a copy editor "We each founded, built and successfully sold one or more business."
Seriously, the videos on this page are all quotes from very very young kids.
All those videos talk about how great everyone is and wow, it's so awesome and look around, this is totally terrific,
EXCEPT! They never say WHY! they never talk about anything quantifiable. Sure, it's fun, and exciting and great, but are they going to help you get your product to market? How much of your equity are they going to take for it? Was it worth it?
No one has talked about any of that. These guys seem like marketing scamsters and I'm highly highly skeptical.
I would suggest any young entrepreneur come here to HN first and get help before going to those guys.
Back during the dot-com boom, I saw lots and lots of incubators like this, idealabs, et all and they were largely a big waste of time. They were fun though!
If you're looking to have "fun" these kinds of shops may be the place to go, but if you are looking to be productive and build something valuable that is going to make a lasting impression on the world, I suspect these guys are a massive waste of time.
It seems from the videos and the marketing mumbo-jumbo that they are preying on the young, passionate, and inexperienced minds that would be better served somewhere else.
All the portfolio companies are Web 2.0 me toos, mostly boring, and short lasting "features" -- not real products that improve the world around us in any substantial way.
I can sense a bit of "anger" in my tone here. I feel a big sense of "these guys are not good" when I browse around their site...
But that's just my intuition and intuition can be wrong, so whatever.
anthillz is trying to get out of technology what human relationships are for. Go meet people in the real world.
Beanstockd? It was a blog and they are trying to build a company?
Drop card? Why would I waste my time putting my personal info into a shady startup just so i can text my contact info to someone when i could jsut hand them a business card?
ugh... these guys are so transparent.
Look at the videos! They just got some kids up there to do a presentation on a screen in front of a no one so they could add these vimeos to their site to make it look legit.
Watch the interview best one, there's only one old guy there and the startup is okay, but is it "worth" anything? probably not. Any motivated person isn't going to need them and i can't see anyone paying for it...
There's nothing new or novel about any of their startups...
They're marketing hope. They are behind the times, you want to work with someone /ahead/ of the times.
Look elsewhere first!!
Does that make DreamIt ventures automatically a great option? No. I think everyone who looked at the website noticed the spelling/grammatical errors, nebulous role descriptions, and laughable testimonials. Their 15,000 bucks may not be the same as 15,000 from YC but they seem to be a legitimate option. At the very least they are a "safety" incubator to YC one would think.
This might answer some of the communities questions regarding similarities and differences between YC and DreamIT.
But I would also like to know more info - perhaps someone needs to whip up a a review site for early investment companies.
Lastly I was wondering why they separate 'innovator' vs 'strategist' vs 'hacker'.
It actually looks like their model is that they find three strangers with different skillsets and put them together in a team. It's an interesting idea, but it seems like interpersonal problems down the line could be a pretty big problem.