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To be honest, I wasn't sure whether or not the noidea application was live. I had to go look at the source. So it looks like we de facto killed it by never enabling it for s13. Frankly it's not a big deal either way. We only accepted one noidea application last cycle, and IIRC there were only about 50 applications.

Perhaps the whole idea of the noidea app set the stage for the disaster that was S12. Even though only one noidea app was accepted strictly speaking perhaps both a signal sent that the 'idea bar' was lowered and and a lowering of standards. This seems to me to hold a lot of explanatory power, much more so than the idea that multiplying 66 by 1.27 would be the key thing in turning something that works into something unmanageable.

I read the post S12 (post noidea) essay (http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html) as a (if unacknowledged) reaction of someone trying to understand and elucidate why ideas are actually very important (going against the common refrain that 'execution' is all that matters) after having recently seen poor ideas get by a selective process.

much more so than the idea that multiplying 66 by 1.27 would be the key thing in turning something that works into something unmanageable

Ever run into an n^2 algorithm?

I think the noidea idea was quite good, but quite possibly what struck me as the worst thing about it was the philosophy it implied "oh you don't need an idea to be an entrepreneur, just start a company anywayy!lol". I know that's not the whole truth of it and that many people wind up changing their idea, but that's the feeling it gave me (and I feel many others).

Out of curiosity, what makes you think that managing YC is n^2? Certainly everyone would need to communicate with you -- that's n. The question is whether or not each YC pair would need to communicate with each other. That is n^2 and seems like an excessively high level of message passing.

Human memory is not linear. The difference between having 10 teams and having to remember their names and their ideas and their challenges and remembering 20 teams is more than a 2x increase in difficulty.

In its then form, every partner had to know what every startup was doing, and the number of partners was a function of the number of startups.

So n log n.

The number of partners you need is not the log of the number of startups. It's more like n/15.

I remember there were some organizational issues - is that what you mean by "the disaster that was S12"?

Those low numbers would be expected, not having an idea would certainly be an exception or a minority among entrepreneurs (the type of people who constantly can't fall asleep because of some new crazy idea eatting away at them).

But it was certainly an interesting experiment to see if there are people who accept that they have the skillset to build a company but not have the idea part figured out.

Although requiring them to come up with an idea could be a good ability test, even if it isn't what they end up building. Because a large number of companies end up doing something different that turns out to be successful.

ala "getting to plan b" (or the abused "pivoting") http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Plan-Breaking-Through-Business...

Considering that YC startups sometimes pivot after getting accepted, wouldn't being able to come up with at least one good idea be a requirement for getting accepted.

How many companies applied with an idea then said they are not particularly attached to it? I would assume for most people they would rather do that than come off as they have no ideas at all.

Who was it?

No idea.

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