Hacker News new | more | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
We're going to send out invitations to YC interviews close to midnight
181 points by pg on Nov 5, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 119 comments
The person in charge of sending out the invitations to interviews is in a different time zone, so we're going to be sending out invitations close to midnight Pacific time. So please don't worry if nothing seems to be happening.

The good news is, we got so many good applications that we decided to add another day of interviews, so we'll be inviting 20% more groups than we planned to.

(No, that doesn't decrease the probability that a group we interview will get funded. We don't and in fact couldn't aim to fund a target number of startups.)

While you're waiting, will you guys please remind yourselves that it's not the end of the world if you don't get invited to interviews? Drew Houston didn't get invited the first time he applied. And a good thing too, because the idea he applied with was not Dropbox, and if he'd used YC to launch it, he would probably never have started working on Dropbox.

Also remember there are lots of fantastic YC companies hiring at https://news.ycombinator.com/jobs if you want to see firsthand how a startup works and you feel like you need a little more experience.

I can't speak for the other YC companies, but ours is bootstrapped (unless you count the $20k we raised from YC) and we are now a profitable 14 person SaaS company. I really think we're a great place for a person wanting to learn how a SaaS company works. Details at http://www.polleverywhere.com/jobs or talk to me via email.

New York is pretty chilling tonight. I just asked my cofounder "would you find the project hard to stick to if YC turned us down, which is highly possible?" She said, "No." I asked "would you be upset then?"She said,"No. I'm more anxious about when are you going to call the guy who said he had a great contact."

oh, btw, I think the best part of applying YC is starting conversations with everybody on HN. I like the synergy here very much.

agreed. Fun Fact: Just received email from my mum (she is 69 & not up w/ all things tech): - "Was today the big day to hear from dominator…" ;) obvious next steps = YC rebranding as "Y Dominator" + getting theme song in the tune of John Oliver's "Danger" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmWDm2Yw9dk

That's great, always moving forward.

Thx. And also there is no better alternative :)

My rejection story and thoughts for other people who got rejected...


I'm just wondering how much biased their decisions are based on the age of the applicants. Because I found it odd that they asked for this piece of information.

I feel inspired now. Thanks PG, needed that.

On that note, I have completely changed my project! Too late for this cycle I suppose but I am super excited to use it for my next application. Many cosmic forces have come together to point me in this new direction. Hoping for the best on this round but if not, I'll try again.

Oh well. Here's to next time!

hey pg, I know my app wasn't pretty, my co-founder and I got wrapped up job hunting and interviews and ended up unable to see each other for the two weeks up to the yc app submission date, so we couldn't put the time in we had planned to. Either way we are extremely confident in business plan and we had been looking forward to hearing back from you all, but we haven't received a reply yet. If you get a chance, we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for reading and good luck with the interviews!

I had the wrong email in my YC account. Correct email in my YC application. No response yet. What should I do?

I already registered the (incorrect) email used.

I wonder how often this is the case. That founders are funded on their repeated attempts at YC.

I never got an email. What does this mean?

curious what that idea was?

thank you :)

Rejection letter arrived when I was writing a letter to a customer and when the first actual transaction took place on this 3 weeks old platform. Ugh. Honestly the latter didn't make me feel better, though I didn't quite expect a miracle, because expecting a miracle often indicates the short of preparation. This is be a 4-star strenuous hiking trail, we are a beginner level; next time we'll be real fit. Congratulations to all got the interview and good luck! Virtual toast to everybody who received the same letter, c u soon again on HN.

YUSS!! got rejected... and that's one more reason to work harder. Honestly I don't even feel I worked enough, so this is no surprise. :)

I get rejected all the time (eg. Uni applications) so every time I get rejected, it just makes me a bit stronger I reckon. Imagine if it always worked out your way.. You wouldn't be a very strong person!

Is it too early to propose a Google Hangout like thing between teams got rejection letters? So we could share some ideas and encourage to take further marching/pivoting. Up vote?

Technocrats don't pray often, but......


But you did decide to fund "less" startups when you had some scaling issues. Does this mean you said "no" to startups that you would've said "yes" to if you had scaled well?

It looks like the increase in quality of startups is an independent factor to your ability to accept all of the really good ones.

Does this mean that you will need to figure out how to scale more aggressively or start rejecting more and more good startups?

The way we managed to fund fewer startups was to train ourselves to pick better. So essentially we said no to startups we would have mistakenly said yes to before.

Unless we can improve our ability to pick winners at the same rate the number of startups increases, which is unlikely, we'll have to grow.

Fortunately we can now. The reason we tightened up our filters in w2013 was to buy ourselves time to figure out how to shard YC. We've now done that, and we can probably grow another 2 or 3x before hitting the next bottleneck-- which will probably be the format of Demo Day.

So you 1. optimized the algorithm and 2. sharded the backend.

Next: buy more hardware and scale horizontally? (aka partners)

Interesting. So hitting a bottleneck was an external constrain which forced you to be better at picking startups (your core thing).

Is this another example of arbitrary constrains as a forcing factor for effectiveness? (as in don't raise too much money).

What kind of traits now make you say no that would have previously made you said yes?

"we said no to startups we would have mistakenly said yes to before"

Reminds me of dating.

self-organization @work

What about rejection emails? Same time?

Yes, all the emails go out at about the same time.


Any other non-profit applicants out there? Would love to connect with other non-profit tech folks regardless of YC outcomes :)

I'm a non-profit applicant too. I wonder if the increased number of applicants has anything to do with the intentional invitation to social benefit ideas.

Hey guys, non-profit applicant too. Yh i wonder what share of applications were the non-profit ones but imagine there'll be a quota for this (?). But great addition to Y comb - the third sector generally suffers from IT retardedness i think

Hey another Non-profit here: http://www.themade.org Haven't received either acceptance or rejection letter. Maybe I screwed up the application?

Maybe that's good news? We received a rejection letter last night. Best of luck to you!

Thanks. Frankly, we're a fairly stable non-profit, so if you've got a non-profit, or are working on a game, I'm happy to offer co-working space in our facilities in Oakland. Drop me a line if you're into it. alex@themade.org

I think we're playing Artemis tonight at the museum, too.

Thanks so much! We're NYC-based, so if you're ever in the area drop a line for sure.

Yep, applying with Quill. We're building an interactive grammar tool - quill.org

Cool. Sounds like we should talk sometime! I'm at PowerPoetry--world's first and largest mobile/online poetry community for youth. :)

Sounds good. I checked out your site and it looks good. You can reach me at peter (at) quill (dot) org


I'll be in NYC on Friday and Monday (I live in Rhode Island). Is there a chance that we could meet up?

Good luck to everybody. Let's get more productive in the waiting hrs. May the force be with you.


Well, it sounds like you have something that is doing well and you should be able to manage without YC!

Good work. 100k transactions? wow! What is your site?

Good luck, everyone! Remember me when you're rich beyond your wildest dreams!

how rejection letter feels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQcRspK5z8

Just got back from "I didn't get to Round 2-Comfort Food trip to Rite Aid for best ice cream ever- Thrifty brand mint chocolate-chip," and they definitely stop serving ice cream well before midnight, so logically, a second trip is out of the question, which means… I will haavve to get an interview. ;) Good luck All and when in doubt - Rite Aid's Thrifty ice cream :)

Hello everyone, I just want to shout out to those who cross their fingers in front of the screens, hoping for an invitation or being afraid of a rejection. While I'm writing this, I have to say that I didn't apply (this year), but have been in touch with a few YC teams in the last years.

Everyone who goes through the application process knows what time it takes and what it's worth. Especially worth, because it enables you to reflect on many points and it forces you to make a point. If you are at an early stage working on your product and still iterate lots of ideas you exactly know how challenging that can be. Even recording a 1-min video can be very challenging, if the founders are not at the same time at the same place or have totally different risk aversions. Just ask yourself how much time you invested into the last point and how that could equal in lines of code for your product.

At different points in time, I lived with a few other YC applicant companies under one roof and could pretty well observe how each handled the application process and feedback. The most important take-away was that those teams were invited and accepted, who did not care very much about the outcome, while the others studied HN and the application chronologies like monks the Genesis and Levitikus. One team even developed a pathological detail in collecting recommendations from YC alumni, while other teams could tell you the number and names of teams within the last four badges. Unfortunately, the rather too-well informed teams had in common that they struggled to break down their idea into a single sentence.

YC is not about rejection, it's rather about selection. There is no inversion of this argument, so don't think you're not good enough. It's rather like the Matrix, selecting their Neo-teams with some mixture of likelihood and gut feeling. Just imagine the amount of applications they receive and the short time that allows them to go through it. There are so many small details and factors that flow into a decision that it would take days to summarize them. If you go only through traction and team behind your product, there might be a good chance to find a weak spot already.

Without any doubt, Y Combinator is a great way to start a company. In this regard, the book title "launch pad" might be just right. It’s just as great as getting into a top university, because you get social proof and a valuable network in many ways (especially the internal startup economy and experience exchange has its benefits). 3, 2, 1 lift off. But at the same point, being at YC might be no self-fulfilling prophecy, even if someone could easily calculate the valuation effects (on paper). Also, getting into YC should not be for the sake of getting into YC. If you really believe into yourself and your idea, you have to make it without a program like this - like all the successful entrepreneurs did before accelerators even existed. Even if there was a launch pad, they still needed to work on their rocket too. Today, you even have a big advantage: YC and its alumni offer so much for free. Not only HN but all the input on the website, blogs, alumni advice, startup school etc. From my experience, the network is not a closed fortress but a very open community with people that care much more about your own ideas than your credentials and affiliations. It's an open university where you can access many resources that might be helpful as long as you don’t read them like the truth and the only truth. Now I don't want to put my head above the parapet and speculate too much, but at the core of YC might be a socratic method, which is about finding truth within the dialogue. Literally, dialogue means the exchange (dia) of reason (logos), where reason means anything between rational, valid and practical. Partners challenge your ideas and approaches and as a result of dialogue, both of you are likely to find something useful to take-away. The advantage of this is that while your best friends are rather likely to tell you lots of things that sounds good to you but are not necessarily the truth, YC might be brutally honest in sending you reasonable signals.

To come to a point: If you don't make it into YC, my advice is to take care about four things:

1. Find people (friends and customers) who give you honest signals and that let you know when you're running into the wrong direction.

2. PG essays are like the encyclicals of the YC community and they have great points. But be sure to read between the lines and to find your personal take-away, your reason.

3. Do not study how to apply successfully or how to hack the process. This is no GMAT or a gumball machine. Try to find out how YC helped the companies who started here, struggled after demo day or came up with a new idea. Maybe, you can emulate some of these things and benefit from information.

4. If you have problems making decisions –like continuing on an idea or not as a result of not being accepted - throw a coin into the air and decide for head or tail with each one decision. The outcome that you desire while the coin still twists in the air is what you should do.

Surely, these methods don't replace an office hour but they at least enable you to improve your experience.

Good luck and march on!

I'm full of excitement and hope

Just got my rejection message. At least its worded very thoughtfully it makes it a bit easier.

Letter's are coming out - just got my rejection letter. Grrr.. back to work.

I rarely get nervous, but this time around I am. Good luck to everyone!

The kind of euphoria that could be on the way?...


lol yes.


Suggestion: Gold interview invites inside candy bars for next time.

Classic. Nice find. And beware of Slugworth-like-term-sheets.


love this.

"Remember, remember, the fifth of November..."

I am just happy that we have an opportunity to apply for something like this. Filling out the app was a good exercise in focusing my idea.

got invitation! now booking flight from tokyo.

Congrats! I looked up who you were and we worked together a few years ago at Tonchidot. I went to the interview for S13 and applied again this time, haven't got a reply yet though.

Anyways, good luck at the interview!

hey good to e-meet you! you still in Tokyo? would like to see and hear how the interview went on S13.

I live out in western Kanagawa, and won't be up in Tokyo for a bit.

I'll actually be in SF from the 12th though, you can get my email from my profile and contact me if our schedules overlap!

just sent message to your licq address! hope we can meet you there ;)

congrats bro!

Thanks for the update. I was wondering what's happening to the results. It's 10:15am on 5th Nov already in India.

We're from India too! Best of luck!

Yeah, good luck man

we didn`t receive any mail yet, I doubelchecked with my SPAM folder but couldn`t find anything. Are you sill sending out?

PG How many applications did you recieve ?

So, who is building up your startups while you're waiting for an interview? Back to work, YC candidates! ;)

Strange. It looks like noone even clicked on the video or demo link in our application. Does this happen a lot?

same here.

Good luck to those that are waiting!

Thanks for the update!

Good luck to all who applied!

just got my rejection letter :-(

Thank You everybody at Y combinator For giving us a platform to do great things

Thanks for the update, I had already become despondent, but am now reinvigorated!

Okay, well, don't please anyone be despondent. Do something fun to pass the time and start thinking about what we will all build tomorrow. We need every man on deck for our future. And remember, if we don't get YC, there are mass Angel investors out there, and there is Kickstarter (did you see that Dark Mail Alliance is taking bids!?). And I applied for a Shuttleworth Fellowship. Or alternatively, we can just build our stuff with no help at all. We actually don't need any cash. Just good advice because navigating the processes are full of pitfalls. Honestly, I am in my school library reading a Gothic horror novel to pass the night. That and doing an investigation of radium dial painters in the 1920's.

"We need every man on deck for the future." I really like that.. I may say it myself.. do you require attribution? Lol

you said it... guess these are the ups and downs of the game

Love having extra justification for staying up way past 3am EST tonight :)

Thanks...We too are in a different time zone. No sleep until 3am :)

Thank you for the info.

Thanks for keeping us informed - excited to see the results!

Thanks for the update!

I didn't even get any views of the video :(

Thanks for the update. Good luck everyone!

Fingers crossed

maybe it's good that it's not easy to go get alcohol at this time of the night (3am east coast)

maybe east coast should hold a party.

Has anyone else not heard back yet?

Oh, shoot. So I sent myself a test email from a different account, and it still hasn't shown up, either, so I imagine YC has sent me something and it is waiting to get through.

Outgoing mail is fine...

Time to watch some BSG reruns.

Nice! So say we all :)

I'll be wait and pray :D

Nice! We'll be waiting!


Good luck to everyone.

We will be waiting...

Good luck, everyone!

That's awesome!

Good luck everyone!

Good luck everyone!

Shivering inside :)

Fingers Crossed!

Looking forward)


this is beautiful. thanks pg.



Thanks pg.

rejection letter

Hell yeah :)


Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact