We've recruited some YC alumni to help us read applications,
starting with this cycle. They've agreed to (a) stop reading
any application that seems like it will compete with something
their startup is doing or plans to, and (b) keep stuff in
These are people we know and trust, so we doubt there will be any problems. But since we didn't tell people about this before they
applied (we are in fact still organizing it), we're giving anyone who wants to the opportunity to unapply. If you want to have your
application deleted, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also, in case anyone didn't know, the deadline for applying is
tonight at 10 Pacific.
Make sure you actually submit your application, using the
submit or resubmit button on http://news.ycombinator.com/apply,
or we won't consider it. (If you don't see a submit/resubmit button on that page, it's been submitted.) Every cycle a few people
who probably meant to apply forget to actually submit their
application after editing it.
Edit: Since a lot of people seem to be worried about this, the alumni are reading the applications in addition to us, not instead of us. Our goal is to ensure that we don't overlook promising applications. If we give an application a low rating but it gets high marks from alumni, we'll give it a second look.
First of all, I really liked knowing that I had a one in three chance of a woman, Jessica Livingston, reading my application.
I liked how the application felt like a college application; they judge you based upon your potential and what you've done in your circumstances, not like an investor who says: "What experience and traction do you have?".
I totally trusted PG, Jessica + TLB to see my potential and tailored my application to the rubric they stated on the website--looking for outstanding "outside of the box" people.
Having entrepreneurs, who may not be as used to thinking outside the box of "who is a good founder?" will be more biased towards founders like themselves - i.e. male coders.
This comes as a very sad surprise to me. I have a feeling I'm going to be treated as I usually am by the men in technology - which is an outsider. I know that there are VERY FEW female YC founders and I know that having male coders looking at my application is going to totally work against me, if for no other reason than they don't relate to me.
[edit: I sincerely apologize that my comment has generated so much heat. I wanted to raise a concern, I'm sorry this got out of hand.]