Not sure what metrics YC collects on each of its cohorts, but if "Cycle Length" and "Total Cycles" are two of them (i.e. end-to-end time through build-measure-learn loop), then it would be valuable to see if January's teams deviate, in a meaningful way, from the established average and mean.
Hypothetically, you'd think that "Cycle Length" would decrease as less cash in hand forces teams without product-market fit to tap into higher gear (or sustain that same high level of output), rather than spend valuable attention wondering about how to get a piece of the "carcass" should things crash and burn. Total cycles would then move up and to the right, as teams get a few more in near the end of their runway.
That said, there are at least two additional potentialities.
1. "Cycle Length" and "Total Cycles" are already running along their respective natural asymptotes.
Consequence(s): A. Awesomely cool discovery re: limits of productivity! B. The number of founders able to remain highly productive while simultaneously squabbling (and providing PG w/ massive headaches) decreases.
2. The "Starting Date" for raising an additional round of financing shifts to the left (i.e. becomes earlier). With less cash in the bank, and hence a shorter runway, the average starting date for teams w/o product-market fit to begin seriously committing time to fundraising shifts "earlier".
Consequence(s): A. If more time fundraising = less time building, then the average total output of a team, in the 12 months post-YC, could decrease.
Mitigation: Personal access to the best VCs in the world could mean that the length of a "Funding Cycle" (i.e. total time spent raising a round) decreases, thus offsetting consequence 2a.
It'd be great if these numbers were something YC actually collected. If there's a science to building companies, you could certainly glean great insight from those digits.
A while ago, I came across a test posted here on HN by a researcher at Duke.
He was trying to determine if entrepreneurs are more inclined to take risks than other types of people, as part of an ongoing experiment designed to elicit "what it is" that makes entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs.
Some time after that, in a moment where, I've got to admit, I felt pretty defeated by the difficulties my friends and I were encountering in our startup, I ended up writing a poem.
Not sure how or why it happened, since the words seemed to just 'appear' as if out of thin air, but the end result is something that speaks a great deal - to me at least - about the "whatness" of entrepreneurs.
It takes passion to create something that lives outside yourself, and courage too. The same two qualities which the ancient Greek poets prized above all others in their works.
Makes me wonder if modern-day founders would've been poets in earlier times lol.
Good luck with your project!
--The Bouldrèd Night--
The bouldrèd cliff jutting faintly upon far-off lands a' horizon's light
Shows but a whisper of might, but 'ere the closing day foreshadows
Defiance borne roughly upon the humble spot of soul and bras.
What power's this come thundrèd forth from falling skies?
Keen eyes all watch, yet but few allow the self to see and tell.
Many lights, born free, bear out their sights in visions
Birthed of other men's ambitions - with scarce looks not in
Augury of pomp and silver for their avariced jailer's
Searching leap upon the newly-minted throne, gilt of old.
How strange is this? That we should bear ourselves
Towards despair, and walk, 'ere the gallows,
Hooded, our shackled soul wound round the neck in dreams,
False-true, abandoned free of vice for Clarity's comforted
Embrace of those acquainted, once met, never cared.