Thank You, Y Combinator
Last night was the final dinner of the Y Combinator Winter 2015 batch. It was a bitter sweet ending and a new beginning on our journey to build a very big business. I’ve been asked several times by investors, customers, friends, and everyone in between if it was “worth it.” My answer is unequivocally: yes. YC would have been worth it at double the equity and half the time.
When we arrived to our first Y Combinator dinner the company had very little cash in the bank. We were in a very difficult existential position and partially couldn’t believe the fact that we were accepted and standing on sacred startup ground.
The six months leading up to that first dinner were a complete and total nightmare for our company and for my own mental and physical health. We spent all of our time focused on raising a funding round to support what was essentially the very early stages of a product with very little traction. We had all but eliminated the service side of our business in early 2014 to focus on building a true technology company. We stretched ourselves down to the wire (physically, emotionally, and financially) in the process.
Six months of failed fundraising, broken handshake deals, and a few toxic term sheets later somehow we landed in the world’s number one launchpad for the most successful startup companies in the world. Make no mistake about it, Y Combinator is so good that the second best accelerator might as well be the worst accelerator in comparison.
The metaphor of a bow and arrow explains our journey quite well. An arrow can be launched forward only after it has been pulled back by the bow. When startup life gets tough and is pulling you back, it means you are about to launch into something great. The entrepreneurs who stay focused and have the tenacity to stand their ground despite being pulled back will ultimately be those who launch forward into success. Y Combinator was the release of the bow that launched our determined arrow into something great.
Every week we were surrounded by brilliant, passionate, and extraordinarily intelligent folks from around the world. Our product development, growth, and productivity skyrocketed in 90 days; and yet there is still so much room to learn and grow.
We made what I know will become lifelong friendships with the phenomenal entrepreneurs in our batch who are literally changing the world. They supported and challenged us to better ourselves each and every single week. The partners shared their seemingly infinite wisdom and guided our company in the right direction: up and to the right.
I want this post to serve as a simple thank you.
Thank you to the entrepreneurs in our batch, for inspiring us daily.
Thank you to everyone behind the scenes at YC keeping 300+ people fed, organized, safe, and in one clean room week in and week out.
Thank you to the YC alumni network for words of wisdom, time, help, and belief in our product.
Thank you to the partners for their months of dedication, patience, and guidance. Most of all for believing in our team and vision.
Thank you, Y Combinator.