YC is great but this startup turned down YC #ThreadMill

Stepping back, it’s helpful to understand how YC helps companies. I participated in YC S14 as an employee.

YC helped us with:

Coursework — The basics of starting a company, hiring, fundraising, marketing.

Accountability — You’re forced to deliver results every week.

Network — I made friends with smart, ambitious founders.

Branding — YC is cool. It made it easier to hire, sell customers, etc.

Sales Leads — If you sell to startups, YC has a lot of them.

Fundraising — Demo Day allowed us to raise w/o significant traction.

But YC and the startup eco system has changed.

You can get many of these advantages without YC while other aspects of YC have gotten worse from increased batch size and an awkward remote transition.

Here’s how you can do YC Without YC:

Coursework — Join Startup School. Watch the “How to Start a Startup” class.

Accountability — Write a weekly update. Post projects to Twitter.

Network — Join an early stage startup. Meet interesting people online.

Branding — Write online. Build small, useful products.

Sales Leads — YC helps a ton if you are selling to startups.

Fundraising — From what I’ve heard, the first remote Demo Day failed. Without YC, you can leverage your online presence + network to meet investors.

While I think increasing the batch size is the right thing for YC and for the world, it makes the experience worse for founders.

YC is a victim of their own success. They’ve made it so easy and normal to start a company that some startups don’t need YC.

For @zmurl_com, we decided not to do YC and to try and raise a seed round. I’ll write about that soon…

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