My YC Story

[This has been converted from a Twitter thread so it is a very bare bones story formatted in a tweet like style - link to thread: https://twitter.com/zlwaterfield/status/1319241687512813569?s=20]

I remember my experience getting into YC...storytime!

We first applied for YC S18...

On the night interviews were being released, I stayed up super late for the long-awaited interview email.

It was 3 am ET and still nothing, so I assumed we didn't get it and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up and saw the email - we got an interview!

We prepped for a few days leading up.

On the day of the interview, we drove from SF to Mountain View and did the 10 minute in-person interview.

It was very intense.

We left feeling defeated because there is only so much you can say in 10 minutes.

Afterward, while we waited to hear from YC we needed to take our minds off things. We went to play minigolf, followed by going home to watch Despicable Me 2.

Midway through the movie, I saw the email come in.

For those of you who don't know: when you are accepted, you get a call, when you are rejected, you get an email.

As soon as I saw this, my heart sank. I booked a flight home immediately.

While I was packing, my co-founders and I started chatting; we went through the stages of sadness, anger, denial, and acceptance.

We started riffing on ideas about how we could take their feedback and improve the business on the acceptance stage.

That night, in a matter of hours, we came up with a whole new business model, got so excited about it, and we all decided to quit our jobs.

The next few months, we grinded hard.

In the fall, we were accepted into a new accelerator called XX (http://xx.team/) run by @Wefunder.

Then we re-applied to YC, this time with our new revenue model, lots of progress, and the XX crew (many of whom are YC alum) to help us.

We got another interview - this time it was on Halloween 🎃

So again, we drove from SF to Mountain View. Afterward, we felt worse than the previous interview.

During it, one partner straight out said, "X company has a better revenue model than you" (where X was another YC company).

So we weren't feeling great.

We went back to the XX house to a Halloween party.

At the time, we were also recording a podcast for XX, so when we got back to the house, we went to the studio and had a chat about how the interview went.

In the discussion, all three founders (including myself) said we didn't think we got in.

When we were finishing up when all of a sudden, Jack's phone rang.

I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it again.  

Jack (CEO) answered the phone and put it on speaker - it was Adora (@nolimits - YC partner), she called to say we were accepted.

Courtney (CPO), Jenna, and I were in the background, losing our shit.

The whole thing just happened to get recorded because we were filming a podcast.  

All this to say, YC is a fantastic experience that has shaped the entrepreneur I am today.