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Reflections of a Y Combinator Dropout: Introduction

This series is dedicated to all the people that have been inquiring about the state of my startup. For those who haven’t heard from me, I apologize for the radio silence. For those who have, and have been encouraging me to press forward, I owe a debt of gratitude. Without you I’d probably be lost.

The past year has been a wild ride. I’d been waiting my whole life to find the big idea I could turn into a successful technology startup, and it finally came to me. So, with three friends I embarked on the startup journey for the first time. I considered myself truly blessed to have a team in place that was excited to build the product and had the expertise to do so. Over the course of the past year, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, travel to Florida, Texas and California, and watch with excitement as my vision began to take shape. All this culminated in acceptance to the Y Combinator program in Boston this past summer. I remarked to my family at the time "we’d really have to screw this up to not make this a success now." Well… that’s what we did.

About two weeks before the start of the program, my partners and I got into a series of disputes that ultimately led to them walking out, and I was forced to abandon my dream, at least temporarily. Dealing with the experience has been one of the hardest challenges of my life, and it’s something I’m still working on. This series is my attempt to reflect on that experience.

Posted in Y Combinator.

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  • http://guruz.de/ guruz

    Good 3 posts, I like them :)

    Good luck for the future.

    • http://www.puretvnet.com John Lynn

      I really appreciated reading your comments and insight. Well written and very insightful.

      The only observation I'd make is that it seemed like you had great insights about what your partners did wrong and not as many insights in what you did wrong (other than managing your partners improperly). I'd love to see a similar post like this from your partners to round out the discussion. Not trying to be critical, but just thought it might be worth mentioning to you.

      Thanks again for being as open and honest as you have been.

  • http://absolutgcs.org Giri S.

    I read through all your posts, and I must say that it looks like you went through a good deal of self-reflection after a difficult ordeal to write what you did. Your thoughts are very insightful and show a great deal of humility. A lot of what you wrote is what I needed to read at this particular junction for me. Best of luck with things in the future, sometimes things need to go wrong first so we know how they are supposed to go right.

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  • why

    awuful blog design why should i want to read it of a cowboys a$$???

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  • http://www.ok-cool.com/ Tom

    This seems to happen quite a lot, look at the Tap tap tap crew who are just breaking up over internal disputes. When people say you need a 'strong' team, it's not just a case of needing individual strong members, they have to work well together and unfortunately, only time seems to be a true indicator of if you can work with someone on a startup.

  • http://www.orianmarx.com/ Orian Marx

    I absolutely agree its about being able to work well together, and time is probably the best indicator. I think that one way to speed things up is to get difficult issues out in the open as early as possible and try to settle them. If you can't, then they probably would crop up later on with similar effect.

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  • http://fluidintent.com/ Vivek Sharma

    Orian, this must have been tough to write but it's a great growing experience. I've been through similar experiences and I'd kick myself sometimes when I think “if I'd known then what I know now”. Consider yourself a survivor of a trial by fire. I'm sure you'll take those lessons to heart and know what to look out for next time around.

    The fact that you're willing to put it all out there puts you ahead of 99.9% of people who wouldn't. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • http://market.io Vivek Sharma

    Orian, this must have been tough to write but it's a great growing experience. I've been through similar experiences and I'd kick myself sometimes when I think “if I'd known then what I know now”. Consider yourself a survivor of a trial by fire. I'm sure you'll take those lessons to heart and know what to look out for next time around.

    The fact that you're willing to put it all out there puts you ahead of 99.9% of people who wouldn't. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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