I have read so many interesting and positive things about joining Ycombinator, so many that it seemed like as if they had no negatives to joining them. I was hoping you could give me any insight into this. Are there any bad things to joining Y Combinator? What happens if a startup fails? Do they hold you until you pay back their $15K?
You talk about "joining YCombinator" as if you just show up and get taken on - remember that you have to make a great pitch with a great idea (or something along those lines) to be considered for their program, and even then you're not guaranteed to be offered a place. It's also worth knowing that your chances of success are greatly magnified if there is more than one of you (i.e., co-founding team rather than single entrepreneur).
Although it's an excellent concept, YCombinator and its like isn't for everyone. I have a wife and family so the idea of upping sticks and moving to the West Coast (or some other seed-funding location) isn't all that easy to pull off. (If only I was twenty years younger with no strings attached... ...but there were no YCombinators in my young day.) Also, the money they offer would support a comfortable student life-style but not feed a family of four, especially if your wife has an expensive shoe habit.
I recommend you check out some of their funded startups and see if you can get some feedback from their founders - the list is here.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for answering and giving me feedback. I did actually recently apply to them and am waiting on their verdict. As a guy a year out of college with a bunch of ideas, Im hoping to be selected along with a friend. I do understand it would be rough financially initially, and living at SF is probably more expensive than living in SoCal (where i am now). But I have gone through the harsh life of working two jobs and going to school full time. Its just the prospect of being around people who are intellectually and financially all the way up there that scares me.
I agree having kids and a wife is tough and they become your priority. Maybe joining a start up thats making some money could be a good way to go? Unless as i have glanced on your profile and seen that you have already co-founded something. :) You could be a mentor! lol
I kinda agree with Alex on that i probably would be exposed to so many amazing people therefore raising the bar on what i know now as the best lol! In fact it already has done that!
Thanks for the list by the way.
PS. There is one Con to joining YCombinator, the 2-10% you are giving away to them. I have to admit, moving to SF and near them is probably gonna change the way i think and would be worth giving away so much. Its still just SO much.
Boostrap? Guess that depends on whether i get accepted lol.
I think the program broadens a participant's mind so much that you may not be able to recognize yourself.
The other issue being, if you haven't been exposed to the best programmers and entrepreneurs before, you would feel a little intimidated and feel that there's so much more you have to do.