Everything I disliked about Y Combinator after going through it twice

This is a story I’ve waited years to tell. I went through Y Combinator in Summer 2015 and then again for half of Winter 2018 (the company was Based in Hong Kong so traded off with my cofounder). As much as Y Combinator has done for my life and my companies, I feel it is only fair to show what really goes on in there and what I don’t like.

First Days

When I first came to Y combinator, I was hungry to learn and they sure provided. Even on the wall they had a photo of one of the original meals.

June 24, 2015

Decent Turkey sandwiches but I would say they were a bit dry. The root beer was local, I would complain but root beers are always hit or miss. M&M dessert was on point.

June – July 2015

The first month in general was a blur. I tried to take in all the information I could. Vegetarian options, varied carbs, and even multiple protein options were provided. During one of the meals, everyone surrounded this one nerdy guy. I listened intently as he talked about a new world order and his Chili recipe – a dish I would later get to try (good and salty). Could have used a bit more dessert.

July 14, 2015

One thing they really push is to always innovate and make things people want. They changed things up with an experimental Cajun night. I would have added a dash of cumin myself by I applaud the effort.

July 21, 2015

The various gluten free options were a nice touch. It was a good BBQ but I couldn’t quite tell if they were going for a smoky Texas or tangy Carolina flavor. Frankly, I started to doubt they had more than a cursory knowledge of the regional BBQ scene.

July 28 – August 11, 2015

Not much to say. There were talks of youthful blood and metformin sources over some very decent and varied options. Once again I would say not enough dessert.

Aug 13, 2015

With Demo Day coming up, they brought out some of the classic snacks and sodas kept cold. I would have went for a shallower soda bucket myself or perhaps a standard cooler.

Aug 15-17, 2015

On practice Demo Day, I was finally seeing the benefits of the Y Combinator network. Teabot had a solid tea machine, Wheelys offered fresh coffee. Yet another company showed their fresh vegetables. Pleasantly surprised.

Aug 19, 2015

The food was great. There were talks of who they will decide for the next few elections. But their “Spa water” had lemons but not a single cucumber! Maybe just call it “Lemon water”.

Aug 25, 2015

They say it’s better to make something that a small number of people love than a large number of people just like. I think they achieved that with their curry today. Had seconds. Unpopular opinion but I think a spork would have been a nice touch.

Final 2015 Demo Day Meal

Got branded with the trademark Y before they let us out into the world again. Solid burgers, many drink options, but they should have went the extra mile with seedless watermelon.

March 1, 2018

This was my second time going through Y Combinator. I knew what to expect this time. Decent quinoa. Could have used more pepper.

March 15, 2018

They told us the next few stock market crashes to look out for over some cookies. Overall good but not a fan of the coffee presentation.

March 18, 2018: Alumni Day

Alumni day is before demo day where the alumni get to see the companies first. Saw what I thought were delicious eggs, but turned out to be crickets for some company. Do not eat!

March 19, 2018: Demo Day Part 1

The alumni days had grown so large they were now split into 2. Fresh baked pretzels and KIND bars were fantastic. A bit frustrating no blueberry KIND bars.

March 21, 2018: Demo Day Part 2

Decent breakfast before we don the ceremonial robes and dance around that weird effigy. Wish I didn’t have to spread the cream cheese myself.

March 27, 2018

The final meal! Healthy and tasty, just started to feel like I had a similar meal before in 2015. A bit uninspired.

Overall I just want future founders know what they are getting into when they get into Y Combinator. As for the rest of the program, it was fantastic! World class and nothing beats it. The partners are nice, the alumni and the opportunities they bring alone can change your life and company forever. 10/10.

Note: If any Y Combinator cooks are reading this after today. Check the day of the year this was posted.