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About the Episode
Are you interested in applying for Y-Combinator? Well today’s guest share his story of how he got accepted with just an idea and the things you will want in place when applying. Also, listen to his advice on how to go from idea to MVP to talking to your first users.
Getting Accepted in Y-Combinator
The best way to getting funding from Y-C is to use the analogy of any success story of a businessman. What do success stories share? They usually have three things in common: a workable idea or concept, hard work and a good working relationship with employees and clients. Y-C is no different. Thus, anyone looking for initial funding from Y-C must already have an idea, can show proof of being a hard worker and has a relationship with co-workers that have stood the test of time.
The founders of Listia had all three of the ingredients required to get a project going. They were buddies from college with already four apps up their sleeves. The partnership was working; the bumps in the road on the way to the successful creation of the apps have been overcome with the partnership intact. These apps were not breaking any banks but the apps showed their capacity to roll up their sleeves and do serious work. They wanted to build a better, bigger version of a project that has already a prototype, had a clear idea of how the app should be and were able to lay out their idea for Y-C to appraise. They could show traction as they had a number of truly engaged users by the time they applied for funding with Y-C. Therefore, basically, any applicant looking to get funding from Y-C should have all these three requirements in place because Y-C, though willing to invest on startups is also looking for head starts that positively point to the eventual success of the project.
Going From Idea to MVP to Talking to your Users
Idea is central to any successful app. Ideas can come from anywhere. The founders of Listia believe an idea is good if that idea can spark a particular excitement to make the developer want to go home and do it right away. If ever a developer should get this feeling about an idea, then the next step should be to ask family and friends what they think of the idea. Is it something that they can use? Do they believe there is a need for it? Get their candid opinions. Once the developer has positive feedback from these people he trusts, then he should boil down his idea to something actually doable. Then the developer gets down to the actual creation of a prototype or a MVP. At this point, there is no need to go for complicated features. The developer is simply encouraged to come up with an actual minimum viable product that he can use to test on users. It is the developer’s option to either do the MVP himself, if he knows how or to team up with a partner who knows how. The point is to have a finished product. The last step is to get the users’ feedback on how they find the product. Is it user-friendly? What features can be removed because they are confusing to the users? What features can be improved? Feedback is important because a successful product has to grow, has toimprove and has to have additional useful features to draw more users.