We’re joining YCombinator’s 2018 Startup School!
We’re proud to call ourselves a startup. Yes, we’ve been in business for seven years, but we still operate like a scrappy startup: We fearlessly experiment with new projects, especially when it comes to marketing and this very blog.
On top of that, we’re entirely bootstrapped and have never taken venture capital (VC) funding, which we’re proud of. We’re building a VPS provider that’s focused on you, not VCs.
But we’re still looking for the next big thing that will vault us into the realm of the established (and overpriced!) VPS provider landscape, all without doing nasty things like overselling.
That’s why we’re so excited to be joining YCombinator’s 2018 Startup School at the top-tier advisor track.
The 10-week program, which starts today, will give us access to an incredible breadth of resources. We just might form relationships with other founders and companies that could benefit both you and us well into the future. We’ll be able to hop into a private forum for the Startup School founders and gain access to some founder-only deals on services.
Plus, just look at the cirriculum!
The chance to win $10,000 in equity-free funding at the program’s end is a nice touch, but we’re much more interested in all the intangibles. It’s going to be a short and wild ride.
If you haven’t heard of YCombinator before, here’s a primer from their website:
Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($120k) in a large number of startups.
The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
But YC doesn’t end on Demo Day. We and the YC alumni network continue to help founders for the life of their company, and beyond.
If you’ve used Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, or Twitch, then you’ve used a business that YCombinator invested in. Few VCs have such an unbeaten track record, especially given how “little” YC invests in these young startups.
The unique investment strategy is how YCombinator has made their name, but we’re not looking for equity-based investment from YC. We might not even be a good fit for that program.
Instead, we’re interested in YC’s networked knowledge. That’s why we’re so excited to be joining the Startup School’s top-tier advisor track. We get direct access to founders who have found success in the cutthroat Silicon Valley tech world.
Advisors will help us set goals and hook us up with the resources we’ll need to achieve them. In our small advisory group, we’ll see what product and marketing have worked for others and get feedback on how we could implement them ourselves.
Matt and I talk a lot about being “too close” to SSD Nodes. The more time we spend with the product, the harder it can be to see what we’re doing objectively. Advisors might be the fresh look we’ve been waiting for.
In other words, we might be able to get our heads out of the sand, so to speak, on a few nuts we’ve been trying to crack over the last few months.
Acceptance to the Startup School hasn’t been a smooth ride for many startups. Last week, those behind Startup School inadvertently sent acceptance emails to startups who weren’t actually accepted. As a mea culpa, YC decided that instead of ultimately reject those companies with a double dose of disappointment, they would accept all 15,000 startups who applied for this year’s Startup School.
This is where the tiers, however artificial, come in. While all 15,000 startups will have access to lectures and the founder forum, only a select few get access to the advisor track. Those not on the advisor track will gain access to the founder forum, and be able to attend/view lectures, but won’t learn directly from a successful YC founder.
All in all, accepting everyone seems to be the honorable move here. We’re excited to see what the entire Student School body comes up with. More great minds in one place can’t go wrong, right?
Once Startup School is over, we’ll check in with some of our favorite resources and tips, and talk about how we’ll take what we learned and turn it into something amazing for you.
Until then, wish us luck!