I Got Rejected By YC Today – For the 2nd Time – and Still Feel Incredible

Yesterday, I woke up to an email that got me to leap out of bed and wake my husband up while screaming like a banshee.  “We got a maybe!  We got a maybe!  We might be in!!!” I exclaimed as he clearly struggled to know what the heck I was talking about.  I explained that YC sent out emails that morning to the startups who applied to their accelerator program letting them know whether or not they will be offered an interview.

We didn’t get a yes, but we didn’t get a no.  We got something along the lines of “we normally have an answer for everyone, but in the case of your application, we need a bit more time.”

Hearing me utter those words caused him to sit up, pull out his MacBook, and start coding.  In fact, in the hour before he went to work, he was able to code and deploy three changes that I’ve been waiting for him to work on for weeks – one of those changes will save me about an hour of manual work per day.

He went off to work and after I did my usual rounds of inspiring my five kids with the day’s news – that mommy’s business might have a shot at working with the company that helped Airbnb get its claim to fame – and reminding my au pair one more time that all of his work in watching my kids over this last year has not been in vain, I got to work myself.

Over the course of the day yesterday, I got a lot done, I had some great conversations with customers, and I even got 10 people to write a recommendation for me on my YC application (only one person said no).  It was amazing to see and feel the excitement and validation from people I admire – customers, colleagues, and friends – to take time out of their day to cast their vote to say, “yes, you should at least take the time to listen to Melissa and learn about her startup.”  I was humbled and grateful.

We needed that maybe.  We needed that maybe more than we needed the yes.  We were reinvigorated, reinspired, and more confident than ever before that we have people who believe in us.  We also needed to be reminded of how much work we can accomplish when other people believe in us and we now see that we need to be able to believe in ourselves enough to get that same level of output.

I was not saddened or surprised to get the final ‘no’ this morning.  In fact, whenever I am turned down for funding, I am reminded that I get to keep my autonomy as a founder just a little bit longer.  I was grateful that they were willing to give us a closer look and grateful to all who came out of the woodwork to say, “you got this.”

Until next time, YC.  You may not be convinced just yet of what I and my team are capable of, but there will be a time when we sit face-to-face and you realize how much work your ‘maybe’ got us to accomplish.  And we sincerely thank you for that.

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