YC 23 conference takeaway

Found a thread of memorable moments from the 2023 Y Combinator summer conference which I did not get accepted into.

Garry Tan

  • “Go to therapy” - it seems expensive, but not getting it is more expensive
  • “If you’re in a job where you’re not learning or earning a lot leave it. (Best places to do both are startups with PMF)”
  • “Founders shouldn’t put yourself in an HR box. Don’t be a “junior python backend developer” be a Swiss Army knife.”

Emmet Shear

  • "Ship a lot" - speed gives you more rep for learning
  • absurdly focus on creating value for users

Sajith Wickramasekara

  • “find a good cofounder, good things sometimes take time to grow, and if I was in school I would grow as many relationships as possible”


  • Be careful about who funds your research if you want to turn it into a startup
  • Beware science fair startups (cool demo but doesn’t really work)
  • User interface + building a web server is underrated for ML businesses

Ehko Dealer

  • People love helping students (say you’re a student)
  • Lots of YC value is group partners that can pattern match problems
  • Big tech jobs can be useful to 1) learn how well-oiled machine works + 2) Connections
  • Asking a successful or failed founder in a given area: “what would you do if you had to start another startup in this area?”