I have a great deal of interest in early-stage startups: they’re generally the most interesting to watch, and if they play their cards right, have the best opportunity to Win Big™.
Y Combinator is a seed fund organization started by Paul Graham. I first heard about them several years back when a couple friends and I actually went through the process of applying to Y Combinator for seed funding for a potential startup. For various reasons I can no longer recall, that didn’t work out for us, but I still follow them somewhat regularly.
Allen Stern had an article I just found today (though it was published 3 months ago) referencing not only Y Combinator, but the value of the questionnaire that needs to be filled-out before they’ll consider funding you. There was a follow-up posted two days later, that’s well-worth reading, too.
It’s fascinating to see both the idea for Dropbox, a service I use daily, and reddit shown in the early stages. Reddit’s initial application was turned-down, though not because reddit was a Bad Idea™, but because the initial idea was just unworkable. Dropbox’s application and the precursor application to reddit. In fact, when you read those stories, you see that while the initial application from the reddit founders was turned down, they were still invited to the first round of startups if they could get a better idea.
There is indeed much truth to the statement that ideas are worthless – it’s only the implementation that counts, and it’s likely to change scores of times before it’s done.
Really makes you want to go start something fun, doesn’t it?