I’ve written many times about how much I respect and admire Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, so I was caught by surprise by a flurry of blog comments yesterday expressing outrage over the obvious similarities between our “apply” questionnaire at Founders Co-op and the YC application form.
We absolutely modeled our questionnaire on theirs, and the fact that we didn’t try to hide it is the best evidence I can offer that we did it because (a) we thought it was great, (b) we didn’t think it was so magical and proprietary that doing so would offend them or anyone else, and (c) we didn’t think they’d view our little shop here in Seattle as remotely competitive with them.
Contrary to some of the accusations that have been lobbed our way, our questionnaire actually isn’t identical, but that’s a distraction from the real issue: we borrowed without permission, many people think we were wrong to do so, and we’re sorry.
I’ll edit our form by the end of the day today so it’s in our own language. Thanks to everyone who called us out on this, and I hope Paul and the YC folks will forgive our mistake.