Dear Silicon Valley, Thank You

Dear Silicon Valley, Thank you for the hospitality. You've been great. This was really my first time here and you sure did deliver. I don't think I have ever been so astounded with a community and its people. Every single person I met (all people who never even heard of me before) extended a gracious hand to give me advice and help me as much as possible. It appeared that every body was connected and every body was friends. World - learn from this. This is a culture worth emulating. Sure, I occasionally felt the competitive nature between investors and the same between startup entrepreneurs, but alas that is the nature of business. All in all, it was a feeling of openness, friendliness, and free-lunchedness. Never heard a bad word about another person come out of another's mouth. It was all, "Oh I love him!" or "He's an awesome dude" and "What can I do to help?" This week has been surprisingly eye-opening and only made me fall more in love with the idea of living here. Honestly though, my heart was warmed to know that such a community exists in this world and that it is possible to develop a place like this., There were several people I met and talked to that really made this week worthwhile for me (skipped a few classes...) and instead of sending them all more thank you emails I will use this as my medium: PG of YC, thank you for grilling us and putting us through the most pressured interview we will ever encounter in our lives. And thank you for making us cry inside :). Now we are ready for everything, and have grown as a team. YC is ours next cycle. Jessica of YC, thank you for making us feel so comfortable as we walked into the interview, lowering our guards to the attack to come. And also thank you for making us feel so much better as we walked out :) You're the best. Harj of YC, thank you for being awesome. @YC_Y_U_NO loves you! Thanks for laughing with us during the interview, the lovely email afterwards, and just being an awesome guy. We hope to run into you and really get to meet in better circumstances. Kirsty of YC, thank you for being so kind about me forgetting to pick up our travel check :). And thanks for letting me stick around to use the Wi-fi. Ev of Mailgun, thank you for just being a great guy - helping us prep for the interview, being there for our interview, and sharing a couple awesome ideas with us. Definitely keep in touch and hope to be able to help you out as well in the future. Daniel of Accel, thanks first and foremost for introducing us to the greatest hot chocolate place in the world (I will keep the identity secret). Second, thanks for showing me around, brainstorming with me, and for some great intros! Chris of Like.fm and Matthew of Moki.tv, thanks for sharing advice with a fellow young YC hopeful. You guys did something right, and we are going to learn from it! Daniel of Twilio, thanks for showing me around the digs! The office is awesome, I can see how you fell in love with the company. Also thanks for the coffee, and sharing stories about your rise to startup greatness. Nirav and Sarah of Benchmark, thanks for sharing your wisdom to me. It really helped me figure things out a little better. And also thanks for calling Dave McClure with me :). Jack and Rob of Milo, thank you for meeting with a fellow Penn student! You guys are my inspiration and I really appreciate being able to talk to you both and learning from the best young entrepreneurs I know. Also, love the place down in San Jose but also wish it also closer to the city. Allan of YCR, thanks for the kind words and the willingness to help out as well! You're getting famous - enjoy it! Noah and Calvin of Minno, thanks for being super cool and smart guys. Congrats on YC and I know you guys are going to take it all the way. Love hanging with you both and I hope this is a start of a beautiful friendship. Gerry of Google, thanks for being so kind to a kid you met on the airplane. I really appreciate it, really :) Taylor of Mailgun, thanks for sitting with me in Mountain View to chat about ideas, markets, etc. Really helpful to be able to brainstorm with someone with that much experience. Rick of Comprehend Clinical and Michael of Carwoo, thanks for chatting with me at the Y Combinator offices. Definitely calmed my nerves. Also loved just meeting more YC guys - you are all so smart! Dave of 500 Startups, thanks for taking a call from a nobody like me and letting me drop by the office! I know we did not get too much time to talk, but it was super-cool meeting you and hope to catch up soon. Dave of TeachStreet, thanks for being the most helpful person I still have not ever met. Maybe it's a Seattle thing or maybe it's an sv thing, but you are an incredible man. Thanks for the advice and for all the referrals. I owe you one (or a million). Clint of Roblox, thanks for lunch again! And thanks for continuing to meet and mentor such a young guy. Always love chatting and hope you thought up some good stuff on that idea of ours... Adam of True Ventures, thanks for the tacos :). Thanks for introducing me to energetic founders and thanks for just being purely nice to someone that walks in to your office.. Mitch, Courtney, and Amadeus of Kiip/Eightbit, thanks for talking to me! WHAT?? Just met Kiip and Eightbit guys...so cool. I'm a very happy. Nathan of InternMatch, thanks for meeting with me at 8AM! So early! Glad you woke up to meet another Penn guy down in the valley. Also thanks for showing me around 500 startups. Christine of 500 Startups, thanks for chatting with a guy awkwardly sitting in your office and listening to our pitch :). Hopefully you liked us! Brendan of AngelList, thanks for giving us the advice on dealing with Angels and thanks for the super kind words! Very glad we got to meet. Hope to bump into you again real soon. Joshua and co of Venrock startup, thanks for meeting up with me while I'm down here and, as always, thanks for the encouraging words! Your guys' product is awesome, goodluck. Semil of Entrepreneurship..., thanks for getting coffee with me and helping me really think through our ideas. It was definitely really helpful and hope to stay in touch! Ryan of Dogpatch Labs, thanks for inviting me to the event! It was awesome getting tips on how to pitch. Also thanks for chatting with me for the few minutes you had free. Thomas of Nowmov, thanks for the cheesecake :) Mmmm. It was delicious. Thanks for also showing me around downtown and just talking startups with me. Most of all, thanks for showing me what I'm really passionate about :). Garry of Posterous, woah thanks for even looking in my general direction! Posterous, what?? You're an awesome and really chill guy so thank you for humoring me as I talked through my experience with YC and all our ideas. Hope to keep being able to bounce ideas off you and get some design tips. Joe of InboxQ, thanks for being so helpful! We only just met at Y Combinator, but you still did us a solid. We learned a lot from talking with you and will keep you updated. Jeff and Charles of SoftTech, thanks for taking a meeting with a nobody 18 year old. You guys are bosses. I really enjoyed meeting more legends of the valley and it was cool just getting your time of day. Hope to hear from you guys soon :) Ashley of SoftTech, thanks for chatting with me before the meeting! You are awesome and hope you are having a great time here in the valley. The weather definitely beats the PNW. YC_Y_U_NO, thanks buddy!!! TROLOLOL. You helped us do most of this. To all I may have missed: thank you thank you thank you for just helping me fall in love with the valley and this pro-entrepreneur community!

Elated about Y Combinator Interview Opportunity

I am going to try to keep this as short as possible. At about 5PM as I was getting out of Track Practice and in the ice bath to take care of my shins, I logged onto HN with my iPhone and saw a new type of notification I had not seen before. I clicked it, and the result is the image you see above. The Paul Graham had messaged me telling us he didn't like our idea, but he liked us. I was excited just to get a PM from Paul Graham. I thought this might be good news that he liked us. I went on my day as usual, knowing that acceptance/rejection letters for interviews were coming out some time today, and took a nap. At about 9:40PM EST, I checked my email and saw that WE (Ajay Mehta, Dan Shipper and myself) GOT INVITED TO INTERVIEW! I was so excited about it all, I called everyone and told them the great news. I honestly was not expecting it, and so I was very happy that it happened. The next two weeks (we are scheduled to interview on Saturday April 23rd) will be devoted to figuring out our plan of action, implementing that into some form of product development, and prepping for the interview as best as we can. This is all very exciting. I can't wait to meet Paul Graham and the crew and be down in San Francisco. Will sacrifice school stuff, but NBD :)

FavoriteThing.Me (project Val) released! Celeb status

Another big release! FavoriteThing.me Dan, Ajay and I were inspired by threewords.me and behold we were noticed by the creator (Mark Bao) of that site! He even registered! I am so excited and on top of that we made front page of hacker news! But Mark commented and brought up HUGE issues and opportunities to improve the site: making the user registration flow (and thus viral coefficient) much better, and making the site look nicer. We need to work on that. But first. Homework. Then sleep (or not) then class then track then lift then football then more homework. Then hacking.