I’ve been following Y Combinator for several years and have a (sometimes grudging) admiration for them. The “grudging” comes from the fact that they abandoned Boston and are now exclusively running their program in the Bay area.
Given YC’s success, several organizations in the past have tried to replicate or improve on Y Combinator’s revolutionary micro-funding model for startups. Most of these have not really accomplished the objective. The reasons for their failure have been varied, but the primary one was that unlike Y Combinator, they aren’t revolutionary. Nobody sat down and said “how do we really take what YC has done and turn it on it’s head.”
Until now. I just read about Y Permutator. There’s a lot I don’t like about YP — one of which is it seems to be backed by some old school venture capitalists. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I just have a hard time believing that those that made all of their money in the 1990s and maybe even the 1980s (gasp!) are really going to understand what it takes to start a new kind of investment vehicle. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. It’s different.
It goes back to the basics and brings back some of the same things that made VCs so successful across the decades — but adds some new twists.
I'm going to be particularlly interested in seeing what folks like Brad Feld, Davic Cohen, Dave McClure, Eric Ries, Fred Wilson and Michael Arrington think of this. But, somehow, I don't think the top-tier VCs are going to be shaking in their boots.
If you’re in the market for some micro-funding, check out Y Permutator and let me know what you think. Is this the future of micro-investing? What do you think?