Who loves a good niche? We sure as hell do. And we also love niche products that address those niche problems — especially tech niches. So here we are, with Today in Good Niche Things.
This time it’s a small little thing on the Internet that sends you a rejection letter from Y Combinator before you even had a chance to apply to Y Combinator. It, instead, will send you a rejection letter every day in order to build up that sweet, sweet cognitive dissonance and get you ready for your inevitable soul-crushing defeat at the hands of The System. The app, quite directly, is called rejection conditioner.
If you’re addicted to email, you’ll probably have a small-ish heart attack once you get a notification with the sender and subject line any time after you’ve sent in an application. This is pretty much true for any institution. It’s like some sick high-stakes version of the Slap Bet, where rejection may strike at any moment — especially when you least expect it. Rejection sucks, and honestly, we probably don’t do a very good job of getting used to it.
Today’s Good Niche Thing is a product of David Lee, a Columbia University student studying computer science. He says he had applied once to Y Combinator with a company that “actually got into YC W17 after I left.” This definitely isn’t a completely novel concept as some sites like Universal Rejection have been around for a while, but the whole area targeting YC rejections seems like a good enough place to dig in.
“Initially, I wanted to create this as a tool to help condition myself to rejections for job interviews, but I knew that YC apps were due a week ago, so I settled on YC interview rejections as version 1,” Lee explained in an email sent to TechCrunch. “Definitely planning on extending this- I’ve received suggestions for rejections from grad schools, academic fellowships, publishing companies, record labels, and more.”
The best part about this niche product is that it probably took mere hours to put together, but still requires a spark of creativity to discover a unique customer pain point that could be exploited by a product and gain traction. Usually, you’ll find startups go after niches, and then broaden their focus. In this case, the absolutely brutal rejection from Silicon Valley’s favorite tech incubator seems prevalent enough to merit something to train a new user behavior to just not being good enough for Sam Altman and the crew.
Clearly, the ambitions are quite high here for Lee. Now feel free to set yourself up for feeling absolutely terrible every day after you apply to Y Combinator until you are completely immune to the effects of email push notifications.