Frederik Van Lierde

Y Combinator Question 8 + How To Answer: What Can We Address Immediately?

This question is designed to uncover what aspects of your solution or business can be implemented right away, reflecting your startup's preparedness and agility. Understanding and articulating what can be addressed immediately shows that you are proactive and have a practical approach to solving problems. Y Combinator Question 8 + How To Answer: What Can We Address Immediately?

1. Why Y Combinator Asks This Question

Investors like Y Combinator want to fund startups that can move quickly and effectively to seize opportunities and overcome challenges. This question helps them gauge your startup's ability to deliver quick wins or make significant progress in the short term.

It demonstrates your capability to execute and generate value from the get-go, which is crucial for building momentum and investor confidence.

2. How to Answer the Question

Focus on specific, actionable steps that your startup can take immediately after funding. This might involve launching a pilot program, initiating key partnerships, or rolling out a minimum viable product (MVP) to your identified initial target market.

Be clear about the resources, plans, and processes you have in place that enable these immediate actions. Highlighting quick, impactful steps reassures investors of your operational readiness and strategic foresight.

For instance, if your startup is developing a mobile app to improve mental health awareness, you might discuss how you can immediately begin user testing with a prototype to gather initial feedback and refine the platform.

3. How NOT to Answer the Question

Avoid vague or overly ambitious claims about what you can achieve immediately that do not align with your current resources and preparedness. Do not underestimate the time and effort required for significant milestones, as this can reflect poorly on your understanding of the business landscape and operational challenges.

Steering the conversation towards long-term goals without addressing immediate steps can leave potential investors unsure of your short-term strategies and execution capabilities.

4. An Example, Based on a Tech Startup

Let's consider a tech startup, QuickServe, that develops an automated ordering system for restaurants. Hereโ€™s how they might respond to what they can address immediately:
  • Immediate Actions: "Right after securing funding, we can deploy our automated ordering system in five pilot restaurants that have pre-committed to our technology. These installations will not only serve as immediate proof of concept but also allow us to collect critical operational data and customer feedback."
  • Execution Readiness: "We have developed a fully functional prototype and established agreements with these partner restaurants. Our team is ready to implement the system within two weeks of funding, ensuring quick deployment and fast data gathering for iterative improvements."
Y Combinator invests in startups ready to hit the ground running, seeking founders who demonstrate swift execution and early results right after funding.