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What would you like to do?
Gittip's YC Application (W14).

Factored out of

Gittip's YC Application

Your YC username:


Organization name:

Gittip, LLC

Organization url, if any:

Phone number(s):


Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founders. (Instructions.)

YC usernames of all founders, including you, whit537, separated by spaces. (That's usernames, not given names: "bksmith," not "Bob Smith." If there are 3 founders, there should be 3 tokens in this answer.)


YC usernames of all founders, including you, whit537, who will live in the Bay Area January through March if we fund you. (Again, that's usernames, not given names.)


What will your organization do?

Small picture: Gittip is a platform for giving money every week to people and teams you believe in. Use case #1 is companies funding open-source.

Medium picture: We're experimenting with a new business structure, the "open company." We share as much as possible, charge as little as possible, and don't compensate employees:

We're not a traditional for-profit, but we're also not a 501(c)(3), and probably won't be.

Big picture:

"Gittip's mission is to redeem the economy.

"We envision a future in which the economy is characterized by trust, collaboration, cooperation, sharing, openness, transparency, care for one another, inclusion, inspiration, purpose, generosity, patience, empathy, optimism, and love."

For each founder, please list: YC username; name; age; year of graduation, school, degree and subject for each degree; email address; personal url, github url, facebook id, twitter id; employer and title (if any) at last job before this organization. Put unfinished degrees in parens. List the main contact first. Separate founders with blank lines. Put an asterisk before the name of anyone not able to move to the Bay Area.

whit537; Chad Whitacre; 34; 1999, Wheaton College (IL), B.A. Ancient Languages;;,, whit537, whit537; YouGov, Lead Developer

"The Community is My Cofounder"

Please tell us in one or two sentences about the most impressive thing other than this organization that each founder has built or achieved.

I helped launch an organic produce growers cooperative. I did everything from writing bylaws to pricing and sales to driving truck.

Please tell us about the time you, whit537, most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.

I inadvertently hacked journalism by turning down an interview with TechCrunch and then blogging about it:

I expected a good response from HN, but I also got five mainstream interviews (including Mashable) and a send-up in Valleywag. :-)

How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet? Have any of the founders not met in person?


Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know this is going to work?

I tried my hand at start-ups, and I tried working a corporate job. I failed at both. My wife wouldn't go Amish, so I started Gittip instead.

I know it's going to work because it's already working, both for myself and for others.

What's new about what you plan to do?

A lot.

Open company:

Open products:

Open calls:

Open employment: and

Open acquisition:


How far along are you?

At 66 weeks we have ~1,700 weekly active users exchanging ~$5,800 per week:

We've doubled twice this year.

Our users include corporate patrons such as MaxCDN, Balanced, Heroku, and Khan Academy.

If you have an online demo, what's the url? (Please don't password protect it; just use an obscure url.)

If you're already incorporated, when were you? If you've had funding, how much and from whom?

Gittip, LLC was founded in 2002 under a different name. I'm the sole owner.

Gittip is funded on Gittip. I've netted ~$10,000 personally since launch, and the Gittip team has received ~$2,000.

Gittip doesn't tell you who is funding you. This is by design, to ensure that money on Gittip is a no-strings-attached gift.

If we fund you, which of the founders will commit to working exclusively (no school, no other jobs) on this project for the next year?


For founders who can't, why not? What level of commitment are they willing to make?


Do any founders have other commitments between January and March 2014 inclusive?

I have a Gittip company retreat January 3-6 in Pittsburgh:

I have a wife and four kids and a mortgage.

Do any founders have commitments in the future (e.g. finishing college, going to grad school), and if so what?

Wife, kids, mortgage.

Where do you live now, and where would the organization be based after YC?

I live near Pittsburgh, PA, and would expect to come back here after YC. Gittip is already a global distributed team. I like living in Pittsburgh because I have family and friends here.

Are any of the following true? (a) You are the only founder. (b) You are a student who may return to school when the next term starts. (c) Half or more of your group can't move to the Bay Area. (d) One or more founders will keep their current jobs. (Answering yes doesn't disqualify you. It's just to remind us to check.)


If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we've been waiting for.


Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered. (The answer need not be related to your project.)

My last month in college a transformer blew and the power went out for a day. I organized an impromptu field day for one or two hundred students. After a couple hours of games on the quad we finished with a race across campus. As I jogged along at the back of the pack, I overheard one gal say to another: "Ugh! Why are they making us do this?"

That was a shocking, defining moment for me. It made me feel like the Wizard of Oz. The relationship between the individual and the collective is complex and fascinating.


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wamatt commented Aug 25, 2014

Thanks for sharing, did you get an interview? Do you think single founder was an issue?

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