Interview Preparation

Supernova - YCombinator W19

Following you’ll find questions that we used for YCombinator interview. Note - some of them only apply for a certain stage of the company (you’ll not be asked for questions about user growth when you didn’t launch and vice versa). Always modify them to your needs! We didn’t include the ones that don’t apply to us (already launched), so make sure to think about what more you could be asked!

In the second part, you’ll find numbers that we used for YCombinator interview. It is important to track all your metrics - but for the interview, focus only on important ones. Growth and trajectory, basic metrics about your revenue, churn. For specific startups, others might be important as well - time spent in app etc.

Without further ado, questions & numbers :)

Questions to drill

What is your startup going to do?

Who are your potential Users? Who needs what you’re making?

What obstacles are in your path and how do you overcome them?

What’s wrong with existing options?

How you’ll overcome the barriers that allow existing options to stay bad?

How do you know they the users need it?

What are the developers and designers doing now?

What makes you different from existing options?

Why isn’t someone already doing this?

How will customers/users find out about you?

What resistance will they have to try you?

How will you overcome that resistance?

What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?

Who are your paying customers?

If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?

What have you learned so far from working on it?

Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?

Have you raised funding?

What makes new users try you?

What competition do you fear most?

Will you reincorporate as a US company?

What’s an impressive thing you have done?

Where is rocket science here?

Why did you pick this idea to work on?

Who would you hire or how would you add to your team?

Who is “the boss”?

What is the next step with product evolution?

How does your product work in more detail?

What do you understand that others don’t?

Where do new users come from?

How big an opportunity is there?

What’s new about what you make?

How many users do you have?

Why isn’t someone already doing this?

What are the top things users want?

What is your burn rate?

What is your churn?

What domain expertise do you have?

What’s the conversion rate?

What systems have you hacked?

Why did your team get together?

In what ways are you resourceful?

What has surprised you about user behavior?

What is your user growth rate?

Would you relocate to Silicon Valley?

How long can you go before funding?

How will you make money?

Will your team stick at this?

How much does customer acquisition cost?

Who in your team does what?

How are you meeting customers?

How many users are paying?

What is your growth like?

What’s the worst thing that has happened?

What’s the biggest mistake you have made?

Numbers to remember


  • 10 - 35$ / month
  • license based, seat based
  • 14 days trial


  • 20M Designers + Developers
  • 2.2M apps created last year (growth of 30%)
  • 93% native apps, only 7% hybrid


  • New users registered: X
  • New users daily: X
  • Conversion: X% Registration to Active Users; X% Active to Paid Users
  • User Monthly Churn: X
  • Daily active users: +X% (~X daily unique)
  • Time spent in the app daily:
  • Normal users (~3x a week): X minutes
  • Power users (>5x a week): X minutes


  • Total users: X
  • Total messages: X
  • Daily messages: X


  • Burn rate: X,
  • Runway: X months
  • Marketing spending: X