A look at YC productivity companies

A look at 5 companies out of the summer batch of YC 2019


The automation

YCombinator is the most suscessful and sought-after accelerator programs in the world. Airbnb, Stripe, Dropbox all came out of YC (full list here). When you want to see where tech is going in 5 years, look no further than YC.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the productivity tools that come out of YC's 2019 summer batch and see if any tickled my fancy.


Scrape any website, easily

Dashblock turns any information on a page into an api endpoint. In normal people speak that means you can retrieve information on a website easily and automatically. Dashblock provides an interface where you highlight the information you want to retrieve (e.g. the headline article on CNN) and then gives you a way to programmatically retrieve that data. This isn't a no-code tool per se but I do see a lot of uses cases:

  • Merchants or hoteliers can check their product's prices accross multiple channels to see how 3rd parties are selling their products.
  • Get the top 10 trending articles on CNN/NYTimes/etc at any point of the day

Review: will be using


Gmail on steroids

This is a workflow automation tool that lives in Gmail. A cross between Sortd - putting emails into a Kanban format on Gmail - and Streak - a CRM that lives in your gmail. Add on top a process automation tools to manage support tickets and tasks. This looks powerful.

For me, the biggest hurdle for Gmelius is that most of my team does not work in Gmail. That is only where work (sometimes) originates. The actual assigning of work and tracking happens in Slack, Github, Jira, Trello etc. It's easier for me to track and manage work there than it would be to move a lot of people over to Gmail. But it might be a good way to manage that first frontier of client issues.

Front looks like their main competitor. Check out their head to head page here.

Review: would give a try if I my team relied on email more heavily.


Notion for the masses

Tagging itself as the unified workplace, taskade feels a lot like Notion. Fill a blank page with a variety of blocks - headers, to do lists, table, calendars - to manage work your way. However, where Notion starts with a blank canvas, Taskade dictates a way to work. Projects are made up of tasks and those need to be assigned to people with due dates. Although that makes intuitive sense, it limits its use cases. Notion's appeal comes from the freedom it provides to do what you want (write blogs in Notion!).

Review: not for me, I love Notion too much.


Zapier for datasets

A big issue with today's cloud automation tools is that they only trigger on data input/output. Zapier will send data from Salesforce to Hubspot when a new contact is created. Once that data is sent, it's in the ether. Good luck on keeping two in sync using Zapier (or any other tool out there today to my knowledge).

Action desk seems to be a way to fix that big gap. Additionally, you can import data into action desk from various sources to get a unified view/operation desk of all of your apps.

Review: A little pricey, would love to try it.


The personal CRM! The holy grail of Silicon Valley tropes. You've always got to be networking!

Review: not for me.

For the humans who prefer text