What PLM vendors can learn form YC applications

What PLM vendors can learn form YC applications


If you’ve been involved in the start-up development at least once during the last decade, you probably heard about YC (Y Combinator). Started back in 2005, this is one of the most famous and powerful start-up incubator. Here is what Wikipedia says about YC.

In its main program, Y Combinator interviews and selects two batches of companies per year. The companies receive seed money, advice, and connections in exchange for 7% equity.[3] The program includes “office hours”, where startup founders meet individually and in groups with Y Combinator partners for advice. Founders also participate in weekly dinners where guests from the Silicon Valley ecosystem (successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, etc.) speak to the founders.

Y Combinator’s motto is “Make Something People Want.”[4] The program aims to focus the founders on further developing their product, team and market, refining their business model, achieving product/market fit, and scaling the startup into a high growth business, etc. The program culminates at Demo Day where startups present their business to a selected audience of investors.[5]

The Marco blog from YC brings an interesting analysis of application words and trends of YC. Navigate to Reading applications to Y Combinator is like having access to a crystal ball to read more. You can find lot of interesting information there.

The analysis presented in the blog are summarizing anonymized application data. After breaking the applications down YC used Priceonomics (YC W12) and their data studio to analyze eight years’ worth of YC to keywords.

My attention caught few interesting charts that might be related to engineering and manufacturing software.

The first is related to SaaS application. Startups are moving from finding a second Google ads business to building SaaS apps. If you still thinking cloud and SaaS is not for engineers, think twice. Somebody is building SaaS applications that will innovate in your space and potentially disrupt your business. Those you don’t know are especially dangerous.


Another one is related to the rise of hardware. This is a new generation of manufacturing companies. Actually, new type of customers for CAD / PLM vendors. It is a time to learn more about them. These companies might demand a different type of software, so you better learn it now.


The last, but not least is Slack – a new King of Enterprise tools. If you don’t know what is Slack, read about my take on Slack here – Slack future operation system and PLM platform.


What is my conclusion? One of my favorite quotes from Microsoft CTO Nathan MyhrvoldIf you want to have a great future you have to start thinking about it in the present, because when the future’s here you won’t have the time. Manufacturing software is changing. Few years ago, it was impossible to think how engineers will be using SaaS software, how manufacturing companies will be ready to store information in the cloud and many others things. And this is happening now in the present. So, this is a reminder to PLM vendors, technologists and PLM architects. Open your mind for cloud, SaaS, Slack and many other things. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for hardware startups and contract manufacturing.



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