Technical innovation is a cycleespecially in the protagonist-driven world of early stage venture capital and copying startups.
The final proof? Y Combinator this week announced Launch YC, a platform where people can sort accelerator startups by industry, batch, and launch date to discover new products. The famed accelerator, which has seeded Instacart, Coinbase, OpenSea, and Dropbox, among others, is inviting users to vote for newly launched startups “to help them climb the leaderboard, try out product demos and learn about the founding team,” it said in a blog post.
If it sounds familiar, it’s because — in my perspective — Y Combinator is doing a not-so-subtle swipe on Product Hunt, a nearly decade-old platform synonymous with new startup launches and feature announcements.
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Y Combinator doesn’t necessarily agree with this characterization: Lindsay Amos, the accelerator’s head of communications, told me via email that “we encourage the founders of YC to launch on many platforms – from the YC Directory to Product Hunt to Hacker News to launch YC – to reach clients, investors and candidates.”
The overlap is not isolated. As Y Combinator makes a Product Hunt, Product Hunt makes an Andreessen Horowitz. Meanwhile, a16z makes its own Y Combinator. Not to mention Product Hunt has investment capital of a16z and previously went through the Y Combinator accelerator.