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February 20 2023

What do YC companies run on?

YCombinator is a startup accelerator and seed fund that has launched successful companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit. Their website hosts a startup directory of hundreds of companies that have gone through their program. This directory offers valuable data and insights for analyzing startup trends, tracking company growth, and identifying investment opportunities. By studying the landing pages of these startups, one can learn from their strategies and apply these insights to their own entrepreneurial efforts.


AWS is the most popular cloud computing solution used by many of the world's leading companies due to its scalability, versatility, and broad range of services. Many companies run on AWS indirectly through popular platforms like Webflow that operate on AWS underneath.

Cloudflare is the second most popular web hosting solution, mainly due to its ability to easily improve website performance, security, and reliability by integrating with existing sites. Google Cloud comes in third.

It’s interesting to look at the three runner-ups. Vercel, Squarespace, and Shopify are all popular solutions, with Vercel in fourth place, Squarespace in fifth, and Shopify in sixth. Vercel offers an easy way to deploy React applications, which has made it a popular choice for developers who want to build and deploy high-performance websites quickly. Squarespace is a classical website builder, which makes it a popular choice for businesses that need a straightforward way to create and launch a website. On the other hand, Shopify is not a website builder, but rather an e-commerce platform that allows businesses to sell products online, which makes it a curious entry in this list.


Webflow is the most popular website solution for startups, followed by Wordpress. This is in contrast to the rest of the web, where Wordpress still dominates. The third most popular solution is Next.js, a React-based development framework. Webflow, Wordpress, and Wix are predominantly website builders and frameworks, which allow users to create websites without extensive coding knowledge. On the other hand, Next.js, React, and Gatsby (also based on React) are development frameworks, which provide more advanced capabilities and customization options for developers.

While website builders and frameworks offer an easy way for businesses to get a website up and running quickly, development frameworks provide greater flexibility and control over the website's functionality and design. The popularity of these solutions among startups reflects the growing demand for easy-to-use website creation tools that also offer advanced customization options.


Analyzing the DNS providers used by startups can provide valuable insights into their technical infrastructure. DNS providers like Amazon AWS and Google are primarily infrastructure providers, so businesses that use these providers likely have a larger technology deployment on those platforms. By contrast, providers like GoDaddy and Namecheap are predominantly domain sellers, so businesses that use their DNS services may not have a significant technological backend built yet. This information can be useful for investors, analysts, and others looking to gain a better understanding of a startup's technology stack and level of technical sophistication. Additionally, it can inform decisions about which providers to use for DNS and other technical services based on specific business needs.


When it comes to office productivity suites, it's clear that startups prefer Google Workspace. The suite of tools, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other applications, offers a cloud-based, collaborative environment that has become a go-to for many small businesses. However, some startups still use Office365, Microsoft's suite of productivity tools. Although Microsoft's tools may not be as widely adopted as Google's, Office365 still offers a robust set of features, including powerful email hosting, advanced document editing, and a familiar interface that many users prefer. In the end, the choice between Google Workspace and Office365 comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the business.

In some cases, individuals or businesses may not have a traditional productivity suite, but instead use technological solutions for their email needs. For example, Namecheap offers email forwarding services, where emails sent to a custom domain name can be automatically forwarded to an existing email address. This allows individuals to use a custom email address without having to manage a separate email hosting service. Similarly, Amazon AWS offers Simple Email Service, which can be used to handle incoming emails programmatically. This service allows developers to build custom email handling solutions, such as automatically processing and responding to incoming messages. These solutions offer flexibility and customization options beyond what traditional productivity suites may provide.


The top solutions for hosting varied, but AWS and Cloudflare and Google Cloud were the most popular options. For frontend development, Webflow, Wordpress, and Next.js were the most commonly used solutions. Amazon AWS, Cloudflare and GoDaddy were popular DNS providers for startups. For productivity suites, Google Workspace was the most popular option among startups by a margin, but some still used Office365 or other technological solutions such as Amazon AWS.

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