On Nov. 19, 2021 I was rejected from YC (W22) without getting an interview. I applied as a solo founder, which YC frowns upon. I'm currently fundraising and I think my YC application would be useful for Angels, VCs, or others to understand what I'm building.

Want to fund me? Let's chat!

Company

Company name:
Palette

Company url, if any:
palette.dev

If you have a demo, what's the url? Demo can be anything that shows us how the product works. Usually that's a video or screen recording.
N/A

Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.
Web app performance monitoring

What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.
Palette is a B2B SaaS company that will offer web app performance monitoring and alerts as a service. Developers and management can monitor performance metrics and see how changes in them translate to changes in business value. Website latency is directly tied to engagement and business value.

Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?
San Francisco

Founders

Amila Welihinda

Schools, Degrees (including field of study), and Years of Graduation
San Jose State University 2020

Please tell us in one or two sentences about the most impressive thing other than this startup that you have built or achieved.
I built a social ecommerce platform from scratch in high school. I built a static analysis tool (aka a code analyzer) that analyzes the browser compatibility of javascript code. Developers use the tool to find browser compatibility bugs in their code before they ship. The project, eslint-plugin-compat, is used by google, amazon, paypal, and other top companies. It now gets 1.2M monthly downloads. For more than 5 years, I'm led the development of electron-react-boilerplate. I grew the community from a dozen new daily users to 300 new users daily and 18.5K stars on GitHub, it is one of the most popular open source projects related to desktop applications.

Do you have any other commitments during the batch (between January through March 2022 inclusive)?
No

Do you have any commitments in the future and if so what?
No

Category

Which category best applies to your company?
Developer Tools

Progress

How far along are you?
I recently started building the product and I'm currently looking for funding.

How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time? Please explain.
I've been working on palette for the last 2 months. I've recently pivoted from another idea that I've been working on 6 months prior. All the time working on palette has been full time.

Are people using your product?
No

When will you have a prototype or beta?
6 months from now

Do you have revenue?
No

If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.

No. I will be working on Palette or other ideas regardless of YC funding.

Idea

Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?

No one likes slow apps. Customers don't and neither do businesses. Website performance is critical for any app or website that requires engagement or retention for monetization. Despite advances in optimizing browsers, websites still continue to suffer in performance.

With Palette, businesses can monitor changes in client side performance via a dashboard and email notifications, pinpoint code responsible for performance regressions, and get recommendations for how to improve performance.

Client side performance optimization is my bread and butter -- I've been focusing on it for the last 6yrs. It was closely related to my work at Amazon and I've also consulted with a number of YC companies to improve their client-side performance.

What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?

There are a slew of tools/services for backend performance monitoring but there are very few services which monitor client side performance of apps. While the tools for performance analysis exist, there are no supplemental services which provide real-time monitoring, alerts, and metrics for performance.

Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?

There are few competitors in the market but none of them get the developer experience right. None have dominated the market yet. AWS might become a competitor, but they usually don't focus on client-side oriented services.

What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?

Performance monitoring is hard and it is directly correlated to captured business value. Developers don't focus on performance monitoring and analysis because it is time consuming, manual process.

How do or will you make money? How much could you make (We realize you can't know precisely, but give your best estimate.)

I will charge large companies $10,000 annually and mid companies $1,000 annually. The first year after product launch, I expect to make $60,000 in revenue within the first year.

How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won't be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?

I'll start reaching out to companies that struggle with performance, give them a demo, a free trial, and then charge them.


Are any of the founders covered by noncompetes or intellectual property agreements that overlap with your project? If so, please explain.

No

Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder? Please explain.

I write the code

Have you received any government grants?

No

Is there anything else we should know about your company? (Pending lawsuits, cofounders who have left, etc.)

No


If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we've been waiting for. Often when we fund people it's to do something they list here and not in the main application.

  • Whiteboarding and diagramming for software engineers engineers
  • Collaborative music production software
  • FAANG-quality infrastructure for startups in under 10 minutes. An all-in-one service that provides monitoring, metrics, logging, and auth.
  • A Notion-like experience for building emails. Send emails through your service of choice.

Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered. (The answer need not be related to your project.)

The amount of legal work required for incorporation is so painful and mind-numbing. It needs to be simpler, easier, and faster.


Want to fund me? Let's chat!