How to choose a startup technology stack?

While constructing a house you need tools to help you build it. 

The same concept goes hand in hand with building a startup. You need a technology stack to make your project work. 

When you have a good startup idea but poor implementation, it is like being a brilliant cobbler but still wearing the worst shoes.

Technologies for startupsTechnologies for startups

With a suitable tech stack, you will be able to launch your startup fast, scale quickly and not worry about issues of growing your business. The platform will be able to cope with multiple requests and not shut down.

What is a tech stack?

The technology stack is a set of programming languages, frameworks, libraries and tools for creating a software product. 

Any kind of application consists of two parts: server-side and client-side, or else known as front-end and back-end.

Imagine a house…

The walls that you build with bricks is a back-end side of your application. Basically, it is the foundation for your future development. 

The facade of the building is a front-end side. Together combined, you have a startup product that has enough living space for a whole megapolis.

Here are the top factors to consider while choosing your startup technology stack:

#1: Cost

As a startupper, you are likely to have a strict budget that is split between development and marketing. So, here are a few things that you should know about the development costs.

  • Technology’s price

It is no secret that new technologies cost money, so being a startup founder, you wouldn’t want to waste money. Thus, the most profitable thing for you to do would be to embrace open-source solutions. 

The beauty of open-source is that the original source code is available and open to the public, meaning you can use such technologies for free. 

Top Open-source programming languagesTop Open-source programming languages

Best web and mobile technologies for startups

The perks of open-source:

  • Cost-effective
  • Evolving
  • Customizable
  • Lasting

Remember: while choosing an open-source technology for your startup, you need to keep in mind how long this technology is predicted to exist.  To check, you can take a look at whether big companies are using a particular programming language and framework or not. 

  • Developer’s salary

Okay, let me break it down for you: the more popular the technology is, the more developers there are going to be on the market. Popularity results in a higher competition and thus lower prices on developers. 

Below you will find the popularity of programming languages according to TIOBE Index.

Note: Don’t be fooled by new ‘hype’ languages, since the newer the programming language or framework is, the harder and more expensive it is to find a good developer. 

It is no secret that the older the version of any technology, the bigger the chances of finding a cheaper developer. 

If you happen to have a very limited startup budget and decide to cheat using an old version of let’s say PHP in order to save some money on development, you may end up spending so much more than you’ve anticipated. 

Want to know how to choose a framework for a web application?
Find out now

Make sure that the technology you are going to use for a startup has a vibrant and active community. 

Programming community for startupProgramming community for startup

Overall, the community mirrors how good the technology is. If it is not good, then the community will be just as bad.

The community also indicates how rich is the technology for learning resources which would be beneficial for any startup developer. Moreover, the community offers support for solving technical issues that a startup might have.

Our team happens to work with one of the most active communities – the Ruby community. We can assure you, that a community is a big factor for a startup. Thanks to communities of Ruby and its RoR framework, they can be called “startup technologies”.

#3: Time to market

Judging from the multiple startups that we’ve built, we can claim that speed is significant for ANY kind of a startup.


Well, there are two reasons for this: 

First, somebody might be just doing the same. And you know, the first one to launch will be the one to hit the jackpot; 

Second, a startup budget isn’t endless, so the longer you are stuck in the developing phase, the more money you’re going to spend. 

That’s where the external investments may come in handy. If you are not bootstrapping then raising investments before the development phase might be a good idea.

Recommended Read:

Guide on getting investments for your startup project

A startupper should not blow a chance of putting their product/service on the market as soon as possible. ‘Cause once someone has a similar idea to yours, the race begins.

As a startup development company, our advice would be to choose technologies that are easy to implement and have a lot of useful third-party integrations for speeding up the development process.

The classic web technology stack that our company uses for creating a startup:

  • Server-side: Ruby, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL
  • Client-side: JavaScript (React.js, Angular.js, Vue.js, Node.js), jQuery, HTML, CSS
  • Tools (hosting, monitoring, etc.): Docker, Capistrano

#4: Scalability

You are planning on growing your startup and engaging with more users, right? Well, then choosing a programming language that is easily scalable is a must-have.

What exactly does a scalable product mean? – you might ask.

Well, a scalable application, whether mobile or web, should be able to process quickly multiple requests to your server. 

Say, you have a hundred requests per day, your product functions perfectly. But will this continue to happen as you begin to gain traction and get more requests? What if it crashes in the worst possible moment? Startup horror.

In order not to face such a horror, use scalable programming languages and frameworks, like PHP, Python or Ruby. 

#5: Project size

The right startup goal should be not creating a large startup all at once, but focusing more on gradual business growth.

Obviously, at first, you are going to focus on creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that will help collect the necessary feedback from your target audience and figure out what features are missing. 

However, your tech stack should have a promising future in creating not only a basic MVP but rather the grown-up startup that your heart desires.

#6: Project type

Whether you want to build a marketplace, a social network app or a file hosting service, your technology stack for web applications or for mobile apps will highly depend on it.

If you are interested in building a marketplace, then Ruby is a suitable candidate for this job. Ruby on Rails with React are a perfect combination for an e-commerce website. There are many examples of service marketplaces built with Rails, and to name a few: Fiverr, Airbnb, TikkTalk, Shopify and Couchsurfing.

If you are eager to develop a social network app or a file hosting service, then Python is your best shot. Just look at Facebook, Instagram, or Dropbox.

What about creating a game? Want to build another Minecraft? Then, you should choose Java.

Also, you can always have a look at the tech stacks of companies that are already on the market. You can check them out at Stackshare, a platform showing the software tools that companies are using.

#7: Web vs Mobile 

This an everlasting question! You will be able to make a decision only if you know your target audience well. 

Would your customer use a mobile or a web app? Analyze your target audience and go ahead with a suitable type of product. 

Want to know the technology stack for mobile applications that would work both on IOS and Android?

Check out this blog post: Top 10 reasons to move to Flutter

Comparison of programming languages for startupsComparison of programming languages for startups

Choosing a programming language for startup: comparison of Go, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Java, PHP, Dart

In a nutshell

A technology stack should function as a tool for getting your startup up on its feet. 

The time plays here a key role. But the important thing is not to forget about the quality in the chase of time and economy. 

If you neglect the product quality and only focus on the speed, cost or design, the final result just might be another dropped project that didn’t see the light of day. 

As a company that has been building startups for more than 9 years, we believe that in order to choose THE BEST TECHNOLOGY STACK designed FOR YOUR NEEDS, you should consider using technologies and frameworks… 

  • are free and scalable
  • have a wide pool of developers
  • have an active community
  • have tools to speed up the development process
  • match your startup type and size 

Posted by Contributor