Did you know that 90% of startups fail even in the early stages, and 6% of them fail because of improper startup technology stack? Enthusiasts describe an idea, propose it to sponsors, and seek support.
While the project exists only on paper, there are usually no problems, but at the first implementation steps, the first warning beacons appear. To release a product to the audience, startups need a reliable platform that attracts customers with functionality and support for up-to-date devices.
Poor stack selection becomes a kind of anchor that holds the new business or even drags it to the bottom. Incorrectly calculated power requirements for equipment, frameworks, servers, and services can ruin even the most promising startup.
Therefore, it is better to immediately determine the vector of development of the future product and hire appropriate developers to implement it.
GloriumTech experts analyzed the available technologies of the IT market and found out which of them are best suited for startups to create the first IT solutions.
In this article, you will learn how the choice of a tech stack affects the viability of a product, what is needed for an MVP, how to choose the optimal set before starting a project, and how to choose a tech stack for a startup.
Tech stack for startups: definitions and types
The concept of “technological stack” includes:
- programming languages;
- frameworks, databases;
- cloud services;
- implementation methods.
Usually, they determine a platform’s features, such as its ability to scale, update, and modernize. If the existing set of technical elements does not cope with the task, or load is too high, or malfunctions appear, it is necessary to change to a more suitable one.
As a rule, changing the selected stack during operation is very resource-intensive and rarely pays off. That’s why we recommend that you decide on it in advance and implement a suitable option.
What the stack consists of: Back-end, Front-end, DB, Cloud
It is difficult to classify each element of the stack separately, so let’s use the standard definitions of the developers:
- Frontend. It is an application shell that includes controls, UI/UX, design, and logic. In other words, it is a multifunctional system that connects the body of the software with the interface. Thanks to this, apps can have visual components, input/output fields, and integration with third-party services.
- Database. It is a complex of structures and tools for storing, editing, and processing arrays of text information. Usually, it has the form of tables with prescribed dependencies, meta tags, and parameters. It is a mandatory component of CRM, ERP, PIM, and other systems. They are also used in custom software with a large number of variables.
- Technologies. In the context of tech stack for startups, it means 5G, AI, AR/VR, and machine learning. 5G optimizes data transmission over the latest communication protocol. AI means artificial intelligence, and its purpose is to analyze user actions. AR/VR means augmented/virtual reality technology. Machine learning develops AI capabilities by adapting to the user.
- Server. The cloud part of any modern IT product. The server machines are powerful enough to handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous database requests. Usually, the body of the software is also placed here, leaving users only a shell on the framework. It optimizes the load on clients’ devices and speeds up the loading of basic functionality.
It is a basic guideline when choosing a startup technology stack. Based on the specific requirements for the software functions, the necessary components for developing a final product are selected from this set.
What to focus on when choosing a stack
When choosing the optimal stack, many people make the same mistake: they do not calculate the opportunities of the business, team, and competitors. Getting a product to market is always connected with risks and challenges. We have identified 3 main conditions to decide on components for future software.
The more popular and widespread the technology, the cheaper it will be to find specialists for a team. The competition among developers, for example, Vue.js or React.js, is so tough that sometimes experts take orders with the average rate in the market.
As a rule, it applies to designers and backend professionals too. If you focus on a specific stack and old technologies, frameworks, and platforms, then finding a specialist will cost you a pretty penny because due to the lack of qualified personnel, the prices for their services are prohibitively high.
The sooner you release your product, the faster you will profit and stay ahead of the competition in your target niche. Delays are unacceptable here. That’s why you should pay attention to the promoted free frameworks and programming languages. Well-known technologies, as a rule, are popular among both famous developers and amateurs.
Common frameworks, programming languages, and database platforms have additional documentation, instructions, FAQs, and custom extensions. If problems arise during development, it is faster and easier to solve them by checking out forums. For Angular.js or Node.js, there are tons of communities with active users ready to help a stuck developer at any time.
Also, their libraries are constantly being supplemented and overgrown with new details, which makes it easier to work with them.
When launching a product, focus on a larger number of users from the start. An incorrectly chosen stack may not cope with a crowd of clients, so the server will go to rest, offering the potential audience a critical error instead of goods or services. When choosing a technology stack, look for solutions that handle heavy workloads while delivering optimal performance and data download speeds.
Money, time, and scaling are 3 essential characteristics for developing an IT product for a startup. They affect how soon MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or even the final version of the software will be released.
Product release and support
After developing the first MVP, it can take months before a full release. The longer development takes, the more you lag behind competitors and the more difficult it will be to keep your product in the niche. To remain relevant, introduce updates in portions as the modules and services are ready. The main goal is to support the life and competitiveness of the IT solution.
Also, don’t forget about security updates during development and after release. Leaking the customer base by hackers will cost a lot for reputation and litigation costs.
How To Choose A Tech Stack For a Startup: Examples of Cool Brands and Prioritization
If you think that tech giants like Facebook or SpaceX only use expensive and advanced stacks, you are greatly mistaken.
- Facebook has its own developments, but the base consists of the classic ones: Backend — PHP, Front-end — React, NoSQL database — Cassandra, framework — Jest. This set was selected to work seamlessly with millions of clients simultaneously. At the same time, multi-stream data processing and instant input/output of information from thousands of sources with preloading and processing on the server-side are provided.
The list did not include companies with their own developments, such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Intel. The fact is that most large companies cannot afford to develop new tools, databases, and platforms. But what about small startups? Of course, there are IT products created by enthusiasts and promoted by crowdfunding, but we will talk about them individually.
Best tech stack for a startup: Back-end, Front-end, DB, Cloud
Let’s take a look at some really great stack elements for building your first IT startup product. The priority is MVP, revision, scaling, and a modest budget. Are there universal solutions, or is it still worth choosing manually?
Traditionally, we start with a hidden part of any web, desktop, or mobile solution, i.e., the software base containing the code, a complex communication system, and integration with third-party services and platforms. There are many programming languages for backend, but the most popular ones stand out:
- .NET is an app development platform supporting various programming languages. The flexibility and reliability of Microsoft’s brainchild make it one of the best tools for building cross-platform applications. With its help, you can work with products for Windows, Linux, macOS, and if you connect C#, Android/IOS will be available as well.
- Python is a relatively young but promising programming language. It captivates with its simplicity and flexibility, gradually gaining its place under the sun. Its toolkit is broad and equally well suited for developing desktop and mobile programs as well as full-fledged web applications and platforms. Now it is actively acquiring new guides and tips that simplify the training of new personnel.
As you can see, all the languages described are great for building a tech stack for startups. Choose a database thoughtfully because you will have to pay big money if you need to transfer it to another platform. Focus on your business niche and needs for scaling, updates, security, and integration with third-party services.
The face of the product is the brand’s business card. Usually, frameworks and graphic libraries with UI/UX design add-ons are responsible for it. They also affect the cross-platform solution and the speed of content processing.
Nowadays, frames with rendering on the server-side are actively used, which makes software lighter and reduces the load on devices. Let’s take a look at the most popular frameworks for designing applications:
- React.js is one of the best solutions for building web applications in the world. Now this framework is popular among developers of all skill levels. Its structure is understandable even for beginners and can be flexibly adjusted to the needs of each user. The system of interconnections and management of dependency chains helps you build UI quickly, linking the code to add-ins and design.
- Angular.js is a powerful tool for building user interfaces of web applications. This JS library provides programs with lightness and flexibility, rendering elements instantly. The feature of this framework is the extended CSS and HTML syntax, with the help of which the interaction between the server and the client device is adapted.
- Vue.js is a library and complete framework for software UI. The object model allows you to configure the interaction between the interface, libraries, and the database, writing the necessary sections and describing the file structure, requests to specific fields, etc. A distinctive side of the solution is the speed of processing the visual part and input/output.
All 3 frameworks are at their peak of popularity right now. Most developers do not limit themselves to just one solution, studying each of them simultaneously. Thanks to this, you can easily find a skilled developer starting from the Junior+ level.
Information needs to be stored somewhere, preferably in an orderly way. Here databases come to the rescue, divided into 2 subspecies: SQL and NoSQL. Consider both using the example of popular solutions:
- MongoDB (NoSQL) is an unstructured database that stores data in free form without clear regulations and dependencies. It is best suited for content-oriented IT products with plenty of multimedia. There are no structured tables, descriptions, and address pointers, and data is not loaded without a specific request.
- MySQL (SQL) is a classic DB representative. It has a strict hierarchy and a complex tabular system with a description of meta tags, functions, and addresses. Also, it has a flexible directory structure and full-fledged information exchange, including input/output of the contents of cells into the necessary fields. Best for creating CRM packages, multi-client web applications, and other solutions.
Cloud is a place where the body of a web application, database, and content are stored. Usually, it means purchasing servers protected from hacking and overloads.
Examples of hosting providers are AWS and Azure. They are now market leaders in providing reliable storage for IT products and their contents. There are no significant differences between them, although there are not too many similarities as well.
Anyway, you won’t just transfer your project from one solution to another since you will have to configure virtual machines, protocols, and others from scratch. There is a choice in terms of budget and scalability rather than technological performance.
There are more affordable solutions, but they have lower reliability and stress resistance.
When choosing your first startup technology stack, focus on:
- Project budget.
- Development speed.
- Availability of developers.
- Ease of integration.
- Necessary functionality.
Having decided on the tasks, seek help from professionals who will advise and suggest the right set. After that, you can assemble a team and start working. Plan the development vector in advance because a correctly chosen best tech stack for a startup will save time and money when scaling a business and switching to a full-fledged IT product after an MVP.