What does your tech stack look like?
There is no “right” tech stack but typically startups now use either LAMP stack or an MEAN stack. Try to always keep the future in mind when building your stack as some of the selections might work really well in low scale solutions but cannot easily scale up to a global level if needed. Nothing is more tiring than recreating your solutions just because you realize that it is not able to scale to a global level. Also keep in mind that dev teams are not static and you might need to recruit new developers in future, so how easily can you find good developers to continue on your tech stack?
1. Plan your selected tech stack: Some popular ones you might want to research are:
is a good and fast way to build decent looking UI’s, but try to stay original and build your own style in the end. In 2014 to 2015, it felt like every single application and webpage looked exactly the same which might not be an advantage if your customers are trying to pick between multiple similar options. Remember that you also might need to update your UI style every once in a while to keep users interested, so when designing your solutions, keep that in mind. If you need inspiration, try searching for Web Design, UI Design or related for example in Pinterest. Also this subreddit is good source of ideas and tips.
3. Use premade UI elements and styles but with caution (balance between speed and outcome)
Burn rate & Cloud platforms
How much money are you spending on the technical solutions? Are you going to run your solutions in your own on premise machines, in traditional hosting company or are you going to use cloud platforms? It seems that more and more startups head straight to the cloud. Cloud platforms offer high global scalability and security for low cost. They differ from traditional and on premise hosting solutions by not having “starting fees” as you only pay for what you actually use. Big cloud platform companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google typically offer some startup programs in which by joining, you could have all of your cloud infrastructure costs paid in the beginning for few years without any strings attached. For example, Microsoft’s Bizspark program is “no strings attached” type of offering where startups generally get all of Microsoft’s stack and local dev support for free to use in addition to hundreds of dollars of cloud usage per month. Bizspark also supports in situations where you need to scale fast as their top offering is Bizspark Plus, 120k USD for two years to spend in their Azure cloud.
Fail Fast is a term to cloud platforms that might sound like a negative thing, but the point is that in case your idea fails, you have not vested any money in advance and will cut your losses much more easily – and then try again.
4. Plan your tech spending / burn rate!
You might also need to weigh in the benefits of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). IaaS typically means that you have decided to go straight to the cloud, but want to control everything even from the OS level. This a generally a good way to build things but high availability and scalability might be much harder to achieve than by building everything on top of PaaS. PaaS solutions typically handle everything up until the application layer, meaning that you can then focus only on your product, rather than having to do any “administrative” tasks in the future.
5. Plan if you want to build and upkeep servers and solutions by hand, or want them to run as a service.
If you are selecting a Cloud platform, always review their security and trust center so you will get an idea what is their stance in any legal disputes or situations. This might differ highly between different cloud platform providers.
Microsoft Azure Trust Center
AWS Cloud Security
Google Cloud Platform Security
6. Review and research selected cloud platforms or hosting providers trust centers.
“We’ll set it up later” – is not something you’d want to hear when talking about version control. Sooner or later you will stumble in to a situation where a copy or an earlier version of your source code is needed. If you want source control as a service, you might want to look at GitHub’s paid private subscription or check out Visual Studio Team Services which is free for 5 users in your team. If you have virtual machines running up in a cloud service, you might want to install solutions such as GitLab on your own. Just remember to take backups of that as well.
7. Plan and select version control tools. Make sure your version control server is backed up for disasters. (Manual and automatic backups!)
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