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Ask HN: Any Successful Startups using Microsoft Dotnet Stack?
12 points by kloc on Apr 12, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments
I am going to start a personal web project and professionally I am an Asp.Net(MVC) programmer. I have been trying Django which is nice and want to learn and use it. But sometimes I am too inclined to just start using Asp.net MVC. Obvious benefits to use are: 1) I am well versed in Asp.net (MVC) and Dotnet framework. 2) I have MSDN license so access to all MS tools. 3) Visual Studio is an awesome IDE. Some reasons not to use: 1) MS lock in. 2) Expensive hosting(??). 3) Not so cool :)

The costs of Windows hosting has come down a lot over the years, so it's not the hosting costs that will kill you. More likely, it will be the expense of hiring additional .NET developers. The company I work for runs 200+ sites (most through acquisition), and when we inherit a new site that's not LAMP, it's not long before we migrate it to LAMP, just because it's cheaper to maintain. We have a handful of .NET sites, and a few Ruby sites, and I'd bet that the salary of the 4 or 5 guys who work on those sites is more than the combined salary of the other 50 PHP devs.

That said, if you can get the project profitable enough on your own, maybe you can afford to hire additional .NET devs.

> We have a handful of .NET sites, and a few Ruby sites, and I'd bet that the salary of the 4 or 5 guys who work on those sites is more than the combined salary of the other 50 PHP devs.

Where are you paying .NET and Ruby developers 10x what you pay PHP folk?

Inexpensive .net and php devs are not a problem here in India.

A very good point! I was referring to in-house development, which is essential during the startup phase. It's tough to outsource the innovation that comes from ramen-fueled coding marathons in a tiny studio apartment.

I am based in India. Initially it will be me, a partner(both Asp.net mvc devs) and a UI guy working on the App. Hiring outside devs is far on the horizon but its good to consider that now.

FWIW, the reason I choose Django for my latest project is the admin. For a lot of internal facing stuff, I am running it off the admin framework and it has saved me a lot of time from writing html and JS template/code. I do not know much about .NET.. but if there is such a functionality, I would suggest got for it. What you know is going to make you more productive.

This seems like a great opportunity to learn a new language, framework and IDE. Visual Studio is an awesome IDE but it's always valuable to learn something different and be able to integrate that in your day job. To answer your question, a successful site that keeps popping up that uses asp .Net MVC and the Microsoft stack would be StackOverflow.com

I know abt StackOverflow.com but I am no rock star like jeff and joel :) ... I am more curious abt the kinda startups which are funded by Ycombinator.

What means "personal"? Do you do it mainly for the fun or for the money? If it's the second, it's a no brainer. Use the tools you know and focus on you problem domain.

If its an experiment or an exploratory project, well, use whatever appeals to you.

"personal" means something no one would pay me to do and its sure for money.

So far what I knew are StackOverFlow.com and PlentyOfFish.com

1- The stackoverflow engine is a great example. Also you have the power of SilverLight, if you want to make your application interactive.

2- You are not really locked in, you should just pay the server licenses. Expensive, but that's the price you pay for using MS products. Read Jeff Articles about StackOverFlow, they have mentioned licensing and its matters.

3- Not So Cool? You already said, it has an awesome IDE?

To answer your original question, look at Microsoft BizSpark which is a program from MS to encourage startups to use the .NET stack. Plenty of companies that have been successful with it.

But I wouldn't pick it unless there is a large pool of .net talent you can pick into - as startups I have worked with here in the US who have been .net based have found it hard to hire top-quality folk into a .net stack.

Writely (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writely#History), one of the precursors to Google Docs, was written using the .NET stack. http://scobleizer.com/2006/03/09/congrats-to-writely-for-usi...

A better question would be whether if .NET is the right tool set for the scope of your project not if a YC startup is using it?

If you are looking to explore and are open to learning further, by all means, jump into Django. On the other hand, if .NET access is no problem to you and your collaborators and that it fits your problem scope, go forth.

.NET is for sure a right tool and a good one on that and Django has its own merits but here I am more interested in popular technology trends.

If you are going for popularity in HN circles, I don't think .NET is a particularly hot shot. Fwiw, I just remembered Loopt (a YC startup :-) used to be on a .NET full stack, but they are moving towards Rails for frontend (http://www.loopt.com/jobs/web-developer-front-end).

In general, Rails seems to be really popular. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the right tool or the best one.

http://www.ubernote.com uses ASP.NET, although it doesn't use MVC.

We use ASP.NET at Feedity - http://feedity.com

Drop me a message if you would like to know more about ASP.NET in the production environment, automated build/deployment, affordable hosting options etc.

plentyoffish comes to mind..but am not sure if they use any MVC framework

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