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Ask HN: What is your favorite tool to build web startup?
50 points by jessmc 25 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments
Inspired by https://steveblank.com/2011/09/22/how-to-build-a-web-startup-lean-launchpad-edition/.

List your favorite tools, share your experience if any.

The thing that often gets misunderstood is that there's no magic technology that gives a massive competitive advantage here. If you pick Django/Python, PHP/Laravel, Rails, Node, Go, Java, whatever... you end up the same place. Keep it simple, since it will change if your business experiences growth anyways. Pick what you know, or what you want to hire for.

How do you create value for your customers and offer them something that is worth them paying for? Your customer doesn't know/care about the tech behind it. The technology side is a piece of the business puzzle with the goal of shipping your product/service and gaining traction ASAP.

If you don't get traction, the technology side doesn't really matter because the business case isn't there. Ship to market, get feedback, iterate, get more customers and repeat.

Use the tools you are used to. I doubt there is much advantage in any particular stack. They seem to catch up to each other. Ruby has some kind of type checker nowadays (can't recall the name). .NET has dynamic types if you need them etc. etc. I like the idea of using Haskell but really I can never be more productive than using my "home stack".

I think you're talking about Sorbet: https://sorbet.run/

If anything, tools for sales prospecting are crucially important. “Feedback” is always mentioned in passing, but it is quite the skill in itself to persuade non-techies on a new tech solution.

Rails (I'm Ruby dev). I've been playing with Vue lately and like it a lot. You can have all component's code in one place -> html+js+css, so it's super fast and easy to keep adding code. Also, I like React, but somehow whenever I use it I feel I am writing a lot of code for simple stuff.

I am finishing my first product in Elixir. It has some rough edges like deployment, but I start to like it more than ruby&rails - the code is much more readable and imo easier to write. Surprisingly I feel a bit more productive in it than rails.

I'd say the best tool is the one you know. If you don't know any tool for your specific problems, look for the simplest and most sane solution.

Agree on the single file components for Vue, they're amazing. Agree on the React, I found a lot of overhead to do even the most simple things, maybe I still not grasp the beauty around it.

I think it's because Vue is opinioned, just like Rails, therefore dev's happiness(?)&productivity is one of the main goals of these frameworks. In case of React, there are a lot of libs you can choose from, I'd probably use React in more heavy JS application - think some games or something like draw.io (don't know how to call it). To be honest, I don't have enough experience to back up my claims, so take it with a grain of salt.

dev's happiness & productivity seems like a good metrics to compare on JS frameworks.

It depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. If I'm trying to build something quick to prove that there are interested people out there I use a static html page with JQuery and Form Gadget (https://www.formgadget.com/) to handle form submissions and integrations. Sometimes this is enough even for the product depending on what it is.

If it's something that includes a subscription model, etc, then I like Akka Http (Scala), Slick, JQuery or React + Redux. More importantly though go with what you know well and can make progress in quickly, unless you want to learn something new.

Disclosure: I built Form Gadget.

My favorite tool is boring Ruby/Rails because I know it best and I'm hyper-productive.

Your favorite tool should be whatever allows you to be hyper-productive. The goal isn't to be flashy or cool or hip, the goal is to create something: features, changes, bugs, etc.

If you value your time and sanity, go with what you know.

Rails with as little front-end js as possible. I am yet to see or experience a more efficient workflow for a custom app.

Also, competitive research and paper prototyping before coding.

Having built a bunch of these helps me ask the right questions and postpone the right features to make it possible to get to an mvp really fast.

PHP, Bootstrap, JavaScript (and jQuery), MySQL, Apache, Stripe for subscriptions, Mailgun.

I use Node for building it, WinSCP to upload it, and I just delete everything, and unzip the new build.


Talk to them.

Learn from them.

Iterate based on what they say and/or do.

Market to them using their words.

Absolutely the best answer. People tend to focus on tools, not the goal

Playframework (with Scala) + Vue.js (with Typescript) + Heroku.

It gives me a good balance on development speed over project's age and performance. I particularly like the balance of type safety and brevity.

Learning curve is high for new comers because of Scala and how to integrate Vue.js with Playframework. But, once I know how to do it, it's not an issue when starting a new project.

Elixir/Phoenix + ES6/Vue + Stripe + PostgreSQL + Vultr

React + GraphQL + Node + PostgreSQL

We have written a blog about it: https://ideatostartup.org/blog/idea-to-startup/the-best-tech...

All this plus typescript

react, node, next.js (framework), firebase (db/auth), bulma (css), divjoy (prototyping with code export), zeit now (hosting)

Core parts of my stack at the moment:

Groovy/Grails, Bootstrap, jQuery, Postgresql, AWS, Stripe, Mailchimp, Github

Apereo CAS for Single-Sign-On

Activiti for workflow management / BPM

We also have a core suite of internal services that are mostly built using Java + Spring Boot.

I built two multi-million $ companies with Wordpress and HTML/CSS/JS scrapping. It doesn't really matter. Users don't care about your underlying tech. Tech advantage exists, but it's certainly not tied to a specific programming language. Understanding your user is key, and executional excellence and overdelivering, not technology.

Of late, I've moved to Elm/Lambda functions/DynamoDB or PostgreSQL. I've seen my productivity improve a lot when using Elm with the added advantage of being able to clearly define the problem in my mind.

Using Netlify for deployment has also save me a lot of headache (they really are awesome!)

In the end, like everyone else points out, its about picking a set of tools which lets you work without thinking too much about the development process itself.

GitHub Pages, Google Forms, WordPress, Mailchimp.

Angular, Spring Boot and PostgreSQL if it actually turns out to be something for which there’s sufficient demand.

rails + heroku + pg + vuejs + bootstrap/bulma

An additional question would be all the ancillary tools needed to build a startup:

Mail + Payments + Payroll + Insurance + Marketing +++ etc..

I suspect that this is substantially more important as a differentiator, because they directly facilitate interaction with customers.


Do what with it?

Pay others to answer that question! :D

If it fits your budget I think it's better to apply to the professionals to save both time and money. Based on my own experience I can suggest this web design service https://breakthruweb.com/. They have over 20 years of experience in website design, development and marketing. Their team provides web development and marketing services at affordable prices and they constantly stay in contact with the client from start to finish. Personally, I'm completely satisfied with their work, I got my website done quickly and they took into account all my wishes and requests.

Rails for me, or one of the new crystal lang web frameworks if I'm feeling adventurous. Rails has the syntax you wan't, and crystal has both the syntax and the speed, but it's not quite yet 1.0.

AWS, Python and Angular. Nothing else is needed. Go make your millions.

My Favorite is Django/React/Material Design.

Go -- Backend

Vue.js -- Front end





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