Somebody should setup a blog where they interview a startup founder each week and just ask them to list services they use along with a mini single-paragraph review of each.
Edit: after thinking about it, I might just do this as a weekend project. A quick search and I couldn't find anything similar, the closest I remember is the Ajaxian blog startup interviews which they stopped doing. If you would like your startup featured email me, ill be reaching out to a few people so if there is interest I will likely get it going
A lot of it is personal choice, e.g. IRC & campfire being 'laggy', for me Google apps is meh apart from mail/calendar, you better pony up for MS office if you're dealing with a lot of other businesses, themeforest I find extremely hard to find a decent looking, well written html template, most of them are div crazy, extremely heavy CSS/js payloads or use cufon, kerrschpitt.
And assistly looks like a total rip off at $69 p/m per user (to me anyway).
I mean swipe might make an interesting submission in itself, but the homepage is light on details, looks like it's in a closed beta, which probably means US only, no good for me.
Anyway tl;dr is that the tools your business uses are very personal choices of services many of us already know about, I find them dull.
What's more interesting is what's missing, no accounting system, no bug tracking, no server uptime monitor, no analytics, no A/B testing.
Are you a bay area person?
He didn't specify exactly how much they are paying for those two, but it still sounds like it will be a fairly beefy hourly rate or a retainer + equity. I think for a boostrapped company these are still your two really big overhang costs where people end up weighing going without or dyi versus committing to legal or accounting as your biggest up front operating expense.
Of the two, I'd say accounting has probably changed the most, there are plenty of workable software solutions for keeping books that aren't too bad and it seems like there are plenty of people trying to build startups around that particular problem. Can't say the same on the legal item though.
If i can be cheeky I'd love an intro to the guys at Stripe, think it was a fair few months ago I registered my email for their Beta and would love to implement it for my startup.
Sorry we've been kind of quiet (we do read Hacker News, though). We're just working hard to implement the feedback we've been getting from our existing users, and we want to make sure our product scales well and gets better as new people use it.
Here's a question: any chance you would be interested in having us watch you integrate Stripe? We've been doing this lately to try to make sure our first-run experience is really good. Send me an e-mail (email@example.com) either way.
This is a fairly logical extension, I would guess that the reason it hasn't caught on more is because a JS requirement has typically been a red flag in e-commerce - 3% of users not being able to pay you once they got to that point of a funnel could be seen as disaster. Interesting, because we're looking at mandating JS in our new developments (background: company I work for does a lot of high end e-commerce - we're specialists).
In theory it's a good idea (that side of it at least) but I don't know how security perception and customer acceptance rates will go.
I'm looking forward to flipping the switch in the next week or two (just gotta get the bank account paperwork squared away) and seeing how things go.
Absolutely, could do it over some screen sharing or something, email on the way.
bringing on new employees or terminating existing ones and having to do it across half a dozen different sites sounds kind of tedious and error-prone.
Indeed tedious and error-prone.
And that's just from the employee's point of view, the administrator having to create all these different accounts is probably even less happy about it.
And no... it's not just me: http://daviddahl.blogspot.com/2006/05/efax-sucks.html
AWS is relatively expensive but if you are a startup with a limited amount of capital and need to scale quickly, it allows you to utilize a corporate grade web/computing/server/database infrastructure without having to build one yourself.