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Online services our startup subscribes to (ye.gg)
111 points by epi0Bauqu on Nov 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

Here are some things we use at http://realhq.com — those also mentioned in the article are in italics:


Rails Hosting: EngineYard

LAMP Hosting: HostGator

File Hosting: AWS

Video Hosting: Wistia

Code Hosting: GitHub


Email/Calendar/Docs: Google Apps

Project Management: Basecamp

Group Chat: Campfire

Wiki: Backpack


Email Deliverability: SendGrid

Phone Magic: Twilio

Phone System: OpenVBX


Error Monitoring: Airbrake

App Monitoring: New Relic

Server Monitoring: Pingdom


Receipts: Shoeboxed

Income: Freshbooks

Accounting: Outright


Web Fonts: fonts.com

Web Fonts: Typekit

eSignatures: DocuSign

Forms: Wufoo

Advertising: Google AdWords

Our favorite products are probably Outright (dead simple), Twilio (enables tons of phone system magic), and AdWords (flexible, powerful, profitable). The two products we're actively working to replace are Backpack (with Workflowy or something similar) and Shoeboxed (we have yet to find an alternative). And we've outgrown Wufoo, but owe them much more than we've ever paid them in monthly charges.

Thanks for the great list. I took a look at Outright. The service may be useful, but this bugs me...

> You can use your FREE account forever - No trial or expiration date. Paid accounts are just $9.95 per month. See details when you log in.

I know there's a catch, but I'm forced to create an account to find out about it. I'm either gonna use dummy info or just leave since I don't want another account until I understand what I'm signing up for.

I realize this is a tactic for getting me to try the service, but I don't like it. I ended up just leaving. 

Here's what we use at http://leanpub.com

* Servers: AWS

* Code Hosting: GitHub

* Mail Sending: Postmark (http://postmarkapp.com)

* Monitoring: Scout (http://scoutapp.com/)

* Sharing files with our authors: Dropbox

* Error notification: AirBrake (https://airbrakeapp.com/)

* File Hosting: S3

* Mail: Google Apps

* Cartoon Animal Videos: Xtranormal (http://www.xtranormal.com/)

* Payments: PayPal

* Project Planning / Todos: Pivotal Tracker

Because the list is so long, and a bunch of the cons mention cost, I'm going to flog my friend's company, Cloudability (http://cloudability.com). They help you track and control your cloud spending and they're an AWS solutions provider.

There are only three of us at Stayhound (http://stayhound.com), so our list is pretty short:

Mockflow for creating and sharing flows and wireframes


Google docs & calendar

Gmail IM

Google+ hangouts for team video conferencing

Trello for task management

Capsule CMS


Google AppEngine

And we're in the process of considering a move to AWS.

Cloudability looks fantastic. How are they planning on charging? It looks completely free right now.

I was curious about ServerDensity. Does anyone have experience with them? How easy is it to automate for deployment? Does it compare favorably with Munin and/or nagios?

I'm not sure about comparisons to Munin or nagios (since I haven't used them -- was coming from MRTG), but it is easy to deploy. There is a package (agent) that runs on startup and then every few minutes.

I'm not sure about the automation of creating servers in the web interface (it gives you a key that you have to put in the configuration file) - installing the service is easy though through a package manager.

The two things I think are great about ServerDensity over Munin (haven't used nagios) are the snapshots (you click on a point in the graph and it shows you the processes running, server load, network etc at that time) and the alerting (email, Android, iPhone push) which is great. Even custom plugins are easy to write/install and stick alerts on.

Awesome. Thanks for the heads up, especially about snapshots.

Signed up for the trial, and it looks like their auto-deploy script links are broken (support.serverdensity.com 502's). I'd like to see if there's a way to generate keys somehow, because it looks like it requires a unique per-server key. I suspect that is what their auto-deploy script does.

We're using Assistly for our support site and they've had a number of outages in the last few days.

Auto deployment is something we're working on improving but right now you can use auto copy[1], which bases new instance detection on the hostname, our auto deploy script[2] or our API[3] to add devices automatically.

[1] http://support.serverdensity.com/customer/portal/articles/72...

[2] http://support.serverdensity.com/customer/portal/articles/72...

[3] http://developer.serverdensity.com/docs

Just want to mention this because I never see it in lists like these, yet everyone I've recommended it to has been blown away.

Talkerapp: http://talkerapp.com/ - It's a free Web chat system (with a paid level for extra logging and file transfers). I believe it's open source too. I use it for some of my online courses and haven't had another Web chat system come close (although stylistically it's a bit like Campfire).

Thanks for posting the list - more startups should do this.

Agreed. This is very useful.

I wonder if a startup version of usesthis.com would be a useful place to collect or reference posts like this.

Brilliant idea. Perhaps I might pursue this.

Now that I think about it, I've used usesthis.com for this very purpose - to get some anecdotal "votes" for particular categories of services. If this was listed out in an easier-to-read fashion, I personally would love that.

Thanks! Ping me if you do, I'd love to see it and be happy to provide some feedback.

Awesome thread. I recently made a post about startup costs and what services I use. I even provide a cost breakdown for each one, bringing my grand total monthly bill to $295.

Hopefully its useful to some. http://x-pose.org/2011/10/the-cost-of-running-a-boot-strappe...

I notice a lot of those tools are for group collaboration -- I know there are many advantages to having a co-founder, but one of the advantages of being a single founder (AKA a developer working on an app they wish existed) is that I only have to collaborate with myself. Simplifies the toolkit quite a bit.

Here's what I'm using for http://everyday.io --

Backend: App Engine / Python / Flask

Frontend: Bootstrap / jQuery / PhoneGap / HighCharts / Many microlibs

APIs: SendGrid, Facebook, SimpleGeo

Analytics: Woopra

Code hosting: Github + Dropbox (just in case!)

Email/Docs: Google Apps

Task tracking: Stickies + GDocs + Things (Haven't quite decided on one strategy yet.)

I've started blogging about tips I learn while using these technologies here, since some of them are kind of new and the knowledge base needs to be built up: http://www.everyday.im/learning

I remember seeing a grid of what YC companies used, atleast in terms of the backend. That was pretty interesting.

Regarding EchoSign, can you explain the complaint that you cannot control the signing date? If that means what I take it to mean, OF COURSE YOU CAN'T. It would be antithetical to the idea of reliable electronic signatures to allow a party to evidence that they entered an agreement at any time other than the actual agreement date.

Am I the only one who went through the "hate" to find out if there is something substantial worth considering? :)

Hehe I did the same thing. Hopefully, the services themselves did too, so they can consider revising their priority lists ;)

I have a feeling we'd get along ;-)

I love hearing complaints, because they often mask an opportunity ;)

Do you guys use a project management package? Basecamp, asana, pivotal etc?

(We don't use them either (yet), just wondering what you do instead?)

We use Asana and are happy with it. It's free so I didn't include it (but maybe I should have).

I keep hearing asana... I like the keyboard shortcuts, so I'll probably go that way. Thanks!

We're using Asana at http://starstreet.com and are liking it a lot. That said, if we weren't already used to it and were starting today we may go with trello.

Trello has worked beautifully for this

Acunote works great for us (and is free for 5 users).

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