The term ‘tech stack’ has evolved over the years. It no longer is used to simply define the type of development base for programmers like LAMP, MEAN/MERN, Python/Django, RoR or others (though this is the term’s origin). 

Today, a startup’s tech stack refers to the products and services that an early-stage company uses to build and operate their business. Typically, this includes business-critical items such as collaboration tools, payment systems, and even insurance. As revenue increases, a startup’s tech stack may begin to include ‘nice-to-have’ items like a carbon footprint calculator.

As founders work to scale and disrupt industries, building a solid tech stack lays the foundation for their business operations, product development, and future growth. These seven tips help early-stage startups streamline their approach to choosing their tech stacks.

Define your business goals & technical requirements

Before diving into selecting technologies for your tech stack, it’s important to define your business goals and technical requirements. Start by asking yourself questions such as: What problem does my startup aim to solve? What are the core functionalities of our product? How scalable should the technology be? Understanding your business goals and technical requirements will help you make informed decisions when choosing the right technologies for your tech stack.

Prioritise scalability & flexibility

Startups often face rapid growth and changing market conditions, making scalability and flexibility critical considerations when building a tech stack. Look for technologies that can handle increasing user demands, accommodate future feature enhancements, and integrate seamlessly with other tools and systems. Scalable cloud infrastructure, microservices architecture, and modular software components are examples of technologies that enable startups to adapt and scale their businesses efficiently. 

Embrace open source technologies 

Open source technologies offer numerous benefits to startups, including cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and a vibrant community of developers. Leverage open source tools, libraries, and frameworks to accelerate development, reduce costs, and tap into the collective knowledge and support of the open source community. However, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the licensing requirements and potential risks associated with using open source software. 

Silicon Valley Cambridge? What about Silicon Valley UK?

Consider security & data privacy 

As startups handle sensitive customer data, security and data privacy should be integral to the tech stack. Implement robust security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits, to safeguard your systems and protect user information. Stay up-to-date with relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, and ensure compliance throughout your tech stack. 

Evaluate integration capabilities 

Startups often rely on a variety of tools and services to streamline their operations. When building your tech stack, consider the integration capabilities of the technologies you choose. Look for APIs, webhooks, or pre-built integrations that allow seamless data exchange between different systems. Integration capabilities reduce manual work, enhance productivity, and provide a unified view of your startup’s operations. 

Balance technical expertise & cost 

Building a tech stack requires striking a balance between technical expertise and cost considerations. Assess your team’s technical skills and determine whether you have the expertise to maintain and enhance the chosen technologies. Consider the total cost of ownership, including licensing fees, infrastructure costs, and ongoing maintenance. Sometimes, investing in more robust and scalable technologies upfront can save costs in the long run. 

Plan for growth & iteration 

Successful startups grow and evolve over time, so it’s important to plan for future growth and iteration. Anticipate potential bottlenecks or limitations in your tech stack as your startup scales. Ensure that your chosen technologies can accommodate increased user traffic, additional features, and new business requirements. Regularly reassess your tech stack and be open to incorporating new technologies that align with your growth strategy. 

Building a robust and scalable tech stack is crucial for startup founders looking to establish a strong foundation for their business. A well-thought-out tech stack not only powers your startup’s current operations but also sets the stage for future innovation and growth. 

Izabella Bray is the co-founder of – a marketplace that makes over $1m worth of discounts across 100+ vendors available for startup founders to access for free

What is chaos engineering & how can business leaders apply it?