Welcome to my new studio – wall not painted, sound better, here we go…

At some point in your life as a non-technology founder you will be asked to make a decision about the “stack” that is used to build your company’s product. This is the set of tools and frameworks that are used to build your solution – i.e. it’s the raw materials, and the software developer’s time is the labour.

This is simultaneously an absolutely unimportant decision, and one that is critical vital. Let me explain the contradiction.

You can build ugly things in beautiful tools, and you can build beautiful things in ugly tools. In that regard the choice you make has no bearing because what you get at the end is a reflection of the skill of the craftsperson and the judgement of the client, i.e. people who know what they are doing can build beautiful things regardless of what they are using.

However, the flip side is that there are – what I would call “subcultures” – that tends to congregate around certain tool sets. And there is definite value in you being able to determine what subculture you are in and align yourself with that.

For example, in the UK for the past 30 years Microsoft has sunk billions into marketing to the public sector – for most startups this means the NHS and local authorities. As a result, there is a subculture in the UK public sector that tends to “unconsciously prefer” Microsoft solutions. You stack should therefore align with that subculture’s subconscious preference mainly because you will see less technical objections and find it easier to hire.

However, if you are a D2C ecommerce brand, the subculture preference there is more aligned with the sorts of tools used to build bigger online services, like Amazon, Facebook, I can’t bring myself to say “X”, etc. So again, align with that.

In summary, it doesn’t matter, because if you execute well enough even an ugly framework can produce beautiful results; but it does matter because aligning with whatever subculture your solution fits into will pay dividends in the long run.