Best Business Advice for Software Developers

Recently on Hacker News I answered this question and the response was far more enthusiastic than I expected (284 points at last count). Below is my answer (links and emphasis added).

Since this is an audience of passionate technologists, here's the top piece of advice I have:

Do not be seduced by the technology!

I killed one of my startups this way. I've seen many many die this way.

It can hurt your pride as a passionate technologist to choose non-cool but mature and easy-to-hire-for tools. But it's those tools that are the most economical.

Remember, your customers care 0% about the backend technologies you're using as long as they are getting the value you promised them.

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." —Gustave Flaubert

You're running a business, not a technological showcase for other engineers (who are not even your customers!).

Remember that the most economical tool for the job is often not the coolest or trendiest - but is some old boring workhorse that other engineers will scoff at.

Build your business for your customers, not for your technological pride or to demonstrate your technical prowess to friends.

Don't get me wrong though! There's certainly a time and a place to play with all the coolest and trendiest stuff, but if you're optimizing for growing a business, that is the time for choosing low-risk, simple, mature tools.

Original: 02 Aug 2017

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