← home

4 Technical Decisions to Move Fast With Your Startup

Published on January, 2023
Kevin J. Hanna
Building Stacked | Hummus & Tech host

Are you a technical founder embarking on your new startup?

As co-founder & CTO at Stacked, and previously two-time founding engineer, I’m reflecting back on a startup’s first year in the R&D trenches.

These are 4 key decisions that will help you iterate fast, and pivot smoothly when needed:

🛠 (1) Invest in the right tooling

A common advice is to use the tools you already know. But there are ones you should invest in, even if you’ve never set them up before.

A linter, prettier, log monitoring and an easy deployment flow to get started.

Additionally, if your stack is Node/JS/TS, try out WallabyJs.
I love it. It runs your tests immediately as you type.

And if you’re building a web product, invest in learning Tailwind.
It’s a game changer.

💪 (2) Strong typing & Testing

This will be controversial but hear me out. It’s true that typing and testing takes time, and that your products will evolve.

But as a founder you will constantly switch contexts between engineering & business. Strong types and tests will serve as “checkpoints” to ease the transition every time.

At Stacked, we started with Typescript from the get go, and for testing, we only focus on the core of our product.

I also became a huge fan of PollyJS (by Netflix) to test and develop against the few essential external APIs we use.

💰 (3) Buy, don’t build

Avoid the “Not invented here” syndrome, where as engineers we only trust products developed in-house.

Focus on developing what makes your product unique.

For example, at Stacked we used:

🪨 (4) Avoid over-engineering

As engineers, it’s easy to get caught up in complex systems. Microservices, full-scalable solutions, you name it.

Stop! As the technical co-founder of an early-stage startup, your goal is to make the business work.

Embrace the YAGNI principle (You Aren’t Gonna Need It) and don’t worry about scalability or extensibility yet.

Making a few key decisions early on will have a huge impact down the line. And the right balance between speed, and strong foundations will serve you even as your team grows.

What other recommendations and key decisions should technical co-founders consider?

Get more stories and insights like these in your inbox.

Related posts:



4 Technical Decisions to Move Fast With Your Startup


Announcing Stacked — Relationship Capital, Unlocked

Becoming An Efficient Writer

Release Notes Before Specs

My Makers Toolkit

Why a Product Company Killed 2 Features Users Loved

Own The Journey

3 Mistakes That Will Stop You From Launching Your Company’s Podcast

A Minimal Guide to Launching Your Remote Podcast for Free

Avoid This Trap When Building a Purchase Funnel

Building a Side-Project Without Burning Out


4 Ways I Use Data At My New Job

Promo.com - A New Adventure!


Books of 2020

Hacking My University Campus Site

On Being A Curator

Yes, and

Wrapping up Season 2

Writing to Level Up

A Killer Feature for Quarantine

Hummus and Tech on the News

Reset. Start New Game

2019 Retrospective


Handling the Unknown vs Creativity

Herolens Got Acquired

Product Principles

Make Others Successful

Thinking Small, Starting Big: My Rookie Mistake

Change your KPIs - From Dev to PM

Leading with Influence

Getting Things Done

Availability Heuristics

Urban Sketching Makes You Focus

Launching Lazy Hebrew

Forget About The Features, UX and Specs


The Ultimate Leadership Lesson (in 3 mins)


Live on the radio


Build something