I think many of us on this list would consider ourselves entrepreneurs.
I’m willing to bet at least 40% of you are working on ideas for
startups…hoping that you just might have the next Flickr, Oddpost,
Me too, for what it’s worth. Rails is good for this, in that it enables
you to move quickly (after the learning curve) and it’s currently buzzy,
which will lend your startup a certain amount of press and blog buzz
right out of the gate, if your app is of any value at all.
As an entrepreneur in the current tech landscape, what is the end goal?
I posit that there are two things that could ideally happen to a
startup: create a profitable company and application that is sustainable
on its own, or create a popular application that generates a lot of buzz
and gets acquired by a larger company (as in Yahoo/Flickr, Yahoo/
OddPost, Google/Blogger, etc, etc). Sure, there are other possibilities,
such as creating an application that does just well enough to pay the
bills and sustain your livelihood, or, create an application that can’t
and folding, but I think we’d all agree that the first two are
desirable…either way, you become financially wealthy and have freedom
to focus on the problems you want to solve going forward.
My question is, how much do you think the selection of Rails, which
truly is a new technology and not very widespread (yet) in terms of
corporate acceptance, will impact the attractiveness of a startup hoping
to be acquired? I’m a huge fan of Ruby and really enjoy Rails, but I
don’t want to make decisions early that will taint my options
downstream. Surveying what has come before us: Flickr is written in PHP,
which Yahoo uses across the company. OddPost appears to be written in
DHTML and Python, and while not PHP we all know Python at least
currently trumps Ruby in use in corporations. del.icio.us is written in
Java…again a widespread and openly adopted technology.
I think as time goes on, this will be less of an issue with Rails, and
truthfully it might not be an issue now, but I would like to hear
opinions from the community.