The Lean Tech Stack of Early Stage SaaS
Oct 19, 2023
Making the decision to build an early stage Software as a Service (SaaS) company is one that can’t be taken lightly. You will be dedicating countless years of your life pouring sweat and tears into this little idea hoping to make your dreams become a reality.
Every single choice that you make along the way can either help steer your business towards success or begin to spiral towards failure.
One of the key early decisions you will need to make is choosing the right tech stack — both for yourself and the business.
As an early stage SaaS company, it's not just about choosing the right language or a database, it's also about choosing the right combination of tools and technologies that will support your early business needs, align with your budget, and scale with your early and unpredictable growth.
The “right” tech stack is about staying as lean and adaptable as possible as you desperately attempt to find product-market fit.
Read on as we demystify the need for using the latest trends and fads in software so that you can get your SaaS up and running as fast as possible without wasting your precious time and money.
This is the lean tech stack for early stage SaaS.
But first… what is a SaaS tech stack?
A SaaS tech stack is a combination of the programming languages, frameworks, libraries, tools, server infrastructure, and other software that developers or founders use to build and deliver their SaaS application to their users or customers.
The tech stack is typically divided into two main components:
Frontend (client-side): This is the part of the application that your users physically see and interact with.
Backend (server-side): This is the part of the application that runs behind the scenes. It's responsible for managing the database, executing business logic, and communicating with the frontend.
While choosing the right tech stack is a critical decision for any SaaS company, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated at the early stages.
You’ve heard of building your product as an MVP — or minimal viable product — the same can be said for your tech stack.
The Lean Tech Stack
It’s important that you build with languages that you’re familiar and comfortable with. Outside of that, you can lean on other tools to bring your idea to life.
Below are some of the essential tools that can help you get your SaaS up and running in no time, they’re also the tools we use to build our SaaS.
Namecheap: Grab yourself that perfect domain for your SaaS.
Framer: Build a professional yet affordable website that automatically delivers best-in-class SEO, performance, and hosting.
Vercel: Develop and ship the code for your app.
AWS: Build sophisticated applications with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability. Get started with a generous free tier.
GitHub: Version control for your SaaS.
VS Code: Free, open-source code editor.
Notion: Manage your internal docs and wikis.
Slack: Stay connected with your team.
Google Workspace: Perfect for setting up your custom email addresses, collaborating on documents, and more.
Stripe: Payment processing made simple.
Mintlify: External documentation that will limit your support requests and convert potential customers.
Atlas: Affordable live chat support.
Loops: The email platform for modern SaaS companies. A better way to send product, marketing, and transactional email.
Just Ship It
Choosing your tech stack as an early stage SaaS is important, but not a dealbreaker. It’s important to get started with a lean stack that you feel comfortable with so that you can test your idea as quickly as possible without getting bogged down by various tools or frameworks.
The above list of tools are a great starting point, but even some of them won’t be necessary from day 1.
Ultimately, you should be able to test your idea with a domain, a website, a payment processor, and some email.
Once you have your lean tech stack set, dive into the rest of what makes a SaaS business tick. Just because your tech stack is lean doesn't mean that it isn't powerful or that there are shortcuts.