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The front-end: React vs Angular


To put together the front end of a web application, developers often start with an existing framework. React and Angular are the two most popular front-end frameworks available. Today we’ll talk a bit about each and which one we prefer.

But first, let’s back up and clarify a few terms for the non-technical among us...

What does “front end” mean?

When we talk about front end, we’re talking about the parts of an app that users see and interact with. For example, when you book a place to stay on Airbnb, you are interacting with the front end of the app. The back end consists of things you don’t see but are required to make it work, like the server and databases.

When developing the front end of a web or mobile app, your business will benefit from two disciplines: UI and UX. These work together closely, but the focus of each is different.

Demystifying Ruby on Rails

Software development is an expensive part of the journey of a startup. Speed of development can make the difference between getting off the ground or crashing and burning.

The technology stack you build your app with plays a big role in that equation. Today we’ll offer up the non-technical startup founder’s guide to our preferred programming language and framework for the server side when building an app: Ruby on Rails (RoR).

The Belighted technology stack

Have you heard of AARRR? How about GRRRRR?

We don’t mean the 2004 French movie. We’re talking about our technology stack.

It might feel like developers are speaking a different language when you discuss your new product or app. We’ve said it before: It’s not necessary to have a technical background as the founder of a software startup. But there are some basics you should understand.

Technology stack, or “tech stack,” refers to the collection of programs, frameworks, and coding languages developers use. These function together like a stack of sieves transforming data at each floor. All the sieves are specialized to handle the kind of data they receive and provide another kind of data to the next layer. Hence the term “stack.”

The technology behind your new product can impact critical short-term factors like speed to market and project cost, as well as long-term factors like your ability to scale and ease of maintenance.

If you’re considering working with Belighted to build your new product, you’ll want to know our preferred technologies and why we chose them.

Speed: use market validation to fail faster

If you’re going to get something wrong, it’s better to find out fast.

With market validation built into your product roadmap, you can find out where you’re wrong faster.

And you will get plenty wrong. In three years, if you’re still around, your startup may look completely different from what you imagined.

This post is the last of our three-part series demystifying startup failure. We talked first about the concept of speed in building your team. Then we dug into how focus can help you move faster. Today we’re going to look at the fundamental role market validation plays in speed.

We’re growing! Introducing our 9 new team members

In case you haven’t noticed, Belighted is growing. Over the last few months, we’ve added several new team members. Each brings skills that will enrich our work for our clients and allow us to do more of what we love: creating and developing software products that grow your business.

Our team setup is integral to how we produce our exceptional work. We are able to drive real successes for our clients because we begin with strategy, move through design and development, and then come back again to strategy as needed.

We are pleased to introduce our latest team additions to you here.

Speed: How focus helps a startup move quickly

Most startup founders know speed is important. But speed in the wrong direction may be worse than going too slow when it comes to developing a new software product. 

Veteran startup CMO and former marketing head of Google play Patrick 'Mad' Mork tells how focusing on the wrong thing killed his startup: “When I was at GetJar in 2010, we had to rebuild a large part of the platform from scratch. We had grown too fast and had made a number of obvious mistakes when it came to scalability. We lost at least a full 12 months rebuilding our systems, when we should have been focusing on other changes that were happening [in] the market. That mistake, among others, eventually doomed the company (along with the $40M we had raised in VC funding).”

In the first of this three-part series demystifying startup failure, I talked about the concept of speed when it comes to building your team. Today we’re going to dive into the concept of focus and how it relates to speed for a startup.

Speed: the timing of talent at your startup

Last time we introduced the concept of speed in three critical areas: talent, focus, and market validation. Today we are going to dig into how your team can impact speed at your startup.

You can have the best idea in the world and it will still fall flat if you don’t have the means to execute your idea fast. Because it’s your team that executes the plan, you need to incorporate speed into your team vision.

What all successful startups get right: speed

Where did they go wrong? What did they do right? Analysts have scrutinized hundreds of startups to identify the factors that lead to certain doom and those that will propel a startup to success. 

There is one common element across all the analyses of failed and successful startups that must be present for the founding team to succeed: speed. Achieving and managing speed - knowing when to brake and when to fly at full throttle - is a critical skill of successful startup founders.

After working with dozens of startups and hundreds of software products ourselves, we see the key areas of talent, focus, and market validation as particularly important in driving speed.

Product development the Belighted way

We’ve built and worked with hundreds of different software products since 2008, when we first opened our doors. Over the years, that experience has resulted in a fine-tuned methodology to set our clients’ software products up for excellent performance.

The way we work allows us to meet you where you are in the lifecycle of your product. You may have an idea that needs to be developed into a completely new product, or you may have an existing app needing improvement. Either way, we direct our efforts where they make the greatest impact for you. I’d like to show you a little more about how we do that here.

SaaS metrics - which ones really matter?

If you’re building or growing a SaaS product, you likely know by now there are a lot of metrics you can use to measure how your business is doing. In fact, the sheer number of SaaS metrics can be overwhelming if you’re new to the software-as-a-service world.

At Belighted, we discuss KPIs (key performance indicators) with clients in our scoping workshop. It’s one of the components of the Lean Canvas. And it’s an obsessive focus for many SaaS founders.

Let’s step back together and look at the most important SaaS metrics for a minute.