Building a startup is unlike developing any other technology product. A great market potential and a validated business model is much more important in this instance.
Early-stage startups don’t immediately know the actual need they are trying to satisfy by their product. Hence, the goal is to come up with a basic MVP and start testing the product, as soon as a functioning requirement is built.
Regardless of the time and effort invested, that solution might not get the response (from partners and customers) or ROI that was expected. When choosing the right tech stack, Founders usually look out for the most-value-for-money option.
Ruby on Rails has no licensing fees and is completely free to use. It integrates with most of the popular open-source databases and web servers. There are a lot of production-ready extensions, huge number of free plug-ins and libraries (gems) that are developed and shared by community members.
Availability of ready-made plugins, modules, add-ons, feature packages (everything from authentication and authorisation to file uploading and payment processing) makes it easy to add new functionality, integrate 3rd party services, to refactor and extend the app’s code. It might be a good fit for e-commerce or a fintech startup and if it is a web app, developer can build an MVP within several days without writing the code.
Alexey Cherniak (CEO of Groupon Russia) commented that he wished they had used Ruby on Rails when building one of their projects (e-learning platform uchinovoe.ru). They ended up with a lot functionality that proved to be totally unnecessary or even useless for their business goals. Building the platform on Ruby could save a ton of time, reduce the development costs and accelerate time to market. That said, the first version of Groupon was built in only 2-3 days on Ruby.
Many famous fintech businesses are based on Ruby huge portals like Github, Basecamp and complex web apps like Shopify. The success of Ruby on Rails startups such as Groupon, Airbnb, Indiegogo proves that Ruby can support massive user bases and scale as the company grows.
Whatever software product you are building, take in consideration all these constraints that start-up entrepreneurs have to deal with: put together a working prototype in the shortest time, adapt to the needs of customers and scale fast.