When I first started working on my business, I found it easy to research the design and content end of what people in my field were doing. What wasn’t so easy was figuring out what tech tools my aspirational companies used. Until I learned about tech stacks that is!
Don’t Fall Into The Tool Envy Trap When Evaluating Tech Tools
Before I go into how I solved that problem, I want to make sure that I talk a little bit about what I call tool envy. Tool envy is a type of mindset we entrepreneurs can get into when we are feel stuck or want to distract ourselves from some of the less fun tasks at hand. It is a state of thinking that new tools will solve all your problems and can lead to hours or days lost doing non-strategic things that will not grow your business (but will probably be fun).
I am going to show you a site that will give you insight into some of the tools that world’s largest companies are using and I don’t want you to fall into the tool envy trap. Before you add any tool to your technology stacks ensure that the tool makes sense for you at the stage you are at and that you aren’t just adding it because you don’t know what to do next or don’t want to do what you should be doing next.
To give you a quick example of what I am talking about, when I first started my business, I thought I needed a marketing automation tool that would do everything for me from automated outreach, to being my CRM, to letting me send emails. The tool itself was great, but with no customers and no list, I ended up spending a lot of time setting it up when I should have been working on growing my list and planning. That doesn’t mean that the tool was wrong for my business, just that it wasn’t right at that time. Okay, now that I’ve given you fair warning, let’s get to the ultra-amazing site that will help you understand what tools top startups are using.
The Best Site For Finding TechTools
The site that has helped me really understand the tools that are available for building and growing a business is Stackshare.
Stackshare is a website that allows companies to share their technology stacks. A technology stack is basically a group of tools that a company uses and is typically divided into subcategories. Stacksocial divides the tech stacks into the following categories:
- Application and Data – This includes the programming languages, hosting environments, and frameworks used to build the sites or services.
- Utilities – This includes tools that help with analytics, testing, email sending, A/B testing and more
- DevOps – These tools are related to the health and performance of websites. Given that most of your sites on WordPress, this section may not be of as much interest to you.
- Business Tools – This includes tools that help companies run the day to day operation of their businesses.
On their site you can either view tools by company or by category. For example, if you wanted to see all the tools Pinterest uses you could view them on Pinterest’s stack page. Or, if you wanted to see all the popular business tools companies are using you could view them in one place.
Beyond Tech Stacks
Researching tech stacks is a great way to get insight into the tools major companies are using to run their business. Many companies also put together marketing stacks and while I haven’t found a one stop, easy place to view marketing stacks, you can still google “marketing stack” + company name and often you will be able to view the marketing stacks companies are using.
If anyone knows of a good resource for finding marketing stacks please let me know!
For today’s homework, I’d like you to think about a need you might have in one of the tech stack categories I’ve listed above. Once you’ve thought of the need, search through Stacksocial’s site to find tools that might help you fill that need.
Help your fellow blog-based business owners out and add your own stack to Stacksocial. Share a link in the comments below.