10 things I learned attempting my own startup

1) Building an audience is hard

2) Bots play a much larger role on the Internet than you realise

3) No one wants a beta product

4) Our social network was better and more trustworthy than paid for professional services

5) PreactJS is a great, lightweight alternative to ReactJS

6) It is possible to build an entire startup based on serverless technologies

  • Network: Cloudfront and ALB
  • Compute: Lambda
  • Data layer: S3, RDS Aurora Serverless and Dynamo
  • User management: Cognito
  • Operations: CloudWatch and AWS Grafana
  • Email: SMS

7) The serverless.com framework is great for managing AWS Lambda based software development

  • It provides a nice developer experience. The config file that powers everything is a nice abstraction on top of Cloudformation, while also allowing you to easily add in additional none Lambda infrastructure. Running everything locally is super easy too. Something we’ve not been able to do with Terraform at my day job.
  • There are a tonne of community written plugins that let you extend it. Ones I’ve used are S3 deploy, local HTTPS development and optimised source maps. I even wrote my own to allow you to do local development with an AWS ALB.
  • It’s easy to integrate with environment variables, and so building serverless applications using the 12 factor app process is possible with this framework.

8) Github Actions are great and getting better

9) Stripe integration is hard but so useful

10) I don’t want to be a solo start up founder

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Software engineering

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Tom Maslen

Tom Maslen

Software engineering

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