Chronicle Of A Startup: Microsoft Or Open Source? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
4/23/2008
07:14 AM
John Foley
John Foley
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Chronicle Of A Startup: Microsoft Or Open Source?

The biggest choice I face in launching my Web 2.0 site is that of underlying technology platform. So I'm throwing the question open: Should I go with a Microsoft software stack or open source?

The biggest choice I face in launching my Web 2.0 site is that of underlying technology platform. So I'm throwing the question open: Should I go with a Microsoft software stack or open source?I'm truly agnostic on this decision, but I'll say up front that I'm leaning toward Microsoft, mainly because I'm guessing that it will be easier to find qualified programming help. I'm not a technician, and I don't have a budget to hire one. Since the programming work will be outsourced to freelancers, I'm guessing that it will be easier to find Visual Studio/Silverlight programmers than PHP or Ruby on Rails help. But that's merely a hunch; I haven't researched it.

I bounced my idea off Toli Kuznets, co-founder and CTO of Marketcetera, a startup that I recently profiled in InformationWeek. Marketcetera is a commercial open source company, so Toli is obviously biased toward open source. If I were based in San Francisco, this would be a no-brainer -- the vast majority of Bay Area Web startups are working with the open source LAMP stack, he says. In New York, where I live, that's not necessarily true.

Toli had two suggestions: One is to post the job (code-named Project Melville and first described here) on eLancer or a similar site where contractors can bid on it. I could see who nibbles -- VB, PHP, or Ruby programmers -- and at what price. Second, Toli thought it might be worth checking out Google as an alternative platform for building a Web site.

Some of the key characteristics of my unnamed site are that it must be Web 2.0-like in look and feel -- video, a blog, social networking, user-generated content are all part of the plan. It needs to be modular in design and highly interactive. Do those requirements make the choice easier?

Having outsourced some programming work himself, Toli also gave me a more realistic estimate on how much I should be prepared to spend to get the site up and running. While some optimistic advisers suggested that I try to build the site at zero cost, Toli said I should be prepared to spend $5,000 to $10,000 in total on design, programming, integration, and hosting.

So, I'm looking for advice here: Do I build my site using Microsoft software, open source, or some other platform like Sun or Google? Is the lowest-cost approach also the one that will give me the capabilities and flexibility I need?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll