Startup Toolbox, a resource for startups.


I’ve had several readers ask me what services and software they should use to build their startups. I asked the HN community for input and then I created this list. This list will help you get your startup up in running in no time. If you have any more suggestions for apps, please list them in the comments.

Measure everything you can.
Get Clicky – provides valuable real time information and analytics. @getclicky
Mixpanel: for specific analytics and metrics. @mixpanel
Visual Website Optimizer Really easy and powerful A/B testing @wingify
Google Analytics Free enterprise grade web analytics.

Stay connected with your customers and clients by keeping a company blog.
WordPress Host your own blog or go to to get a hosted one @wordpress
Tumblr Another great blogging platform, but you can’t self host.@tumblr
Posterous If you can email, you can blog. @posterous

Billing / Invoicing:
Billing and Invoicing can suck up a lot of time. It could be more efficient to let a trusted 3rd party do it for you.
Recurly Managing recurring payments @recurly
Chargify Helping over 3,600 merchants manage recurring billing @chargify
Freshbooks Track time, organize expenses and invoice clients @freshbooks

Email handling:
Email is critical to your startup. These are some of our favorite companies that handle email.
Mailchimp Really easy to use service for email newsletters etc.@mailchimp
Sendgrid Email Delivery. Simplified. Increased deliverability, APIs, & analytics. @sendgrid
Google Apps for your domain Powerful communication tools – all hosted by Google

Prototyping and Mockups:
Design before you build. Use your blueprint.
Balsamiq Rapid Wireframing Tool @balsamiq
mocksup Quick and easy mockups @mocksup
jMockups High fidelity mockups in a fraction of the time compared to Photoshop @jMockups
Mockingbird create, link together, preview, and share mockups of your app @gomockingbird

Hosting and Database:
When you hit the front page of Reddit, you can’t afford to have your app buckle under the pressure.
Mediatemple We use these guys for hosting. They’re fantastic. @mediatemple
Linode For hosting or Amazon EC2 @linode
Amazon AWS Scalable services in the cloud
Heroku If you’re using RoR, use this @heroku
Expandrive – Ridiculously simple online storage – SFTP/FTP as a network drive@expandrive

Remote Office:
Your team isn’t always in the same location. Use these apps to stay in sync.
Flowdock Google Wave done right. @flowdock
Pivotal Tracker Agile project management: @pivotaltracker
Go Plan Project management: @Goplan
Github For source control and wikis @github
Yammer To communicate with your teammates @yammer
Basecamp One of the best online project collaboration tools @basecampnews

Customer Support:
Keep your customers happy
Get Satisfaction Measuring value from social media shouldn’t be hard @getsatisfaction
Tender For support / help desk @tenderapp
Pingdom Uptime and latency monitoring for your servers. @pingdom
Geckoboard Real-time status board serving up the indicators that matter to you. @geckoboard

Thanks to our community for helping to build this great list. If you have any more suggestions for apps, please list them in the comments.

  • Great post. I’m already using at least one from each category!

  • Google App Engine is missing in Hosting and Database.

  • under “Remote Office.” For those that prefer Mercurial over Git

  • For prototyping & mockups, you can’t leave out

    • Anonymous

      Good catch Andrew. I had this on my original list, but it slipped through the cracks.

  • For real-time remote collaboration (such as remote whiteboard and remote presentations) you could use SyncPad (

  • TK

    For spreading the word about your startup, biz dev and customer development, don’t forget Tout –

  • Ben

    For increasing your conversion rate, and talking to your early customers don’t forget 🙂

  • There is also a more comprehensive wiki at (compiled by UK startups)

  • James

    Rapid product iteration is fundamental to the success of an early-stage startup. Therefore, you gotta know what to build and when to build it. Tools like and help you understand what your customers want most.

    (disclaimer: I founded

  • Sabat

    Posterous for blogging.

    • Anonymous

      Added, thanks for contributing!

  • I noticed that you don’t have any services for domain registration and hosted DNS. I’ve built to be friendly to startups by making both the registration and the DNS setup process quick and easy. Take a look, and if you think it fits the list I’d love to see it on there. Thanks!

  • Shale Craig

    For keeping in touch with your team, use Rypple. (

  • I think Logmein needs to be somewhere in this list especially probably under Remote Office. It’s an amazing product.

  • I would add KISSmetrics under Analytics. They have the best funnel tracking, period.

  • is great for team collaboration.

  • For simple and basic website analytics, Mint Analytics is nice and easy to setup – Additionally, 37signals Backpack is awesome for internal communications and collaboration, basically like an easier to use Wiki – I’m also fond of Campfire, their online chat system. Only problem is, all of the 37signals stuff together can get pricey if you’re using it with over 3-4 people and the basic free accounts.

    Also, could you explain why you chose Mediatemple? I’ve looked into them numerous times, but can’t figure out what they do better enough to justify their extra cost per month versus other shared hosting or VPS companies. I’d love to know what makes them better. I currently have one domain through them thanks to a special they’ve been running on .com’s, but have never used them for hosting.

    • I guess it comes down to preference and a breakdown of what you’re actually getting with hosting packages (as far as specs, services, support, etc.) If you have any specific questions for us, please feel free to give us a call or message us on Twitter (@mediatemple). Support is staffed on both phones and Twitter 24/7/365. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!

    • Guest

      You might want to add CashOff to the list. They are a Coupon Management System for Business.

  • Thanks for putting together this list – It’s such a great idea! helps companies get a great deal on credit card processing. Processors bid down for merchants business, and the average e-commerce site saves ~40%

  • Phlid909

    1 more for Transactional Email: Postmark (

    2 for hiring: Active Interview ( and The Resumator (

  • Wow quality list, checking into Mockups now, haven’t heard of that one before and it sounds cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • For accounting and cashflow: inDinero

  • Donald

    “Linode For hosting or Amazon EC2 @linode”

    This doesn’t make sense.. You copied that from an HN comment. He wanted to say:

    Linode OR Amazon EC2.

  • Nice write up! And we certainly appreciate the loud shout out, recommending (mt)! We use a couple of the services you listed ourselves, too 🙂 Thanks again!

  • Anon

    Dropbox ( is great for all your file sharing needs.

  • Great list and additions. Here are a few more:

    For qualitative analytics:
    Userfly (
    ClickTale (
    KISSInsights (

    Step-by-step guide on how to use third party tools to get your web company started:
    LaunchBit ( <– Note: this is my website

  • Btomaj

    it’s missing some sort of surveying software that’s useful for all kinds of market research etc.

    • You could try poplytics for surveys

      • Btomaj

        i meant more along the lines of for example

        • Croq

          I use PandaForm, and their free account has more features/questions than Survey Monkey’s.

  • Paul,

    Have you looked into New Relic (@newrelic)? We are just experimenting with it and we’re impressed so far.

  • Would like to add a few for referral & affiliate programs & for customer support (huge for cust dev!) CRM

  • Please consider adding to the Customer Management section.

  • Heroku is a terrific service for deploying ruby on rails apps but carries severe limitations or pricing implications. That said, once you understand the limitations there is no easier way than Heroku to get an early version of your app in the cloud.

  •  I would like to add some

    scribeSEO – proof your content to be SEO friendly
    Copyscape- prove how unique your content is.
    Yahoo Site Explorer – See how your competition ranks
    Mobile TMS –

  • Great List! Add the following:  

    Customer Conversion Tracking –
    Manage receipts for accounting –

  • George

    for invoicing i would like to mention

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the opportunity to catch up and make good knowledge.
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  • Great post . its a need of today human but it need more information about their topic not a bad but i wish it.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to catch up and make good knowledge.

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  • John
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  • gps track cell phone

    Thank you for the startup links. I really appreciate the effort. It will help alot especially beginners.

  • Skr5
  • Percy

    I’ve built  quick and easy mailserver and pbx products that run on linode and ec2.  Check my estore and they can be up and running in literally minutes.

  • I would like to add for team collaboration and delegation.

  • Danny Holtschke

    Benchmark your startup’s KPIs against more than 20,000 Internet startups with the StartupCompass ( Powered by Startup Genome.

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  • Thanks for sharing this informative post with us.I would like to read your more updates.Keep it up.

  • I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now 😉

  • – is awesome for design feedback probably my favourite tool. If you have a remote team (my tool) for getting detailed analytics of what everyone is working on

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  • Robert

    Great list. Couple of recommendations

    ClickDesk live chat and helpdesk for customer support/feedback –

    Google appengine in hosting and database

    Stripe in invoicing/billing –

  • Peter Solution

    Previously it was a real frightening matter for me personally, nevertheless witnessing the skilled technique you treated the issue took me to jump with gladness

  • Thanks for this informative post.Keep it updates.

  • Android and IOS apps missing from the list I like for To-Do listing

  • What about free Mind mapping apps. They are a huge aid for any start up

  • Dyn Dns

    check out dyndns for all your Managed DNS & Outsourced DNS. And more recently Email Delivery. They have big names under there belt.

  • Thanks!

  • Wolf Becvar

    Would love to see our collaborative prototyping tools listed:
    HotGloo – Wireframe UX Prototyping Tool
    Notism – Design Feedback Tool

  • Aravind

    It is not that all founder / co-founders / Entrepreneur’s are developers themselves how about putting together a list of web development companies / agencies as well ?

  • alan
  • rupertdom

    The party ended long ago…But here’s my submission – for remote team management.

  • Julia

    Killer list.

    Missing an important one though: ONTRAPORT ( for business and marketing automation. 4,000+ entrepreneurs and small businesses use this to start, systemize and scale. Think CRM, email management, list segmentation, marketing automation, billing, easy website buliding etc.

  • Erik

    Any chance there’s an updated version of this out there? Good list from this post, but curious about the current landscape of tools and thoughts on integrations to keep the tools from becoming too much work.

  • Mansi

    I would like to recommend ProfitBooks – Its a simple yet powerful cloud accounting solution. Check out

  • Maria Azeredo

    Pushpin Planner is a great tool for resource planning. It allows real-time online collaboration for agile teams and includes a free plan. Pushpin Planner was designed for small teams in service industries such as architecture, design and software development.

  • estraschnov

    I’m going to shamelessly promote what I’m working on because we’re building a tool that enable people to build something like Facebook or Airbnb without having to learn php, JS or HTML. It’s Bubble (

    Bubble is designed to let someone with zero previous programming background build an interactive website; it handles the database, scaling, etc behind the scenes. You can define your own data structure (on Facebook, you’d have users, posts, comments and messages for instance). Think about it as programming without code, or programming as easy as PowerPoint and Excel.

    We’ve be on this for 2 years, and have quite a few startups running on us.

  • Shameless plug, but our online diagramming tool Creately ( ) can hugely benefit start-ups.
    You can use it to create flowcharts, business process models which help in planning and identifying defects in a flow. You can use it to draw mind maps for brainstorming. You can create SWOT diagram for market and competitor analysis. You can use it to create wire-frames, org charts and much more.
    Check it out and I do hope I convinced you to add us to the list 🙂 .

  • Ralph Francis

    I’m missing, great tool to get feedback from clients without any hassle. I’m a fan.

  • lily

    this is a great toolbox which i will be using for

  • Adding to the list of shameless promotion BUT this is a VERY useful tool for any cash-strapped start-up or business: Save tons by getting free advice from experts on our site. You can even set up your own communiity!

  • Remote work:
    – Sandglaz: lean project management for agile teams.
    – Kato/Slack: team chat.
    – Dropbox: sharing files.

  • Ron Starc

    Expandrive doesn’t fit every situation. When you need to transfer files, use FTP Manager Lite. It is one of the best free FTP client software. The clean interface is super easy to use. It will perform your files transfers quickly and efficiently. It also supports FXP for superfast server to server transfers. It is perfect for backups or synchronizing servers.

  • Laim Chips

    ProofHub missing in the remote office section. Amazing tool for communication. collaboration and management.

  • Ellen

    In the meantime, there are even more tools that a startup can use:


    PagerDuty https://www.pagerdut incident management
    PhpStorm https://www.jetbrains .com/phpstorm/ PHP IDE
    Upsource urce/ code review
    Grafana (metrics and analitics dashboard)

    Communication and collaboration apps

    Zabbix (open source)
    Riemann (open source)
    Collectd (open source)
    Statsd (open source)
    Splunk (hosted logging analysis)

    Also, I found very useful this list here: