Why Python Should Be the Programming Language for Your Startup

13 min read

Business, Python, JS
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From the very beginning, all startups face a critically important decision of picking the right programming language. The decision is not an easy one to make, considering the variety of options to choose from, with PHP, JavaScript, and Python being just a few.

And choose wisely you should, since a future-proof programming language can help you avoid these common problems:

  • scaling the development team up and down
  • internal integration
  • implementation of new features

Let’s also not forget the importance of carrying out market research. Out of the programming languages available, not all will be the right fit for your project and clients. Knowing your market will determine the success or failure of your startup.

This is why you want to make sure that the programming language you end up choosing serves the needs of your potential prospects and is beneficial for the growth of your business. In short, if your clients are happy—so are you.

What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.

Dave Thomas, founder @ Wendy’s

In this article, we’ll show you why you should consider Python as the programming language of choice for your startup. We’ll also give you a few examples of startups already using Python to gain a competitive edge.

But first, let’s talk about startups in general.

How are startups different from other companies?

In her article for Bplans, Candace Landau writes that the greatest difference between traditional businesses and startups is growth, or rather the pace thereof.

Startups are meant to grow fast, while developing a product they can potentially sell on a large scale, which is not the case for the majority of businesses.

Landau suggests that this explains why most startups are tech startups. Online businesses are limited by neither time nor space; your customers can buy or use your product whenever they want, wherever you are.

But that’s not all there is to it. There are multiple other factors differentiating startups from other companies, with budget, time, and profitability being the most important ones.

1. Budget

At the beginning of their journey, most startups are usually worse off financially than established businesses. Those who have already tried know that allocating capital for your startup is difficult, yet essential for successfully raising your next round.

Traditional accounting for most early stage tech startups is a waste of valuable time.

Lucas Matheson, CEO @ Pinshape

2. Time

A lot of startups need to act quickly to make partners and investors see the potential behind their project. This makes time a key factor.

One of the many advantages of Python is that it allows you to complete a project within a reasonable time frame and faster than, for instance, using Java for the same purpose. This is especially true when talking about code length.

Many programmers agree that with Python you simply write less code for the same functionality. Keep reading if you want to find out why (hint: it’s Django).

3. Profitability

In most cases, startups hope that their product starts generating profit as quickly as possible. Without it, they can’t grow and sometimes even survive.

The reality, however, is that startups are almost always complex undertakings and it takes them a while to become profitable.

A Day in the Life of - Corporate and Startup

Python—the programming language for your startup

That seems like a lot to juggle, no? Especially if you’re just getting started.

Luckily, Python is here to answer your woes.

Listed below are the main reasons why Python is a great choice for your startup:

1. Python is user-friendly.

Python is valued and appreciated in the software community for being intuitive and easy to use. These inviting qualities are often the deciding factors behind many startups choosing Python as their programming language.

2. Python is innovative.

While a lot of newcomers understandably favor Python over other languages, major-league players like Quora, Instagram, or even Google also rely on code written in Python—why is that?

Because Python is innovative, it is versatile, and it allows you to elevate your service to new heights. Whatever your needs, Python has got you covered.

3. Python is ubiquitous.

Python is used everywhere these days, from Reddit to YouTube. Its popularity is on the rise, and the support for it ever-growing. As part of your future-proofing agenda, you would be wise to pick a language for your startup that is here to stay.

4. Python is robust.

Startups such as media streaming projects or social networks are very frequently web-based. The web is driven by big data.

What does that mean for you? Complexity and difficulty of processing. Thankfully, Python is well-equipped to deal with such challenges, making it the perfect fit for beginners.

5. Python is scalable.

It’s crucial for startups to catch the wave of success and ride it while it lasts, but your business needs to be ready to handle such growth so quickly. That’s where Python comes into play.

The simplicity at the heart of the language means you’ll be able to overcome any obstacles along the way, and continue growing as you please. This, in turn, spells out only good things for years to come.

How the Django web framework helps your startup

While choosing your programming language is the first and most important step, your work is not yet done—you also need to choose your web framework.

Here is where things get a little bit tricky. After all, the selection of web frameworks available is extensive to say the least, and Python is no exception to this rule.

What you need to know is that the most popular Python framework is Django. And for good reason.

Tech startups are much in demand these days. Consequently, building your web application needs to be effortless and enjoyable. Django’s pragmatic design and ease of use meet those expectations head-on, leading to its rapid and sustained growth in popularity.

The three features programmers appreciate the most about the Django framework are support, scalability, and security.

1. Support

A strong community of professionals around the world is one of the greatest aspects of Python.

Django is developed and maintained by the Django Software Foundation, or DSF, meaning that the very foundation of the Django culture has its own code of conduct. How cool is that?

Many other communities out there, like IRC or mailing lists, are unwelcoming and sometimes toxic. With Django, the situation is reversed, and the support is, dare I say, friendly.

Nothing’s ever perfect, of course, and occasional hiccups are unavoidable, but those are generally handled quickly and efficiently. Plus, it is thanks to these policies that a lot of groups like Django Girls not only exist, but flourish.

2. Scalability

More often than not, you can’t easily predict when scalability will become a priority for your company, especially if you’re a startup.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use a language that is easy to maintain and scales great, both up and down.

At its heart, Django is a series of components, wired up and ready-to-go by default. Since these components are decoupled—meaning, independent from each other—they can be unplugged and replaced if and when your project requires more specific solutions.

3. Security

Django has built-in features that prevent a great deal of common security problems from occurring.

The framework masks or hides your site’s source code from direct viewing on the Internet. It achieves that by dynamically generating web pages and using templates that send information to web browsers.

Through this process, your software is more secure than if you used, say, PHP.

6 startups with Python in their tech stack

You already know why Python is an excellent technology choice for startups—in theory. Which is great, but says little of its practical application. You might be left asking yourself:

“Do startups actually use Python to create successful products?”

Thankfully, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

Below you will find a list of 6 startups who reached meaningful milestones in 2017, giving them a significant head start for 2018.

In spite of everything that sets them apart, they have one thing in common: Python.

1. TravelPerk

TravelPerk
  • Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
  • Founded: 2015
  • Highlight: in 2017, WIRED recognized TravelPerk as one of Barcelona’s hottest startups

About

TravelPerk is the next big thing right now. It is recognized as an innovative, next-generation business travel booking and management platform for companies of all sizes. The startup is also the world’s first and only all-in-one platform for booking business travel that is 100% free.

TravelPerk 2

TravelPerk has the world’s largest inventory, best-of-breed technology, consumer-grade design, and a highly disruptive business model that is free for all users. The company is backed by world-class investors like Spark Capital, who helped launch successful startups like Slack, Trello, or Twitter.

Tech stack

Good news: TravelPerk is built in Python/Django, as well as React.

2.  Festicket

Festicket
  • Headquarters: London, England
  • Founded: 2013
  • Highlight: in 2017, Festicket joined forces with Eventbrite

About

You’ve likely heard of Festicket, the world’s largest community website for music festivals. The company allows music fans to find and book tickets and packages for their festival trips. Intuitive and easy to use, it is designed to help you save money.

Because they work closely with various festival partners and suppliers, the startup has the ability to offer special packages comprising: festival tickets, accommodation, transport, and other add-ons to ensure that “festival-goers’ next music experience is as simple and pleasant as possible.”

Festicket 2

Tech stack

According to Stackshare, Festicket prefers that their developers specialize in Python and have prior knowledge of the Django framework (though the latter is not required).

3. shippo

shippo
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, United States
  • Founded: 2013
  • Highlight: in 2017, shippo raised $20 million to help small businesses compete with Amazon, according to Forbes

About

The adorable logo aside, shippo aims to effectively help ecommerce businesses deal with shipping purchases to the customer. The app is used across various ecommerce sites, like eBay or Etsy.

Shippo allows ecommerce sites to offer shipping from just about any parcel service you can think of. This, in turn, gives the customers an option to easily weigh the cost-versus-speed benefits.

Although shippo is still in its early years, the nearly 5-year-old and 60-person company keeps scaling up, and fast.

Tech stack

Shippo uses many programming languages, but they appreciate it when their developers are familiar with Django or another Python framework.

4. USIO

USIO Energy
  • Headquarters: London, England
  • Founded: 2017
  • Highlight: in 2017, which.co recognized USIO as one of the top 5 cheapest energy deal providers

About

USIO is an English energy company promising to treat customers as individuals. They are the only energy company leveraging new regulations that allow them to buy energy in 30-minute intervals to match their customers’ particular needs.

The company’s approach is highly innovative. All other energy companies buy energy based on a 20-year-old average profile, while USIO recognizes that you are anything but average.

USIO adapts to your lifestyle and buys energy only when you actually use it, saving you a great deal of money. In the near future, USIO will also tell you the times of the day when energy is extra green (and extra cheap).

Tech stack

USIO likes their developers to be experienced both in Python and JavaScript. The best of both worlds? We think so!

5. Password Boss

Password Boss
  • Headquarters: Minnesota, United States
  • Founded: 2014
  • Highlight: in 2018, Mashable recognized Password Boss as the leading app in effective password managing

About

Password Boss is a free password manager and digital wallet designed for anyone who has trouble remembering their passwords.

By securely storing personal information and synchronizing it across all devices, Password Boss is the easiest way for people to safely log in to websites, access their accounts, and shop online.

The app is available for Windows, iOS, and Android.

Password Boss 2

Tech stack

The backend is comprised of Python, Django, and Postgresql, while Django and Jquery make up the frontend.

6. 21 Buttons

21 Buttons
  • Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
  • Founded: 2015
  • Highlight: in 2017, 21 Buttons closed $10 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch

About

21 Buttons, a startup from Barcelona, is effectively changing the fashion game.

How, you may ask?

21 Buttons is making fashion more accessible and dynamic. The idea behind the app is simple: it allows fashion influencers and bloggers to share their style with other people. This way you can get inspired and shop the looks of Instagrammers in just one click. You can also earn money by generating sales through your own outfit posts.

21 Buttons 2

Tech stack

The developers at 21 Buttons ideally work with Python, and use frameworks like: Django, Flask, Redis, ElasticSearch, etc.

Summary

One thing we can all agree on (I hope?) is that startups are pretty great. It’s exhilarating to try and launch one. It can also be pretty scary. And hard.

So before you get down to it, remember that doing your research and choosing your programming language are the best things you can do to start off right. Not that it’ll be smooth sailing from there on out.

Startups are not like traditional businesses, and you would be wise never to forget that. Growth is a central difference, but so are budget, time, and profitability. Fortunately, they can all be addressed and rectified, at least to a certain extent, by the right programming language.

Python excels in all these areas—with help from its trusted web framework, Django. It overcomes any challenge you place before it with efficiency, speed, and quality unmatched by any other language.

Starting up? Start up with Python.

A note from the author

Thank you for reading my article about why Python is a good fit for startups. I hope you enjoyed reading it and found it helpful.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below. I’d be more than happy to answer them.

Further reading

To learn more about the advantages of Python, check out our article on why Python should be the technology choice for your fintech.

Also, if insurtech companies using Python are of interest to you—look no further.

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Author

Klaudia Poleszak

Business Development Representative

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