Building a software product is both incredibly simple and excruciatingly complicated. You can build a new mind-blowingly helpful feature within hours, sometimes even minutes. But if you make the wrong technology choices, you might be rewarded with several months of additional work a few years later.

Let's talk about building a product that can carry your SaaS business to success calmly and intentionally.

Intentional Choice #1: The Tech Stack

Choose a technology foundation that works for you instead of something you need to work on all the time. While the cool kids go with the newest and fanciest framework on the market, calm founders pick a technology that has been around for a while.

Established tech has many benefits and very few drawbacks. You get something that had to prove itself to others before you. If it hadn't worked for someone else's project, the tech wouldn't still be around. Most tech comes with a prosperous community that is helpful and supportive of newcomers, creating tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and generally vast amounts of freely available information. Established tech has a vibrant ecosystem of extensions and integrations. Whatever additional functionality you might need, someone likely had that requirement before and built something you can plug into your solution.

You will find that most of the calmest SaaS businesses out there use Ruby on Rails or sit on top of PHP. Few companies succeed at their goals while also chasing the most current trends. Every day, someone somewhere releases a new candidate for sparkly-framework-of-the-month. I suggest you ignore these. While your product could undoubtedly benefit a little bit from having the newest UI or the latest high-performance compiler optimization, your customers don't care about that.

In fact, customers rarely ever care about the underlying tech of your solution. Even when you build software for other engineers, they won't care about the specific choices of your stack. All they want is for you to solve their problems reliably. Picking a tech stack that can deliver on that is how you can build a calm business.

So, what are these great foundational choices?

The best tech choice is the one where you pick the things you already know and are very familiar with. If you've been building software using Node.js for half a decade, build your business on top of that. If you're a Rails developer, use Rails. It's very simple: the cost of learning a new framework to build a business with is incredibly high because it will eat up your development time.

Starting a business venture with an unfamiliar tech stack rarely makes sense. Imagine it would take a well-versed programmer to build a particular feature within four hours using JavaScript and three hours using Python. If you're a JS veteran but want your business to be a Python project, you have to now learn enough Python to build this feature. This might take you weeks, maybe even a month, and even then, you won't have the confidence to have produced a high-performing version.

Four hours versus four weeks. And you'll still have to pay your bills. If you're building a business to live from eventually, four weeks can make or break your effort.

Choose the tech you know.

There is a rule of thumb called the Lindy Effect. It states that, in the world of technology, things that have been around for a while are likely to stick around for equally as long. The older something is, the longer its life expectancy. Consider that when picking your foundations: new things are likely to go out of fashion much quicker than things that have seen decades of usage and are heavily integrated into the business world out there.

Intentional Choice #2: Abstractions and Decoupling

But all things can come to an end. And that's something that a calm SaaS founder prepares for. You can set up your product to be able to adapt to changing conditions in the technology landscape.

Here are a few ways to make this easier: