Instrumenting a Startup: The Tools & Services We're Using to Start Armory
When Isaac, Ben and I started Armory late last year, I found a lot has changed since starting my last startup, Socialize, in 2008. There's a suite of new tools available to instrument a startup that didn't exist eight years ago, including:
- Incorporate + AWS Credits + Merchant Acct: We incorporated Armory using Stripe's Atlas program, which costs $500 but provides $15k in AWS credits in addition to a host of other benefits (including getting a Stripe merchant account set up).
- GCP Credits: We also got $20k in GCP credits via Google's Cloud platform for Startups
- Payroll & Benefits: We chose Gusto for payroll and benefit administration and have been very happy with them (use this link to get a $200 credit upon signup)
- Accounting & Expenses: Xero is a next-generation bookkeeping system and it integrates well with Expensify & Stripe.
- BackOffice: We're using OfficEngine for back office administration. We also looked at Bench and InDinero but chose OfficEngine because they specifically work with Xero (vs. having their own proprietary accounting system). This gives us flexibility to keep using Xero if we outgrow the services OfficEngine can provide, vs. having to export all our data.
- Communication: G Suite is still the best thing out there. We power our email up with Mixmax which offers BigDripper-style functionality. I can't say enough good things about CloudApp for visual communication, especially when paired with Slack.
- Cap table management: This is something I didn't even know I wanted, but now that we've started using eShares, I can't imagine how we managed cap tables using Excel.
- Other tools: We use Ghost to administer our Armory Blog. We use Rebrandly for vanity short URLs, and it includes link retargeting functionality. We use Adroll for very targeted advertising.
I haven't yet blogged much about Armory because we've been busy building. But if you'd like to learn more about the Software Revolution and how Armory is involved, head over to our Company Manifesto. I've also written a CEO Manifesto that describes the main jobs of a CEO in a startup (and the importance of creating a Tribe culture), and if you're interested in working at Armory, take a look at why life is awesome over here!
If you're generally interested in startups, head over to my "So You Want to Start A Company..." hackpad with my best tips on startups.
Above is a picture of Andrew and Isaac on-site at a customer. I'll write more about the experience of doing another startup over the course of 2017.