Run less software: Keeping your system is simple is better than seeking some supposedly best tool for the task

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I agree with this idea, that it is important to keep the tech stack as simple as possible. This is especially true at a small startup that needs to move fast. This kind of simplicity offers real agility, which is far superior to the fake agility that some hope to get from various scrum rituals:

Don’t use the best tools for the job. Sounds counterintuitive, right? In AWS, the best tool for a highly available key-value data access store is probably DynamoDB, and the best tool for a bunch of time-series data is probably Timestream. However, if you already have a fully operational MySQL Aurora installation in place, can’t you just put the data there instead?

Even in the cloud, adding new technology to your stack can be a distraction. You should optimize globally, and that means using the tools you’re already using. Don’t add to your stack unless you’re certain that your use case will not be satisfied by existing software.

At Intercom, we call this “Run Less Software,” and it’s part of our technical strategy of being technically conservative. We think it works for us, it’s helped us avoid building and maintaining a lot of stuff that would have slowed us down over time.

Post external references

  1. 1