The Growth Stack for Early-Stage Startups

Ethan Steininger
4 min readJul 14, 2023


Having the right tech infrastructure can dramatically expedite the process of early market validation, improving efficiency, productivity, and scalability.

This article will delve into the importance of an early company/product growth stack, highlighting the various tools that can bolster a company’s growth trajectory.

The Power of the Right Tech Stack

Establishing a robust tech stack early on enables your business to smoothly handle the challenges that come with growth. This tech stack often includes tools for content management, email marketing, lead generation, prospecting, email drip campaigns, and cloud services for API hosting.

Landing Pages and MVPs

Using platforms like Bootstrap CSS or pre-made themes from ThemeForest hosted on Digital Ocean Droplets can significantly simplify the process of creating and hosting landing pages. These platforms offer customizable, mobile-responsive themes that can be easily modified to reflect your brand’s aesthetics.

This article provides step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring the components for running a Flask application on an Ubuntu server.

All apps use the same flask MVC boilerplate.

Ghost CMS

A reliable content management system (CMS) is essential for handling blog content effectively. Ghost CMS not only allows for easy content management but also takes care of SEO, sitemaps, and listservs, which are essential components for driving traffic and increasing visibility.


Email marketing is a crucial element of an effective growth strategy. Platforms like Mailchimp enable you to capture and manage email subscriptions effectively and automate marketing campaigns. Its API can be integrated into your website for seamless sign-ups and newsletter additions.

Here’s the Python code I use to automate adding and sending:

class MailChimp:
def __init__(self):
self.client = MailchimpMarketing.Client()
"api_key": "",
"server": ""

def add_to_list(self, email_address, company_name, website, api_key):
list_id = ""

member_info = {
'email_address': email_address,
'status': 'subscribed',
'merge_fields': {
"COMPANY": company_name,
"WEBSITE": website,
"API": api_key

response = self.client.lists.add_list_member(

print("User {} added to list {}!".format(
email_address, list_id))

except ApiClientError as error:
print("Error: {}".format(error.text))

def send_email_without_campaign(self, email_address):

response = self.client.customerJourneys.trigger(
1963, 14335, {"email_address": email_address})
# Print success message
print("Email sent to {} successfully!".format(response))
except ApiClientError as error:
print("Error: {}".format(error.text))

Typeform and Calendly

Typeform can be used to collect lead information efficiently. By integrating Typeform with Calendly, you can easily schedule discovery calls with potential customers, fostering stronger connections and improving conversion rates.


Lusha and LinkedIn Sales Navigator

For prospecting, tools like Lusha and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are invaluable. Lusha helps you discover potential prospects’ email addresses, while LinkedIn Sales Navigator enables you to find the right people and companies to target, thereby improving your sales outreach efforts.


For running email drip campaigns, Mixmax is an ideal tool. It allows for personalized mass emails, automated follow-ups, and in-depth tracking, facilitating more effective and efficient communication with prospects.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is indispensable for hosting APIs, EC2, ECS, S3, and more. Its wide range of cloud services provides flexibility and scalability, accommodating your business’s needs as it grows.

The Power of Building Demos as a Go-To-Market Strategy

Building demos on top of a SaaS is an excellent Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy. This approach offers several benefits:

  1. Dogfooding Your Service: Using your product internally (“eating your own dog food”) validates its usability and effectiveness. It provides firsthand insight into the user experience, enabling you to address any flaws or gaps promptly.
  2. Showcasing a Clear Use Case: Demos are an effective way to highlight your product’s unique value proposition. By demonstrating how your product solves a problem or enhances a process, you can effectively engage potential customers.
  3. Inherent Shareability: If a demo is engaging and valuable, it has a high potential to be shared by users, increasing your product’s exposure and reach.
  4. Customizable to Personas: Demos can be customized to fit various customer personas, ensuring that your product appeals to a broad audience. By tailoring your demos to different user needs and preferences, you can increase your product’s appeal and relevance.

Multimodal search can go in any direction, so it’s important we focus the code base on what’s top of mind for our users. Early validation via quick MVPs is critical…

Text and Q&A search:

Product and eCommerce search

Video Search

Semantic video search