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All the Free Credits/Deals We Use for Our Startup

by Joe Marshall on November 11th, 2020

Free tiers are the developer world's version of BOGO ("Buy One, Get One Free").

It's an advertising innovation that works so well because it speaks to the psychology of its consumer: People buying coats, toasters, and other retail goods are tempted by free abundance - developers scrutinizing tools are lured in by test drives.

Like any bootstrapper, we try and use this to our advantage as much as possible, stretching credits and free limits like a household stretches coupons.

It turns out you can get pretty far on the largesse of FAANG marketing departments. Here we've tried to create a comprehensive list of all the services we are using either for free or with the advantage of a few credits.

The List

  • $5,000 AWS Credits - A generous gift from Stripe's Atlas program. Our entire infrastructure is on AWS, so they're credits we can use.
  • Google Analytics - Sadly it's hard to beat GA for something plug n' play that integrates with the all-important Google advertising and search infrastructure
  • Hangouts - Pour one out for Hangouts, which is being axed for Meet. We'll miss its chat-video integration.
  • JIRA/Confluence - Free for small teams, we have to admit as a devtools company, Atlassian "gets it".
  • Netlify - we use Netlify for one-off landing pages or simple plug-n-play custom domains. The original JAMstacker.
  • BareMetrics - cheating a bit, but even using the free trial just to get a deeper snapshot of your Stripe activity can be really cool.
  • Mailchimp - We just outgrew the free tier, which has served us well.

Everything else we pay for! Though it's not a long list, that's partially because 1) we see value in the things we are willing to part with our dear money for and 2) that AWS credits listing is doing a lot of heavy lifting, considering our entire infrastructure is Amazon.

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