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Businesses are expected to grow, and the websites and applications that support them must be able to grow too. Scalability is a core concern for many founders. But building an application that can smoothly scale from a handful of users to tens of millions is challenging and complex. It takes expertise, time, and an expensive infrastructure platform.

Early-stage startups have limited resources. Is building to scale the right way to invest those resources, or is it better to focus on building and marketing a great product. Should you choose infrastructure that can scale to support millions of users, or start small and worry about massive scaling when it becomes an issue?

Scalability has been defined as the ability to increase resources and have performance increase proportionally, where performance refers to the amount of work the system can do. Most websites and applications are scalable to a point. When your WordPress site gets too big for a shared hosting account, you can migrate it to a dedicated server.

The same is true of bespoke web applications, but I’ve often spoken to founders who don’t think that a simple server solution is enough. Most are building businesses based on a CRUD app. They plan to …

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