This PandoDaily article does a great job of explaining important startup technologies in plain english for non-developers. I pulled out bits and pieces for this post, but definitely check out the full article.
Node.js makes it much easier, faster and efficient for your development team to do cool shit in your app in real-time that will melt your users’ faces.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails lets your developers build cool shit really, really quickly. It will also help you recruit developers because they love Ruby on Rails.
NoSQL databases are great for storing mass amounts of data in a really dumb way.
Github gives the source code behind your app a place to live. Since it’s hosted, no setup or maintenance is needed. It also comes with some additional bells and whistles that make automating builds and deployments faster and easier, and is very conducive to distributed development teams. Lastly, developers love Github.
AWS and/or EC2
AWS allows you to host your Web apps in a highly scalable way yet only paying for the resources you actually use. It also allows your tech team to help themselves in real time when they need to add servers.
You’ve heard of SOAP and REST right? JSON is newer and better. It also plays very nicely with the fancy new UI interactivity that is all the rage these days.
Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD)
When more than one developer is writing code, it makes it hell to merge everyone’s code together and ensure shit didn’t break. Continuous Integration is an automated process that ensures integration hell doesn’t occur. Continuous Deployment takes CI one-step further and even by automatinges deploymenting stuff to live servers in small chunks so that you avoid the risks of big bang releases that can also break shit.
You know how bad it sucks to try and do real-time audio or video in a web browser using flash? WebRTC makes it so that you no longer need to use flash. You can now do things like VoIP and Video Chat natively inside the browser.