What are the most popular tools used by start-ups?

BestVendor survey shows new companies increasingly rely on the cloud

You're a start-up, and Peter Thiel has never heard of you. Neither has Roger McNamee, Bill Gurley, John Doerr, nor anyone else on Sand Hill Road. You're bootstrapping it, baby!

So how can you build your business without maxing out your personal credit cards? Simple: By choosing and using affordable tools. But which ones?

BestVendor (itself a start-up) surveyed 550 start-up staffers — primarily marketing, executive admin and developer types — to find out their preferences regarding a wide array of productivity, administrative and analysis tools, including email, accounting, web analytics, design and storage.

Some details are below, but one thing that jumped out at BestVendor right away was the "growing trend in startups moving toward predominately cloud-based operations."

All of the survey's results, highlighted with fun and colorful graphics, can be found here.

If you're short on time and averse to fun and colorful (OK, mostly blue) graphics, I compiled a list of most popular products by category:

Company email: Google Apps (57%)

Weird one I didn't expect: GoDaddy (4%)

Accounting: QuickBooks (71%)

Web Analytics: Google Analytics (70%)

CRM: Salesforce (59%)

Website Design: Adobe CS5 (86%)

Storage/Backup/Virtualization: Dropbox (39%)

Payment processing: (27%)

Project management: Basecamp (29%)

Collaboration/Wiki: Google Docs (25%)

Database: MySQL (58%)

Social Media Management: HootSuite and Facebook (18% each)

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