Discussion on: Will PHP save your startup?

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Kasey Speakman

Facebook is written in php ... It started up, and has kept php.

I do not think this is an accurate characterization. As popularity rose, they ran into problems, especially performance. So they tried a number of things, including creating their own custom compiler and language clone for PHP. All of that was deemed cheaper than rewriting their code base in another language. You can google for HHVM and Hack for more information. This Quora question has a lot of good insights from FB employees. Including this quote.

The flavor of PHP we use at Facebook, Hack, is very far removed from the what you typically think of when you picture PHP.

But your latter point is quite correct: Like most successful companies, their success has almost nothing to do with their choice of tech stack. And everything to do with creating a product consumers wanted and an effective way to monetize it.