I think there are very good reasons for startups to promote their use of the newest technologies--just follow the money. After all, they are in the business of being the new-new thing. They have to get potential investors interested, build up a sizable customer base from scratch or by poaching, all while scaring off competitors by deceptively puffing themselves up.
Given the oversaturated web market, if you come out using old technology, investors are not going to think you're doing anything new. And bragging about using untested and relatively new technology can psychologically intimidate competitors.
There's certainly a bizarre looking-glass effect when you see the vast ecosystem of mutual self-promotion that seems to propel all of the web companies. It is certain that upwards of 90% of these companies will not last even five years, but the survivors will be the next google or facebook, so the risk is worth it, and so the financiers will never stop trying. This hype filters down into and drives the developer community who nurture the tools and languages which grow into the dominant platforms.
In light of the industry wide deception, I'm not sure whether Perl's use within startups is a meaningful statistic at all.
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