Ruby and Rails mainly attract developers wanting to get things done quickly but elegantly. These developers are often product-oriented and care more about the purpose and customer value than the lower-level computational details.
As a beginner in web development, I’m definitely cannot comment much on other languages but the author is pretty much accurate about the part getting things done quickly and elegantly. I started off with a simpler ruby framework Sinatra instead of Rails to help me learn Ruby. Ruby to me, indeed is much easier to understand and I think it is also closer to Objective C. But if you are thinking to venture into the world of programming, chose that one that floats your boat, because I believe that once you picked up certain language and learn the logic, all language works the same.
So what technology should a startup use? I prefer to go for a simpler solution, the one what we are comfortable with and I don’t mind having more lines of codes to perform certain instructions. (but that just me :P)
if you are interested in ruby, here’s a great tutorial Learn Ruby The Hard Way