Our No Code App Builder Makes $120K/Year

Sebastian Gravina
Founder, Mobapp Creator
$10K
revenue/mo
3
Founders
2
Employees
Mobapp Creator
from Miami, FL, USA
started August 2013
$10,000
revenue/mo
3
Founders
2
Employees
278K
alexa rank
138
followers
731
followers
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Our No Code App Builder Makes $120K/Year

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

We are a team of 3 co-founders, Leonardo, Germán, and Sebastian. We provide a No-code app builder solution for small businesses and resellers. Our tool MobAppCreator, allows our customers to quickly and inexpensively build professional apps for android and iOS.

We met back in the early 2000s while working on building an ISP infrastructure. Leonardo and German are responsible for most of the high-level product design while I´m in charge of operations and support.

Overall we have been working on different projects for the past 15 years in multiple projects from Bluetooth beacon marketing solutions to web and hosting platforms. Our most ambitious project has been building Mobappcretor’s product.

One of our team strengths is to build products that scale but also keep costs low by taking advantage of serverless computing and good data structure. With this in mind, our running costs are only 10% of our overall COGS.

our-no-code-app-builder-makes-120k-year

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in the early 2000s, we dove into web hosting, databases, at some point we were making custom web products with PHP, MySQL.

When mobile phones started to be part of everyday internet access we experimented with paid content for feature phones (aka flip phones), we also created a solution to beam Bluetooth ads to phones within the range of the Athena.

A key moment was when we first saw the original iPhone introduction and knew that mobile apps would be a game-changer. This is how we got closer to our latest project. We were developing mobile apps for a couple of years and as more and more projects came in we discovered that many of our customers' requirements had large similarities.

This moved us to build our framework to build apps and from there we took it one step forward and made that framework easy to use and web-accessible so anyone can use our building blocks to create their mobile apps.

Creating a product in isolation is a formula for disaster. Connect with other entrepreneurs, share your idea, validate your product and expect honest feedback.

MobApp Creator combines many of the past experiences with web pages, web apps, mobile content, custom mobile applications, and finally a framework to develop no-code mobile apps.

Once we had an MVP product that worked, we participated in a product competition for entrepreneurs and won a grant of 100K. At this point, we decided to create a new company and dedicate all our time to the project. We were soon working alongside other startups, sharing ideas, pains, success stories, and late nights of debugging.

Creating a product in isolation is a formula for disaster. Connect with other entrepreneurs, share your idea, validate your product and expect honest feedback.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

It was a long process. We were able to take the lessons learned from previous projects, like not falling in love with your product and being ready to kill features that may not make sense for the user journey. That’s when we were finally able to have an elegant solution, building all the system components; the backend, APIs, front-end services, and app code.

If you go through an accelerator program, don't expect them to provide all the answers for you, in the end, you are the person who knows your product best.

From early on, our team followed the Agile process. This was something that was not widely used at the time, but we have seen it work in other companies that moved from a monolithic product to a more de-coupled structure with microservices.

Our day-to-day was mostly scrum ceremonies where we went over our backlog, user stories, and epics. Once we had our MVP, we did a closed beta where we managed to get 5 paying customers to start trying our product.

At that time we were part of a startup community called Wayra where we had a chance to access resources like UX experts, SEO advisors, and other startups who shared their experiences. This was greatly beneficial for our project since we got access to people who otherwise would be inaccessible to an unknown startup.

We do recommend being part of an accelerator program but as always, be diligent and make sure it is the best fit for your project. Many accelerators will not charge you for their services but get a % of your company in return. My biggest piece of advice: don't expect the accelerator to provide all the answers for you, in the end, you are the person who knows your product best.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Launching our product was not free from stress. We had little to no web design experience and therefore we focused more on function than form.

In the end, we put together a “decent” site for a 2012 standard.

our-no-code-app-builder-makes-120k-year

Our company was awarded funding through an accelerator process after winning the product competition. The program lasted one year where our team was involved in many activities related to product development, testing, UX, support, and documentation.

For example, one day we would schedule a meeting with UX experts who would test our product and propose improvements. Some are based on best practices and others are based on feedback provided by selected test users who would try the product while being recorded for later analysis.

At the end of the process, the accelerator invested in acquiring 10% of our company. This has been a highly beneficial partnership since it not only provided funding but also contacts and exposure with key players in the startup community.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Mostly a great support team that takes upon answering quickly to questions and comments.

Also, we have a dev team that is noble yet agile which helps keep our churn rate below 4%.

our-no-code-app-builder-makes-120k-year

We tried most usual marketing channels: Facebook ads, Adwords, SEO, Press releases, participated in tech events and even tried mass mailing.

As of today, there is no silver bullet on the most effective tool. Probably a combination of paid ads and SEO but it varies from time to time.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Our team is always busy improving our product. Some changes might not be visible to customers but allow us to streamline the system and to keep in compliance with the store's requirements.

We also go over our customer's wishlist monthly and pick ideas to implement.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Being part of an ecosystem where sharing experiences is encouraged is important.

Creating a product in isolation is a formula for disaster. Connect with other entrepreneurs, share your idea, validate your product and expect honest feedback.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  • We love Intercomfor user support and engagement
  • Baremetricsto keep an eye on our key metrics
  • Jira and Monday for all project related management
  • Miro for all our discussions and team meetings notes

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Our most influential blog is Founders Journey from baremetrics:

Our preferred book is the Phoenix Project.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Be prepared to fail and learn from mistakes, recalculate and adapt.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are looking for a Commercial manager to bring the company to the next level

If interested you can apply to [email protected]

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Sebastian Gravina, Founder of Mobapp Creator
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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