by Cedric Dugas on February 6, 2012
Some of you guys probably know that I have been working on a project for some time. I finally got around of fixings the last couple of bugs and so today I am launching weddingdeck.com, whitelabel wedding planner.
When I look at people getting married it always seems like a lot of stress is involved in the process. This tool is suppose to relieve that stress for a very small fee. It’s also whitelabel, that means that professional wedding planners can add their logo and sell it at their own tool to their clients for a monthly fee.
Like I said it’s a MVP, don’t expect a onslaught of features, I’m trying to focus on a small set of features and build them to be useful in the long term. I also have a lot of ideas to complement or pivot a bit the project. I think the wedding niche can be disrupted and there is a lot of space to do it. I have been developing this project for 4-6 months and I think it was time to do a small breakdown of how this experience has been for me.
My app is primary a front-end saas. I use jQuery + Backbone.js as a front-end MVC. This allows me to reuse much of my code on the mobile web app because it uses jQuery Mobile + Backbone.js. In the future I will also release a native app on Android & IPhone using Phonegap. It will be my mobile web app + taking photos functionality. I’m really happy of that stack, it makes moving fast really easy on mobile from my desktop app (at the cost of not having a native look). Without that stack there is no way I could release an Android & iPhone app alone.
Frameworks! Out of my way!!
If you know PHP, don’t start something with Ruby or a big enterprise framework (unless it’s educational first). You move faster with tools you know, I’m a front-end developer, my app is front-end heavy. For the API use Codeigniter because it’s easy, swift, small, and is used by a lot of people. I did the error to start with Symfonybefore and lost countless hours learning intricacies of the magic behind Symfony.
It’s cheaper than ever to create web products
Something I really leveraged with this product is the cheap price of online services. If you are bad at design, html, video it does not really matter, at least not for the first couple of months of your company.
Introducing themeforest.net and the Envato network. On the Envato network you can find pretty much anything you need for your startup, and it’s all superior quality and cheap price. Personally, I’m not really good at design, so ThemeForest really helped me find saas templates and saas marketing designs that look professional, I also bough a really nice template card and email template.
That way I really concentrated my efforts on building the saas user experience and moving forward faster with a project that looks nice.
You don’t need big hosting
If you are bootstrapping you don’t need big server, in fact a cheap 10 bucks hosting from Webfaction would do. They even have a SMTP server with good rating for sending your transactional emails. Their servers are fast and not overcrowded, of course if you build up a big enough clients base you will have to switch. But think about this : this blog is on Webfaction getting more than 100 000 views a month and its running as fast as Wordpress allows it.
You don’t need to scale now, at least I’m not.
Finding time is hard
I think that one is obvious but bootstrapping products is time consuming and you can get quite obsessed with it. I guess being obsessed is good for the product but definitely bad for you. Obviously I got other ideas for weddingdeck, bigger ideas, but for now here you go, even if your not getting married have a try at the product and hit the suggestion box!