E137 Taras Baker: Founder & Chief Engineer @ Erised

Episode 137 April 13, 2022 00:27:29
E137 Taras Baker: Founder & Chief Engineer @ Erised
NoCode Wealth
E137 Taras Baker: Founder & Chief Engineer @ Erised
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Show Notes

Taras Baker is the Founder & Chief Engineer at Erised, a No-Code software development studio specialized in developing custom web apps on Bubble.

Web: Erised.io

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Episode Transcript

Abdulaziz Alhamdan 0:16 Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling. Every day they built for hours and hours but didn't ship and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find the way because of this, makers became founders, and they live the lives they deserve. Because of this, founders live lives of abundance, freedom and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in rural North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine. Even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now I'm rebuilding my life one more time. 1% a day, sharing the wisdom of luminaries have interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Harvard Financial Times, and even a priest from the Vatican church. All are welcome here. So let's begin. My guest today is Thomas Baker. Doris is the founder and chief engineer at a reset and no code software development to do specialized in developing custom web apps on bubble. Hello, Tara's, how are you today? Unknown Speaker 1:49 Ama time all good? How are you? Abdulaziz Alhamdan 1:52 I will begin with a question that will sound weird to the listeners. But it's not to you and me. How did Harry Potter influence the way you approach no code development or business in general? Unknown Speaker 2:06 You know, I have been like a huge fan of Harry Potter since the very young age. I remember, my mom was reading me the first book and I was very, very much captivated by it. And so as I was kind of transitioning between my software startup and what I'm doing today, I was also reading Harry Potter. And I thought it's such a brilliant book about kind of the fight of the good and evil, but also sticking to your ideals and doing what's right. And so I wanted to kind of tie in the the Harry Potter reference into into what I do. And so I decided to name my agency error said, which, if you're hired for the fun, will know that there was a mirror in, in Harry Potter and Harry goes to see him. And the mirror shows kind of your most desired things from from the bottom of your heart. And I thought that, you know what, this is a brilliant, brilliant name. You know, we will help people develop the apps that they really want to see. And also will stick to our ideals and to our values. And they will do what's right. So that's that's the name. And I guess that's kind of two unrelated things, how they find together, if you will. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 3:47 Well, I love that you stick to your ideals. And I love that reference yet. I have to ask because I remember, maybe half a year ago or so I created a poll on Twitter for no coders to ask them for the reason why they're in the no code community and space. Is it because they have a vision for a better future? They have an idea they need to express or purely for the money and more than 50% that they're purely there for the money. So do you tend to attract people who really have such ideals and you're expressing their inner vision into the outer world? Or do you come across enough of the people who are there just purely to make a quick buck or to make an income and they couldn't care less how or which app will get them there as long as they get there? Unknown Speaker 4:47 That's a great question. I think you kind of see both sides of it. Unknown Speaker 4:52 So there are services and kind of companies and agencies that definitely want To make that, like a quick about booking it, and they're not super honest about how much time they spend working on things, or how long certain things will take, for example, a lot of the customers that we've, we've encountered, they don't necessarily know much about software development and how it works. And so we've seen them come to us with apps where they would say, you know, our developer spent three months building this, and we'll look at it and it's, it's, like one repeating group from bobble and, you know, a couple of pages, and you can just think, how, how did they manage to, to do that for the, for the Islam, and, and so we tried to help those people rebuild the software, or in some cases, kind of, like, the software is so bad, we have to start from scratch. And then there was the no code Twitter, which is awesome, I love the community there. A lot of the people I've met, they're super helpful, and everyone wants to engage with each other. Everyone wants to somehow spread the word about, I mean, I'm specifically in the bubble space. So everyone wants to spread the word about the bubble and help others with it. So it's, it's totally awesome. I really love it. It's one of the best communities on the internet that I've happened happened to join. So, yeah. And to kind of answer, I guess, the second part of your question about sticking to their ideals. You know, it's, I find that with agencies and with software development in general, people. People are not, obviously software developers who come to you to clients and talk to developers. So it's, you really have to keep yourself in check when it comes to, you know, quote, in the amount of time that people spend on a task, because, you know, ultimately, there are situations where you could say, you know, this task is gonna take 10 hours, when in reality, you know, it's gonna take one hour. So there is this ethical component of it. And in addition to that, I feel there is also the, the moral component, when it comes to saying, what do you actually want to develop to your customer, in the sense that if they are developing a, I know, a streaming service or whatever, and the the, the unique selling point of the streaming service is streaming. And they want to add, you know, in use feeds to its to tell people, what are the latest updates? When it comes to the software? It's like, do you really need that? Do you really need the News Feed when the thing you're trying to make for the people is, is a streaming service. So there comes that moment as well when you are doing their project scope with the customers? And you really have to blindly ask them and challenge them about what is it that they actually want? Because they might have tons of ideas. But ultimately, what is the fastest way to revenue or to the results from from that perspective? Abdulaziz Alhamdan 8:23 I love what you're saying. And your penultimate point really, is something very important, especially within the no code community are the customers. And specifically, I will ask you, let's say me, I'm someone who doesn't know a lot about software development. I want to choose an agency or someone who's good that bubble or any of the no code platforms to create something for me? How will I know they're the right person? Because if you don't know you can get duped very easily. How would I know how long it will take whether they quoted me a fair amount or unreasonable? Like, what should they look out for? What are the red flags, the green flags and all that? Unknown Speaker 9:10 That's a that's a really good question. I think when I interviewed developers for, for my agency, the best ones that so our hiring process is kind of, it's kind of weird, because we don't really post job adverts. What we do instead is we go on telegram groups on Slack groups, or whatever. And we tried to find people who are very active in them, and who answered tons of questions. And then we'll reach out saying, The you want the job by the way. In addition to that, there are no code academies as well, where people are teaching those who want to be to be to be developers. And sometimes it helps out the reach to the teachers or to kind of the top of the class students to hire them as developers. So, what differentiates those really great guys from the rest of kind of the rest of the crowd? I feel that the number one thing, and it's ultimately I guess, I guess it could be related to the culture of the company, but they really, really want to help. And then when you ask them, when you interview them, they are very happy to say, Do you want me to share my screen and just show you how this works. So a lot of the people that we found that we're not that good, they were very secretive about their project projects. And there are projects where if you signed an NDA, you can't talk about it, that's fair enough. But it's an NDA is not necessarily a thing that's kind of keeping you from showing your project, you can still show some bits of it. I, for example, have a sandbox app, where I just experiment with things, or some projects just don't have an NDA. So they're happy to go and attend. And show us around. So kind of that openness. And that I guess engagement with with wanting to help others is is a really good sign, I think. And then obviously, if, if they show you a project, and it looks in works great. That's, that's awesome. I think, as well, and this is what we try to do as well, there are bits of the project where, you know, the client hasn't necessarily thought about this. From the user experience perspective. For example, you know, if you have a list of surveys, and you delete all the surveys, there are no more servers there, there is no screen to say no more surveys, you know, obviously, they will probably want this type of screen. So why don't you just add it, it's gonna take, you know, another 510 minutes or whatever, but it will make the user experience so much smoother. And when you demo it to the client, they will be like, Whoa, like, this is, this is what I wanted. So it's kind of trying to anticipate forward as well, what, what they want. So, yeah. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 12:24 So if I understood you correctly, it's people with an abundance mentality, rather than scarcity, who are open to share rather than trying to hide and be secretive, like you mentioned, is people who care and have empathy and put themselves in the shoes of the clients, the users, and who have pride in doing a good job. And showing like, you can test some of their work and find that it's well done. Is this correct? Unknown Speaker 12:55 Yeah, yeah, I feel like those are people who genuinely enjoy what they're doing. They, they wouldn't mind working weekends, not that we asked them to work weekends. You know, people can work at whichever time they want. But they normally will say, you know, what, I have a spare minute or whatever, I will do something in the weekend or, you know, experiment with something in between projects. So Abdulaziz Alhamdan 13:22 and I know you're focused on bubble, why bubble compared to any of the alternatives that are on the market today and popping up almost every week where you can find new competitors and new ways you can create web apps and other things. What interested you in using bubble What attracted you to it? What are the strengths and the weaknesses of experiencing development using bubble? Yeah, Unknown Speaker 13:51 so it's, it goes back a couple of years, where I was working on my second business. So my first business I used to sell T shirts online, in the cryptocurrency space, just like a Bitcoin t shirt or whatever. And my second business, so I sold the t shirt business and decided that I've had enough experience. This is sarcastic, by the way to to launch a software company. So graduated university, we raise our pre seed round. And we started building at this point, I have some experience with JavaScript, I had an internship, doing some JavaScript development and some PHP development as well. And we spent a lot of time building and getting to, you know, a certain number of customers and we had like 500 or something at the time. And to give an idea, we were focused on kind of b2b SaaS in a in the law space. And we realized that what are the I realize that we're running out of money, there is not much revenue coming in. And you know, or runway is slowly shrinking, and you know, it's becoming kind of 654 months, and it's kind of like a countdown and you're sitting there thinking, Oh, Jesus, how we're gonna, how we're gonna get out of this. So we decided to build more features as you do not do more marketing, but build more features. And as we start building these features, that we start estimating how long things will take. And because the whole stack is on PHP, and on JavaScript, we realize it's going to take, you know, three or four weeks, and it's going to be an absolute nightmare to develop and redevelop things that we already have. So start looking for alternatives, and bobble comes up one of my friends, Ash, from modern Atlantis, he suggested it, and I started playing around with it. And initially, I kind of dismissed it as something that's not super interesting. But then the thing that kind of tipped my scales were was the payments, how easy it is to integrate payments. So a decision is made to rebuild the whole thing in bubble. And as we started, as I started rebuilding it in, in bubble, I start socializing on forums and kind of ask him questions in Slack groups. And then as time goes by, I start answering questions myself, because I know how to solve certain issues. And a few people started reaching out in DMS, saying, Can you help us with this or that? And I'm saying, Yeah, sure. That's, that's an issue. And then then we get the message saying, This guy was looking for, like a consulting call. And he was like, Do you want to help me, you want to jump on the consultant call, I will pay you. And this was like, the first bobble gig that I did just a consulting call with this guy. And after the call, I showed him how to do things. And he's like, You know what? It's still software development at the end of the day. So how about you just build the whole thing? I'll pay you. I was like, You know what, I have time here, no issue. So I started building my first project and bubbled was a job board. And afterwards, a similar situation happened, somebody reaches out saying, can you build this? And like, you know, sure, no issue. So long story short, a few projects kind of come in. And I realized that the revenue from me building things on bubble eclipses, the revenue from the software startup that I that I was doing. So I, at the time, I didn't really want to accept the fact that, you know, the software startup is dead. So I declared that I'll put it on pause. But in reality, it failed at that particular moment, and I decided to focus on mobile development. So a few months go by like two or three months, I'm doing mobile development. And at that point, I decided to fully focus on on that and not do anything related to the software startup that I was doing previously. So to give a short answer to your question, it kind of just happened that somebody suggested bubble, and haven't played around with Zapier. airtable, Webflow other things. It blew me away by how powerful it is, and also Unknown Speaker 18:51 how easy it is to integrate payments. That's that that's the thing that made my well, that blew my mind. And I was like, oh, yeah, I have to do this. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 19:00 Thank you. I mean, I love that story. And also, part of it is good luck happening, and so many unexpected things throughout your life journey. Did you notice that there is like being a factor and shaping the trajectory of your life? Or maybe a Harry Potter reference will be relevant here? Or is it you at every fork of the road deciding what to do next? And that mythical kind of figure that knows what will happen and already decided and follow the plan to the tee to get there? Or how was your experience was life like that? Unknown Speaker 19:43 That's a very philosophical question, because there was only I can only assess what happened in the sense that I can't go back and re make the decision to see whether it was actually look that influenced the the outcome but I would say that, from the experience so far, I can attribute a lot of it to luck. So, when I was 11, my parents sent me to a school in Scotland, and I'm originally from Ukraine. And so I've spent the past was 13 years in the UK, something like that. And I, you know, getting the education here, that's just just super lucky that I was born in, in in that situation, in terms of business, you know, people reaching out super lucky as well, getting those first few customers because I didn't really think that I would do bubble development as a as a thing. And it's just kind of lucky that that people reached out. The other thing is, for example, with investment that were raised for the software startup, that's luck as well, because the guy literally reached out to us on LinkedIn saying, do you, are you looking for investment, I've heard things about you guys, and what you're trying to build. So that's luck as well. I think a lot of it is luck. But then also, there are situations where you can put yourself in a position which could potentially lead to luck in the future, if you know what I mean. So you know, you could a great example of this is that we got a project from Twitter recently. And the reason is, again, it's just pure luck that the person saw us and reached out, but by tweeting a lot, and just, you know, kind of telling people about no code, then you put yourself in a position where you could be lucky, and somebody could reach out to you. So it ultimately it's hard to tell, because it's its chance, but I think I think a lot of it is dependent on luck. Yes. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 22:19 Thank you. And since we're dealing with something more metaphysical, how do you view the future of the no code movement, or community or tools and use in like, not just one year, but maybe two to five years from now? Or even 10 years? How do you see things shifting? What will happen that you believe will grow? And will become more dominant in the marketplace? What is missing? Will AI play a role? I don't know. But you use it, what do you think will be the next moves? And next trends coming? Unknown Speaker 22:58 Yeah. That's interesting, because at the moment, I'm super bullish on on no code. And the reason is, is because is because of two things. Number one is fast and cheaper for the customers. It's just that if you are to develop anything that you want, it's faster and cheaper. That's that I mean, that that's a that's a very simple equation for the customer to make. And so I personally want to be in that space where I can get things out into public and test them out quickly. And, and see and see how they go and how they perform. And then, in terms of the direction where it's all moving, I think more integrations, more plugins, more things to play with that it's an obvious answer. But I would say that drum, the not so obvious answer is processes. In the sense that, how do you do quality assurance on things? How do you project manage certain things? Because no code is fast. And sometimes it takes longer to document a feature than to build it. So how do you solve that? Because ultimately, you still need documentation for things. But and documentation is super useful if a new developer joins the team, and they need to understand how the project works, or if the client wants to take development in house or, you know, for so many different reasons. So how do you resolve that when the, you know, the writing of the feature takes longer than the development of the feature? And then I've mentioned QA as well, quality assurance. So at the moment, nobody really knows how to test things built on bobble. On one side, it's the same thing as you know, you test it in the same way as you test a normal web app. On the other hand, you know, how do you test security and how do you test those types? Friends. So I don't have the answers. But I think as more and more serious apps get developed on bubble, that's the direction where it's gonna go in next two to five years. And just to kind of briefly share with the common comment about the serious apps on mobile. I've seen so many web apps that are kind of medium in size, they would have, you know, couple hundreds, maybe a couple 1000 users. At the same time, we worked with a few apps, one of them has 19 and a half, I think million workflows a month. And the company, I'm not allowed to say what the actual company is, but you can probably find that they have recently raised $100 million. Their stack is bubble. And it's their Series C funding round. So it's, it's huge, and I'm quite excited about where where that's gonna go. So definitely more serious apps and definitely kind of the focus on, on the processes around around how to develop things with with no code. Abdulaziz Alhamdan 26:09 Thank you. I love all the thoughts you have giving you every step of the process. And I'm sure you're one of those people that if you have a few minutes on the weekend, or even not, you're probably engrossed into your projects and progressing on them and perfecting them. And if people want to get in touch with you to learn more about you, what are the best places for them to go? What's your most used social media? Is that Twitter like you mentioned, and I'll make sure to write a few in the description as well. Unknown Speaker 26:43 Yeah, thank you so much for the plug. Yeah, I'm mostly on the on Twitter, at official terrorists. You know, too many fakes have just broken there are like, like 300 followers, but, you know, just just to find the username, and then our main website is error said.io It's desire spelled backwards. So, like, like in the mirror

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