Ever woke up in the morning having an idea that you think this can be the next big thing? Well, as an entrepreneur, I can truly say it’s in my blood, but — at the same time — knowing that nothing comes easy, especially when it comes to digital products from the scratch to, let’s say a first market validation, and everything often takes long time, huge talent and or course some other resources that we all know — well, I guess I was wrong in some expects, and here is why.
During the lockdown in Barcelona, we recognized the tremendous increase of live-streaming events across all our favorite social media platforms. From live yoga sessions on Instagram to living room music concerts on Youtube. Suddenly, everyone moved their talents, voices and actions into the “new” digital world of live-streams and all of those amazing live-streaming sessions had something in common — they were hard to find and even harder to schedule over all those different platforms out there.
Connecting the dots, it was all clear — let’s create a social mobile app that allows others to create and share their live-streaming events from whatever platform they stream and on the other side, provide a guide and timeline of those events for others to discover, schedule and attend the live streaming events that they like for the topics that they love — so that day, nextlive.io was born, the first real-life live-streaming guide for iOS and Android. Easy! Right?
Did I say Android and iOS? Yes, I did. I am confident with technology (at least I think I know), where to dig in to get some first ideas to bring an idea to life. Get a domain, create a brand and do some designs and flows and — get this into code. For the last part, we looked into 3 different options.
Ready, set and go! After some first calls and emails the first two options varied from 10.000 € — 15.000 € for an MVP stage “something” in 4 weeks to 4 months or “something” and everything always depended on long iterations, briefings and what you want “exactly to do or something”. All in all, too unsharp and risky to follow up at this stage of the idea.
Reminder — we had the idea, not yet an empire. I have to say that, yes I know, good things take time and good things cost money (I repeat myself), and I am the last to question that, but, there must be something else out there — especially when it comes to mobile apps — that allows me to do what I did in many other projects before to validate ideas on the web with some real users before thinking about making an IPO with it.
If you want to publish your thoughts, go to Medium. If you want your own website, go to Wordpress or even something like Squarespace. If you want awesome landing pages, go to Webflow. If you want to send newsletters, go to Mailchimp. If you want to ask people things, go to Typeform. If you want to do whatever you want, go to wherever you want — there are tools for everything today with cross share functionalities, integrations and even templates. Awesome! Isn’t it?
I am not an advocate for all these services mentioned above, but all of them allow you to create or test something quick on-demand and you pay for what you get without inventing the wheel here again on high costs and resources. But if you want to build an native app that way, where do you go?
As an entrepreneur your main concerns are getting the right talents at the right moment with the right resources and the right mindsets together and streamline and cultivate all of those elements to make the idea work and grow as a team (yes, I believe in people and collaboration).
And if you ever worked with multiple teams, you might recognize that processes across those teams are never set forever with change being the most consistent component in every startup or company that moves fast and breaks things (well, they don’t have to break anymore Mr.Zuckerberg).
Reminder — no empire here, just an idea we had, called nextLIVE! Let’s call all this a new state of mind in working culture or simply — things are changing to the better when it comes to tools that can easily adopt those changes and processes! So let’s get back to option number three of the elements and my moment of truth for the idea.
Ever heard about a tool called Figma? Figma is a collaborative interface design tool, allowing cross functional teams to create outstanding digital products from scratch, together. I’ve worked with it a couple of times and if you want to create some prototyping with the option to make this real without thousands of other tools besides, that’s the way to go (if you believe my theory about the fire before).
Connecting the dots again at this point of the idea with nextLIVE and some more night hours searching the holy grail to make this work, I came across something that I still can’t believe exists: Bravo Studio. Bravo Studio is the consequence of the Barcelona based startup codelesslabs, as the name says, code less or no-code at all and with the headline: from Figma to iOS and Android. Turn your prototypes into full native apps instantly, no code.
Too good to believe? No, too bad I’ve not come across Bravo earlier — here is why.
nextLIVE wants to allow users to create their own live-streaming events with a date, time and certain category such as music, that they do on other platforms like Instagram with a link to that specific event. So we had to allow them to create those events with certain attributes from the web or the app and publish them in real time to the app by pulling the data from a database that we needed to build up.
Check! Bravo integrates Airtable and even better, Airtable integrates Typeform. So with Typeform we could create a way to get the information about the live-streaming events by simply asking about specific information and data sets such as title, description and even the image (and many more) for the events over our webpage and directly in the app.
Quick note at this point and coming back to Figma — the entire UI / UX design and all user flows were created in Figma and matched with Bravo components, so you simply need to open Bravo Studio, create a project and copy the link to your Figma file and all is in there, seamless, no code. Even better: You can directly preview your Figma prototype in Bravo Vision, an app that allows you to preview and run all your work directly on your phone. Isn’t that crazy? It is!
And thanks to that seamless Airtable integration in Typeform, we could fill our Airtable database with every new entry coming in (in real time) and even sort them here based on the date, the event will take place for instance. Guess what? In the last step, Bravo allows you to create a data library for this — in our case Airtable — where you can connect each field for each view in your Figma design in each step of your user flow with only some clicks.
One last step needed to go from zero to hero by simply requesting your native builds after connecting your datasource for Android and iOS and minutes later you receive them as APKs and IPAs directly in your inbox. No strings attached, ready to resign , upload and submit to the Play and App store.
After approval from those big tech giants Google and Apple (took more days though than building it, because of the lockdown), I had some shiny and full functional NATIVE apps there for download in the stores. Do I have to say something else?
We could get a couple of hundreds downloads in the first days combined for Android and iOS and everything is out there working smoothly in operations and without any crashes, bugs or regrets from our side except the fact of not using Bravo Studio earlier. So what’s next?
We’ve created more than just a prototype and more than expected in less of the time with less of the ressources. I mentioned in the beginning that I was wrong in some ways, thinking about how to bring ideas to life as fast as possible. Truly talent counts, but you don’t have to empty your bank account to become a serial entrepreneur. With the tools used here and the magic of Bravo, the future belongs to our ideas, no matter what.
Where do we go from here? We want to add more features and functionalities such as filtered views, bookmarks, improved processes to submit events and social functions as accounts and sharing events in the next iterations, so we are growing with Bravo for sure and open to get some people like you onboard if you got inspired reading this story here.
Get in touch with us and get the app — nextlive.io