I'm Emmanuel, cofounder of Bubble with @jphaas1. We're excited to have it here!
We started Bubble because we think that more people should be able to build things online, and the main bottleneck so far is learning how to code. So instead of teaching everyone how to code (which is great for educational purposes), we think we should rethink how people create software. So we came up with Bubble, a visual programming language that enables you to build apps (web apps for now, iOS is in beta) visually.
The things you can build can be quite complex. A user did clone 90% of Twitter on Bubble. Marketplaces are very much what you can build on us. It does take time (we don't offer templates to keep flexibility); cloning Twitter took about 4 days, but it's still much faster to use than code. The learning curve is about 3 hours. And after this, we handle infrastructure, servers, etc! The vision is that you should only have to focus on your app's design and functionality, and we handle the lower level stuff.
We'd love to hear your thoughts, and will be here to answer questions!
Thanks for your support!!!
@estraschnov congratulations on the launch! I have to say I admire the bold vision behind Bubble – I'm not sure we'll ever see a world where developing software happens without any code, but your product is making building products much more widely accessible. Congrats!
One question: how do you see the impact of Bubble in the education sector?
@rlacombe @estraschnov Well we're not saying we're going to replace all of software engineering and make it without code, but we're hoping to make that 80% of the tasks/apps that require code today won't in the future, so that engineers (the ones that code) can work on more fundamental stuff.
To you question: it's something we haven't explored yet too much (mostly because of resources), but I see Bubble as an intermediate between Scratch and code, and so that could be a great tool to teach kids how to think in a programmatic way, thinking about flows, data structure, conditions, etc, while not having to worry too much for the syntax, with I think is 1) tedious 2) not for everyone
@estraschnov Big fan of this approach. Abstracting out first generation 'development' interfaces is a huge problem that gets in the way of adopting new tech - I've argued this about CAD and 3D Printing, but definitely code as well. Even if you can get, as you say, 80% of the way, there, that's that many more people building their own stuff, which is great for the ecosystem.
One thing I'm looking for as this builds out, is integration into existing workflows - basically, how can someone, as a non-coder, 'apply code' into what I'm already doing (say, building out collateral in Photoshop), without having to think about if that functionality is code or not.
Something along those lines - huge opportunity to you guys, but code becomes, for more and more people, just plumbing and not a functional skillset.
I dunno, zooming out, what genuinely excites me about this approach is that it opens up - not in its current iteration, but someday - the opportunity for a kid in a slum to program something that solves a problem for him and his without having to know how to read, do math, code, or have anything more in his hand than an old Nokia brick.
@shloky @estraschnov Yeah, that's exactly what we find exciting as well :)
The way we want to do it is to enable coders to add elements, events, actions and data sources in Bubble, that would then have a visual interface that non coders can use (the Bubble editor). In fact, that's what we do internally, we build these bricks, but we'll open that to people at some point (as early as possible).
@rlacombe @estraschnov I strong believe that this is the future of programming. Not sure how long it will take. But as something similar, but focused on games, you can see Construct 2 https://www.scirra.com/construct2
@estraschnov Really impressed by your product. It's clever and simple. And even though I think users will eventually be limited by this "no-code" approach, it's definitely a great way to quickly launch a new idea, test it, and get some traction before going deeper in the code. Good job! I will definitely recommend it to young entrepreneurs with no dev resources.
@mattlhoumeau @estraschnov Thanks!! Well, we have an answer to the no-code objection (though haven't made it public yet). Our answer is "still code", but only for the new things. In other words, we're going to expose the API so that people can build their own plugins (elements, actions, data sources). At this point, you'll leverage what already exists visually, and you'll hire (or code yourself if you happen to be a coder) someone for the missing parts. A little bit like open source today, but more accessible as you don't need to be technical to use it.
@estraschnov Do this for drones/IoT functionality. Huge ecosystem plays to be had if you can unlock legos-for-code protocol.
@shloky @estraschnov Yes, I've been looking at littlebits with interest. If a hardware maker as a reasonable API, it's actually not too to hard to see how that would work on Bubble, with events, data sources and actions :)
@estraschnov “80% of the tasks/apps that require code today won't in the future, so that engineers (the ones that code) can work on more fundamental stuff”
+1 on that. So much programming time being “wasted” on coding UI’s etc. Great stuff you’re building!
@tomsoderlund @estraschnov Thanks!!!
@estraschnov What was the 10% of Twitter that couldn't be replicated? I have a feeling it's pretty crucial to what Twitter is... e.g. users and logins.
@taykcrane @estraschnov What our user didn't add is the tagging system (hashtags, etc.) Not very hard, but we'd have to add it to Bubble's editor. Besides that, user, logins, messaging, tweeting, retweeting, favoriting, it already does it all :)
@estraschnov @jphaas1 is there any easy way to input a Twitter Bootstrap Themeforest Template into Bubble? If so, that would be AWESOME! :)
@ajm5338 @jphaas1 Not really (yet). We've been resisting so far to the idea of templates, as we saw that our users were deleting everything when we suggested some. But we'll look into it, as we grow user base it may make sense to have that. However, we have a bootstrap theme, where elements are styles like Bootstrap.
@estraschnov @jphaas1 got it - thanks for the quick response!
@estraschnov @jphaas1 Bubble is brilliant. I would like to interview you on our the Equity Directory podcast. You can reach me at email@example.com
@colinvincent sure! I'll drop you a line soon
@estraschnov I have just started the welcome tutorials but did have a question on how the progress allowing Bubble apps to be exported to iOS and Android was going?
@davidiwanow We're focused on responsive right now, hopefully done in a few weeks. We have some users that have packaged their iOS app with phonegap, but it's still in early beta. It's a bit hard for us to commit on a timeline. i'd love to say around the Fall/early winter, but can't promise.
@estraschnov ah that's perfect... I'm away on vacation for a bit so will have more time to finish the tutorial when I return but will also look into phonegap once I get the hang of your platform
@estraschnov @jphaas1 This is actually mindblowing!
@akshay001 @jphaas1 :)
Emmanuel, I've been interested in Bubble for a while! What's the best way to get a sense of how Bubble works, more deeply than the 15 sec intro video?
@benjiwheeler I would say sign up? :) It's free, and the first lessons (click by click, not videos) are probably the best way to see how it works. Each of them takes about 10 minutes, and cover a lot of the logic.
I saw this a while ago and wondered why the heck it's not on Product Hunt! Congrats guys. Very interested to see how this effects my own workflow, and the industry at large.
@meiiowmarsh Thanks!! Well we wanted to be ready:)
Emmanuel & team, this is super cool and exciting. I think that Bubble can have a huge impact on the way programming is taught, and become a step for future programmers who are not ready yet to commit to actually learning a programming language.
In the past, I was inspired by things like Yahoo Pipes, Ning and Wix that made it easier for people to take the leap of faith and understand that they can build something great, but Bubble can really take it to the next level.
This is how the web was supposed to be – will recommend. Congrats!
This looks amazing. Can you throw some light on your technology stack?
@msahajwani Of course. We use a bunch of stuff, but in general, we're on node.js, use elasticsearch of applications' data, firebase for applications (the actual app you build in the editor) and use intensively coffeescript/jquery. Applications are rendered client side.
@estraschnov Thank you!
@msahajwani I know it was long time ago but... Can I embed then on my website?
@mariana_salcido @msahajwani Sorry just saw this. Well it's a question for your website, but with an iframe i don't wee why not.
Glen One N
Hey guys, I've just been pushing around in the tutorials and love it! I have a project that i'd like to build in it and it will be epic for me. I know I can do it in Bubble - it's just how....
Do you think I can get some more assistance until I get up to speed?
It's a bit fiddly.... ;)
Glen One N
Hold on. I just seen your monthly plans.... it'll probably cost me the same amount to out source the coding for a basic web app [without having to do it myself] as your month 'custom' plan :(
I might have to keep looking or spend all my time learning to use Bubble. Harsh choice...
@cute_life We have a forum where users are pretty active, and some people are actually building apps for people.
Pricing-wise, I think we're still cheaper than an actual coder. We're a bit more expensive than if you host it yourself (we take our margin), but you don't need to hire someone to handle the server.
@estraschnov @cute_life but the difference is after 6 months of building with bubble you don't end up with a codebase you can continue to build on. Your MVP cannot become the base code for a real product... right? Or have I misunderstood?
Awesome. Looks cool. Added it to my collection of "No Code Programing" apps -http://www.producthunt.com/@jfilcik/collections/programming-with-no-code - :)
@jfilcik That's awesome :)
@jfilcik Great collection! Subscribed. /Tom (founder of Weld)
This looks amazing. would like to watch a longer video on how it works but will go ahead and try it out
@namitasha So we have this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpl2ULREvE4
where we build a more sophisticated app in front of some people. it's a year old (and with an older UI), but same logic. The first 20 minutes are about building the app, then it's Q&A.
Awesome guys! This will surely help a lot of entrepreneurs to create MVP's real quick without the need of a developer.
@estraschnov, this is seriously awesome! I love seeing tools that help not-so-tech-savvy folks build (beautiful) apps. I think this is a good fit between straight up coding (some people just don't like it) and the "LEGO-style" coding (gets really confusing for me when I tried). I have sent it to my girlfriend she will love this.
@bing_ario Let us know how she likes it :)
I'm a non-technical founder & I have been using Bubble for a while now.
Built our MVP with it, started bringing in revenue, got into 500 Startups accelerator, & continue to build with Bubble!
I've been documenting my experience building without code here --> http://bit.ly/1WISExa
As a non-technical founder without a ton of money to spend, Bubble was the best option for me. Yes, I could hire developers, but when I started, I didn't have money to hire top talent. And as a non-technical person, there's nothing more difficult than managing so-so developers b/c you have no idea whether they're doing a good job or not! Hands down, Bubble was & continues to be the best option for us!
Amazing work guys. Congrats on the success.
@tarareed_ Thanks Tara :)
This looks really neat, great work on this! Couple of questions if you don't mind: 1. who owns the application data? 2. can it be exported?
@iwaffles Thanks!! So to your questions:
2) We have an enterprise version of our code that people can run on their own infrastructure. That's for users that have larger traffic and that want to keep control on their servers, but it's definitely possible.
@estraschnov @iwaffles Awesome, thanks so much for the reply! Excited to give this a shot over the next few weeks!
This video blew me away when I first saw it: https://vimeo.com/118643315. Congrats @estraschnov on launch!
Stedman Blake Hood
I love that Bubble allows us to cut out a step in the development process. Previously, the Client communicated with the PM who communicated with the Developer. Now that the PM can use Bubble to build, there's a much tighter feedback loop -- improving the Client's experience.
Check out www.AirDev.com -- a dev shop that does just this. I'm excited to see what other innovations Bubble gives rise to!
@stedmanblake thanks for the shoutout! That's precisely what we're trying to do - use shorter iteration cycles to greatly speed-up the development process. Also, we're at www.airdev.co, unfortunately www.airdev.com was taken :)
Well done on the great launch guys, this definitely looks like a great tool for non-technical founders looking to prototype & MVP.
For me though, as a front end developer, I immediately thought how will this work on mobile and responsively in general? Intrigued to hear how dragging an input here and another element there will translate when the screen real estate is smaller. As a result of challenges like this, I personally can't see something like this replacing hand-coded web apps from technical founders, as with front end frameworks like Foundation & Bootstrap & back end frameworks like Laravel Spark & Ruby on Rails the learning curve & time required is minimal and provides a better experience all round (or so I would imagine!). Possibly for first level MVP's but beyond that, I'd be surprised.
@fredrivett nice question. Maybe they could offer different @media screen sizes to play with the UI a bit and fit things around. nice catch!
@fredrivett They released an update that addresses responsiveness. It's beautiful and you can preview it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-VlpeoGBPs&feature=youtu.be.
@andupotorac Nice, just had a quick flick through. Looks like a good start on a responsive website builder :)
@fredrivett I wouldn't call it a good start, but one of the best approaches. Why? Because right now there's only two approaches to responsiveness when it comes to site builders: complete freedom (readymag, wix), or restricted movement (weebly, yola, jimdo, most..). I exclude those where you can write your own code specifically to make this work (webydo, webflow).
So they are a mix between the two: freedom (move it where you want) and they still create a responsive layout by the approach they have taken. It's genius and hasn't been done before. :)
@andupotorac Sure. I skipped through the video (its 30mins long) so I can't comment too much here. Looked like they're on the right tracks with it.
This looks really interesting, thank you for sharing (and making it!)
My name is Adam, content strategist and PR coordinator at DigitalOcean.
I met Emmanuel a couple of months ago and have been impressed by him and Josh ever since. They have worked their asses off to bootstrap their company and stay true to their vision; mainly, that programming and coding should be divorceable skill sets. And that we should all get on board with the idea of putting the power of software creation in more people's hands.
The common perception of visual programming is that it can't be done, especially not as a broad-use-case solution. But Tara's story and ones like it confirm that Bubble is undoubtedly an empowering platform, and will only get better with time. The idea of abstracting away the underlying workings and intracacies of tedious processes is called "progress" – and it doesn't just happen in tech, but everywhere. Just like you don't need to have a deep understanding of how your car works to get you around, you don't need to have a deep understanding of the code underneath your design. Yes, the need for specialists (mechanics and engineers) remains. But Bubble will allow more people to program their own applications, while engineers will be held to a new standard. Their free time can be spent working on problems that haven't yet been solved, as opposed to re-inventing the wheel over and over for people who can't code.
Investors and VCs are behind on this trend. Just as I believe in DigitalOcean's vision of abstracting away the complexities of web infrastructure, I believe in abstracting away the code that runs on top of that infrastructure. This is the future of tech: making things appear simpler and easier for the end user. With Bubble, the future is here.
Big congrats to the founders! Well deserved.
@tarareed_ very good inspiration
@hello_alanleong wow! thanks :)
@estraschnov Bubbling now... think it will be a useful tools for creative like me :)