Case Study

When presented with the challenges of being a conference speaker and organizer during the heart of a global pandemic, was created to disrupt an industry that has historically been tech-second.

Reimagining The Virtual Event Scene

When the pandemic struck, industries across the world saw an immediate and massive disruption to their conference and trade show cycle. Thanks to Backendless, emerged in just months to change the dynamic and open new avenues for virtual events across the world.

  • Exhibitor Site
  • Presentation
  • Exhibitor Profiles
  • Rooms
  • Analytics

Backendless: Tell us about yourself and Bettercast. What was the catalyst for the business?

Benjamin Powell, Founder of Bettercast: My career background has been as a product designer and CTO, so I have a lot of experience coming up with products and designing their look, but coding and “building” was never my forte. I never had much patience for learning to code, so when it came to implementing my ideas, it was always left to other members of the team.

My wife is a presenter that speaks at a lot of conferences. When the pandemic hit, that obviously had an enormous impact on her work. We looked around for alternatives for her organization to use for hosting conferences but the prices everywhere are incredibly high. While the world was changing, the systems for handling these events remained bloated with excess overhead and bells and whistles that could be handled by other services. For 100% virtual events, it simply doesn’t make sense to spend $30,000 (to start!) just on the event hosting platform.

Bettercast is designed to cut out all of that excess and deliver the things the organizer truly needs – a streaming platform for both live and recorded presentations, breakout rooms, speaker profile pages, banners and other sponsorship options, etc. The result is a dramatically lower overhead which allows us to charge as much as 90% less than our competitors.

How did you discover Backendless, and why were we your first choice?

I had come across Backendless when looking for backend support for a previous product and knew I wanted to circle back around when the right project came up. With Bettercast, I had the idea and the design in mind, and because I wanted to get it off the ground quickly, I didn’t want to have to outsource all the development and play the waiting game. With Backendless, I was able to get from wireframe to first paying customer in 88 days, building entirely on my own. Backendless is a fantastic platform for getting from idea to MVP (minimum viable product) very quickly.

Lower Prices Than Competitors
Days From Wireframe To Launch

With Backendless, I was able to get from wireframe to first paying customer in 88 days, building entirely on my own.

- Benjamin Powell, Founder, Bettercast

Which Backendless features are key to supporting Bettercast?

Bettercast only exists because of the ease of use of the Backendless backend. I was able to build the majority of the backend functionality in just a day, after only a week of planning. Everything falls into place very well.

Bettercast uses Backendless for everything database-related, particularly because Backendless data is real-time. This is critical for event management where there will be a lot going on in real-time while events are running. I use Backendless for all of the user management, data management, and API tools and of course have built a lot of Codeless logic in there as well. We’re also using the Stripe plugin to handle our payment processing as well.

Have you integrated any other services into your Backendless app?

The pricing on Backendless really is perfect for an early-stage business like this. With the high limits on the Cloud plans, we haven’t had to worry about quickly bumping up against our limits and either dramatically increasing costs or looking for outside solutions. We do use AWS to handle the video streaming as well as some file management, but otherwise everything else backend flows through Backendless.

After working with Backendless, what are your thoughts on the “No-Code” concept?

Like I said, Bettercast only exists because of Backendless, and you guys are the reason we are able to compete right out of the gate with a huge pricing advantage over our competitors. As a self-funded, bootstrapped startup, Backendless has been a perfect solution.

I am a huge fan of the growing “No-code revolution”, if you will. There are a ton of things that I love about no-code:

First, it’s an awesome creative outlet. As a former musician, it’s great to have that outlet to just let my mind run free and no-code means I don’t have to get bogged down by the complexity that might be involved in actually building the ideas that come to me.

Second, no-code let’s me really focus on the most important part of the product – the user experience. I can put all of my energy into coming up with what the product should look like and what it should do, not stressing over how to do it.

And third, I’m able to be part of the process! As a product designer, often it was all about coming up with the design then shipping it off and waiting for someone else to build it. Now I feel like I get to contribute throughout.

Closing Thoughts

Thus far, with between 2,000-3,000 users coming through Bettercast, we have had a grand total of 2 support tickets. This is a testament to the capabilities of the Backendless platform as well as to the benefits of not trying to reinvent the wheel by coding all of the app’s functionality (logic, APIs, etc.) by hand.

I will absolutely use Backendless again, and it is by far my first choice for building an MVP!