Matt Boring, founder of FindMy+1, had an app idea. It was not just any app idea, however. It was one of those ideas that wouldn’t go away, that just felt like it would work. It was an app idea that Matt felt could make an impact on the world, and he needed to bring it to life. There was just one problem.
Ready to bring his social app idea to life, Matt Boring chose Backendless to help him build and launch FindMy+1, an app designed to help users expand their social circle and “Never go alone”.
FindMy+1 is a social app where users can make connections with local users that share similar interests. Not a dating app, FindMy+1 is a “connection platform” where users can create an activity – playing tennis, going to concerts, attending sporting events, grabbing a drink – and the app will algorithmically connect you with another local user that wants to join you. If a relationship results – friendship, business, romantic, whatever – great. With FindMy+1, you never go alone.
“We want to empower people. When you look around at the dating apps offered you think, ‘am I what they are looking for? Should I post a photo with a dog to be sweet or a shirtless gym pic? Perhaps I need a long description to catch their attention or say very little to remain mysterious?’ Just stop. Just stop. I like to eat pizza and watch Netflix on a Friday night. Well, you know what? There’s somebody else that likes that too… We believe life is better with someone, sharing a common interest. That is where genuine, authentic relationships start. When a connection is made over a common goal, over a common activity.”
– Matt Boring, Founder, FindMy+1
But, as we mentioned, FindMy+1 founder Matt Boring had a problem: he is not a developer. Matt’s background is in marketing, and he knew he had no desire to become an app developer himself. Matt knew that his time and effort would be better served elsewhere.
“Somebody told me a long time ago, you hire a lawyer, you don’t want to become a lawyer, right? You hire a doctor, you don’t want to become a doctor. Kind of the same thing. So I don’t want to become a developer. That is a highly skilled profession unto itself, and you’re going to have to stay on top of it daily to remain proficient. So no, I didn’t even consider it.”
Knowing that building the app himself was not on the table, Matt began exploring his options for hiring a team to build the app for him. Quickly he discovered that many development teams are more interested in squeezing every penny out of the client they could, rather than helping the client build a successful app.
“When you source most companies to build an app, the first thing they ask is, ‘do you have VC money behind you?’ They really want to get into your business. ‘How much money?’ … And so to many app builders, it’s all about the money. That’s just what they want. They want to know, as I continue to give these iterations of this app, are you going to have the money to pay for it. I immediately got the feeling I was going to be nickel and dimed during the process.”
Then Matt sat down with the Backendless team and the conversation was completely different.
“At Backendless, it was more about ‘what is your vision?’… It was almost like an interview before they would accept me as a client in that they wanted to share in the strategic vision of the company, my vision, so we could be in congruence together. This was something that was very important to me… The team would advise me, ‘have you thought about this or that?’ We talked about many different things regarding the concept. The other app companies were like, ‘tell us what you want. Here’s the bill. Oh, you changed your mind? Here’s the bill. You do have VC money, right?’ And Backendless wasn’t like that. They were really into, ‘what is the concept and why are you doing this and are you going to stick with this?’ Basically, ‘how serious are you?’ And so they really dove a lot deeper than all the other companies.”
Of course, finding the right development team is more than just finding the right culture fit. The team needs to be technically capable and using technology that can handle the concept as well.
“[There are] two sides of it, right? The one I just described where they were very interested in the concept itself. But then Backendless has to be able to deliver as well. After discussing some of their learnings from other customers along with the challenges I may face, it was very refreshing just to see their excitement in sharing past projects with a tone of, ‘then we got this challenge and look what we did!’ The project manager was passionate about one particular customer and they shared with me the top level of the concept and they were excited to say, ‘and then we were tasked with this issue and my team pulled it off.’ So they was rooting for their client, as well as rooting for their own team. I just felt a good energy, this is a team that you can work with, you could actually get to know. Once I saw some of their concepts in actual production (what they could legally share), complemented by how much they interviewed FindMy+1 before accepting me as a client, I was convinced this is the right company to hire. ‘All right, let’s roll. Let’s roll.’”
With development of the launch-ready product complete, FindMy+1 is now available on the app stores. While Matt has four other members of his team, startup entrepreneurship can often feel like a lonely endeavor. That’s when he turns to Backendless.
“I feel solo sometimes, and that’s when I know I can rely on Backendless, and I mean it, they are just, on it. We’re dealing with something this morning, for example. You know, small things. However a small thing is a big thing to me when we’re just getting ready to launch. Once you make it to the App Store, the onboarding of customers must work well. Every small detail has to be in line and the product must function well, and Backendless nailed it!”
If he didn’t have a development team he can trust – particularly as a non-technical founder – Matt would be leaving a lot to chance. When launching a new B2C app, you only get one chance to make a first impression with a potential customer.
“Without [Backendless], I wouldn’t be here, period. So had I chosen another developer, I would be frustrated because they would let me make those mistakes. And charge me. A lot of the things I’ve learned in life, unfortunately, have been the hard way. [Backendless] has mitigated a lot of that.”
With the initial development phase behind him, Matt and FindMy+1 are champing at the bit to get the app out to the public. For any founder, technical or not, the adrenaline rush of that initial launch is a feeling that can’t be matched.
“Today is launch day and I woke up at three o’clock this morning ready to go. Because now we finally have everything ready, I’m thinking, alright, now let’s go. Let’s go. Three o’clock this morning! It’s 9am as I chat with you and I’m wide awake and excited to see what the day holds for FindMy+1. I may be craving a nap at three in the afternoon, but I’m too enthusiastic to sleep… that’s a good sign. It’s something I am passionate about and Backendless has given me the ability to live out my passion of where I believe FindMy+1 is going. To fulfill the desire to ‘Never Go Alone’. So yes, I’m ready. I’m ready to roll.”
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Matt and FindMy+1, but one thing is certain. As the userbase grows and application features expand, Matt will have the support of the Backendless platform and the Backendless team on his side, ready to meet every challenge that lies ahead.