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Episode #4: Emmanuel Straschnov -Point and click programming with Bubble
July 15, 2020
Podcast

Episode #4: Emmanuel Straschnov -Point and click programming with Bubble

Bubble

Founded in 2012, Bubble was created with the goal of making coding obsolete. Bubble is a great example of a grassroots company which is bootstrapped and profitable. The Bubble community has grown to 200K + users, with hundreds of thousands of web-apps built.

Emmanuel is originally from France and started his career as a management consultant in China. He move to the USA to attend Harvard Business School and towards the end of his time there he met his co-founder Josh who was looking for a partner to work on what is now bubble.

In this episode Ben & Emmanuel dive into how Bubble is changing access to non-technical founders, the rise and rise of no-code and the future possibilities in the space.

Get started at bubble via: https://bubble.io/

Visit the Makerpad Podcast to see notes and further episode at:  https://www.makerpad.co/podcast


Emmanuel - Bubble Podcast V2-MP3 for Audio Podcasting (1)

Thu, 4/9 4:05PM • 34:37


SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, code, bubble, build, users, learning, tools, platform, engineers, bumble, faster, product, business, point, evangelization, forum, writing, community, bit, thinking


SPEAKERS

Emmanuel, Ben Tossell


Ben Tossell  00:00



Emmanuel  00:22

Hey, it's good to be here. Be great to just hear sort of the quick version of what bubble is sure. So we're probably one of the first one or two Nokia tools at that time when we started, it was not called note, no code, it was, didn't even have a name most people with what we're doing was not necessary, because it was you know, everybody's going to learn how to code. And we decided that we felt that that would not work honestly, because learning how to code is tedious and not for everyone. And instead, we build this platform to let people do things without coding. where I'm going to be a little bit more specific is what things we're talking about. Because today is a no code space is extremely wide. And actually don't thing we have many competitors in the sense that each player tends to be very strong at one thing. So what we're focusing on is really building fully functional, fully customizable web applications, which means trying to build something like, you know, Twitter, Airbnb, a CRM for your business and invoicing tool, building that for the web. So as a web application can be built on mobile without code, obviously, there are some limitations with what you're doing mobile, like you're not going to write the machine learning algorithm. But in real life, you don't do that very often, like and what's fundamental to our vision is that engineers are still part of the future. Actually, we don't think that you know, seniors are going to disappear. But then we focus on building these algorithms for instance, and you as a no quarter for the business person, you would build the product you need for yourself or for your customers visually. How did you like explain what bubble was before this sort of no code? phrasing came around then how was it What was it what was like the title? You know what, exactly the same as the title It was, it's actually still what it is on our website. So the field we were putting ourselves in was visual programming, and not no code. And the tagline we had, you don't need to be a coder to build software. So it's pretty much what no code is today. You know, it was much harder to be fair, like it was harder to explain that in 2013, or 2014. Because while the product was not as good, and really, we had to fight against, you know, pretty much everyone that was saying that it's so cool to learn how to code. I mean, if you remember, in 2013, or 2014, Barack Obama was, you know, writing a line of code this could afford and you have like a captain writing some lines of JavaScript. And it was so great, right. And it took a few years for people to realize it doesn't work that way. And so now, it's much easier for us to get there. So what happened is that I think the old products and particularly our product got better. people realize that learning how to code is hard, and not necessarily necessarily as a product, but veterans was those two things coming together. Make No quit and Bumble what it is today.


Ben Tossell  03:01

Yeah. So you do you think is sort of the landscape of, of the tooling. And a combination of that with people basically finding learning to code quite difficult that then sort of has brought people to, okay, I'm not actually going to learn to code I'm going to learn to build, but on an abstraction of


Emmanuel  03:18

of that, exactly, yeah. Because people started realizing that it's, it's tedious, you know, and it's not for everyone. But for everyone. I mean, I could not as much today as I used to, but you know, I could handle the thousands of lines for this bubble thing. And so I know what I'm talking about.


Ben Tossell  03:33

You've got your fair share of practice. Yeah. I mean, I tried to learn to code plenty of times. And I think the way you learn is still the same. So I tried to build something. I get to a point, I get stuck. I've got to go back. I've got to test it. I've got to like troubleshoot it. I've got to figure out why this thing didn't work. What did this user do that made it like break and you've still got to go through the same motions of like, the learning is still the same. Just what you're learning to do is not colons and and functions. It's more like a visual instead of visual programming, which, oh, yeah,


Emmanuel  04:09

I mean, right, because the mental use visual and have a higher abstraction and visual things is, so concepts, you're going to be manipulating closer to your needs. So you know, if you're on mobile or any other tool, you know, you're going to draw a button and the play on the page. And that's a concept that you're pretty familiar with as a user. If you actually write that in code, you're gonna have a div on the DOM, and we start getting into things that are really not representative of real life. And then the thing thing is the speed of iteration with higher obstructions is much faster. And so it makes learning more fun. One of the big challenges you know, if you have to build like a full application with code isn't gonna take you you know, a few days of just writing things before you can even test it. With something like Babel you can just literally within like 20 minutes or something and start seeing your progress and also the little thing you should be fixing.


Ben Tossell  04:57

Yeah, I think that's a huge, huge part of the video. one layer of programming where you see the quick wins. And a feedback loop is, oh, that button did work. Like there is a button now, and it does do this thing that I wanted it to do. So I think that definitely helps. Do you think that people who start building with no code tools, maybe that's like, do you think that's like a almost a good starting point to then start learning how to code? It


Emmanuel  05:23

certainly is a better way to teach programming coding. Yes. I, in fact, it's something we've done with a few high schools in the US. I'm also trying to do that didn't make any friends because friendship, why not to get you know, people in high schools to learn competing thinking to bubble first, because it teaches you a lot. The fact the fact of the matter is back to how we're different a little bit from the other tools is, you can go wrong and bubble you can do bugs, you know, you can like mess up your logic and not get to the right thing, which is not necessarily true another tools. And because you can do that there is a learning opportunity. You need to think programmatically what you want your application to do. You need to think of, you know, what if a user is logged in, which is not bad, what should happen, then what should happen in that case. And so this is a very good way to start thinking about designing applications and building software. And then I think at that point, there should be natural selection between two kind of people, people that are happy with what they can build on a tulip bubble. And people that want to go learn about because they want to write these machine learning algorithms, for instance, and then they go into code. I think it's personally I think it's actually pretty dangerous to put kids too young on the code, because it's not for everyone. And there is actually a risk of, you know, propagating the message that if they don't know how to code, they won't be able to do things in life professionally. Yeah. Which is just not true,


Ben Tossell  06:40

I think is it's like learning languages where maybe some of the basics or even like you said, the computer thinking should be taught at a school level, sort of think, Okay, this is what like a front end section looks like. This is what sort of databases are like them the function of those and how you connect them, but not necessarily. Okay, like these outputs. These inputs to get an output of hello world. And if you don't, then it's just like fail, fail, fail fail. It's like one of those bad feedback


Emmanuel  07:08

you've gotten.


Ben Tossell  07:10

So how do you teach people about how bubble works? Because in my experience, it seems like the more it's like, it's closer to the code level, I think then a lot of the tools are, especially today where they're very building block or click draw this thing, and then this thing happens. So how do you sort of get over that?


Emmanuel  07:29

I guess, before I answer your question, the question the reason why we chose that path, which is not traditional, because everybody else tried to go for like easier, faster learning curve at first. But what we felt that if we do this, and honestly, this is kind of what I'm seeing with a lot of other tools, you're gonna hit a limit, at some point, have the flexibility to offer to your users because it's really hard You know, when you start with a product that takes a few minutes to learn, and telling them all but but from now on, you're going to have to invest you know, 10 hours to learn because At some point complexity comes with the price of flexibility come to the price of learning, which is not even a price, I think it's actually a good thing. Personally, I like to creating a tool that makes people learn things. That's something I'm actually pretty comfortable with. But we felt like once you start having a limit, then people graduate from your platform in terms of features. And then it becomes, you know, again, and then you fall into the previous attempts in the no code space, which is now new, but honestly, you know, accessing for Visual Basic, Visual Basic has a little bit of code, you know, front page Access denied. These were some kind of local tools. But the limitation they were having meant that people would go to the code step pretty quickly, as soon as they had real needs. What we felt is that if we create something where you don't have that limitation in terms of feature, we have an opportunity to get people started on us and stay on bubble as long as the platform scales nicely. And today, the problems we're having, and what we're working on is more features and more performance and scalability that features actually and so how do we keep That one it's a combination of two things, trying to have something we don't do as well as some we could so we actually hiring someone to put together like a university but we have like written documentation and videos, not as good as it should be. The other thing that we have done so far, it's actually pretty old. When people sign up to bubble used to have like three basic lessons, that actually smart you know, like if you get close to two brings you back to the right place. This, believe it or not, was built in 2013. And we still using the same thing on that on those we have a completion rate of more than 50% which means anyone that starts those lessons, half of them finish them when you know, you know, the attention span on the internet is actually pretty good because it's about like, you know, seven minutes to finish one lesson. So that has worked pretty well. So that's how we try to get people to do the learning but then there is another thing that we pushing on a lot on is honestly communication. If people really knew and believed us and that's where there is a huge evangelization work to be done that you You can do pretty much the same thing as code after 10 to 12 hours of learning. And if people believe that they will do it, because, you know, 12 hours is a long time, but it's not that long for at the same time, you know, people are willing to pay $10,000 for three weeks bootcamp through boot camp, to get a job as an engineer. So that's a good thing. So it's evangelization and showcasing great successes of us so that people believe that it's real. And then better the existing documentation, which is good for the lessons not as good for the other things and improving that. Yeah, I think one thing I'll say, and it is a level of skepticism that we have to deal with as a local tool, and it's changing the debate. And I mean, I appreciate the way that you guys do his makeup because it does help a lot. But the skepticism that we have, when we say oh yeah, you can build, you know, to try to engineer and tell them yeah, I mean, someone on Twitter, on Bumble is gonna say, Oh, yeah, but you know, I don't believe it. And even if that's true, that doesn't scale you know, like they will always find reasons for it not to work or Or eventually they're like, oh, they're actually destroying jobs. I mean, they would find like, a lot of like, the negative things to say about what you do, because I mean, some of them, I think are not religion, but some of them are not totally, totally unfair because of the history of the field. Like a lot of people have made that promise in the past and did not deliver on it. And so finding that is actually more of a communication evangelization problem than an education problem.


Ben Tossell  11:25

Yeah, for sure. I think there's a bunch of stuff there that we want to touch on. A lot of people I've seen, they may have been more technically minded, initially, and I've seen that some people who was the like, it's that aha moment that once they get bubble, like you're never taking them off the bubble, they using bubble for everything. They're telling everyone else use bubble for this for anything. So I've definitely seen that from the local community inside make bad and around wherever we hang out. We all have to battle the code versus no code debates on On Twitter and everywhere else is not one size fits all. And we're lucky in that actually quite a few things like 25% of the community on mega patties from an engineering background.


Emmanuel  12:10

Which is great. It By the way, that's very near.


Ben Tossell  12:12

Yeah, that's great. Yeah, I think it's, it's, I think it's coming around. I think a lot of programmers are thinking, well, we have to create the same architecture, we have to, like you said, spend a few days creating something before, like, it's just the basics of, Okay, got to set up a Rails app got to do this thing, this thing, and it's all the same stuff. And they, they want to do things faster and testings and validate stuff, too. Yeah, I mean, in some ways, I would say for engineers, but like, no code in general. And Bumble in particular should be their best friend. Yeah. Because this pair of them from all the tedious things that non technical people ask them to feel like and then they can actually focus on what's fun. You know, like, if you're an engineer, like building a new signup form, for users to sign up is honestly not the most like exciting thing to do as an engineer. Right. So they should actually be truly excited that we finally find a way to get non technical people that bug them other than to build things away. Yeah. And I think even with like, Oh yeah, I've got a project and it looks exactly like Airbnb, but it's not, but it is, from that side of things. So also, if you weren't in the team, and you're thinking, Oh, can you like, can we build a small tool to help me moderate this community or publish blog posts faster, and the engineers are thinking was like, a few hours of my time that I don't want to do just put on the backlog. They'll never be prioritized. Like the whole point of this is to self empower those people just do it themselves. Like they can build their own tool with Zapier and connect things up or they can do stuff on bubble you can do stuff on any tool to go around that no one wants to waste anyone's time here when something like that the quickest version of what they want to do. Yeah, we should. Yeah, we should all get along is how we are we should think about it. Um, so what would you are you people ask? Here's what's on what would you rebrand the no code movement as because it's not no code in any shape or form is it?


Emmanuel  14:06

So as I told you, like we started in 2013 by visual programming, it makes sense. It might not be ideal because programming for some reasons people think it's code. In fact, I wrote a blog post on our blogs, it's still there that says programming is not coding so but maybe that's a tough battle to fight against everybody else. So maybe visual development is a good way to phrase things because it's still about developing something, you know, entities visual, yeah, programming or visual development i think is better than no code.


Ben Tossell  14:35

Yeah. I think that


Emmanuel  14:37

having said that, having said that, you know, no good is taking off you know, the media stopped looking at this new trend, so I'm not gonna fight it for now.


Ben Tossell  14:46

I think we will have a very tough time to win a fight I think we just want to sit back and sort of accept it unfortunately listen to


14:53

it honestly.


Ben Tossell  14:54

Enjoy. I mean, I'm so what do you also around the scalability issue? That's one of the biggest questions everyone says, usually, it's from a person. If they're asking me, how will this How will this platform scale, you're more at risk of sort of being stuck on a platform? How do you discuss and sort of explain or go around? Go around that for someone.


Emmanuel  15:18

So first of all, I would give them some examples of the most of the biggest things we had, the biggest thing we had, you know, there was $200 million in the cell loans to people. So they raise money from investors that are willing to like a web application. And that goes to homeowners and everything happens online, the process of a billion dollars of loans over four years started on us in 2014. That's running on bubble today. So it can scale. Now, sometimes it can be you have scaling pains, you know, and we need to work on that and improve that. And we did a lot of work for them. The beauty of our model is that all the work we did for that specific client, for instance, benefits everybody else because we build things into way in ways that if you optimize a, you know, one action, your workflow Something to be faster for someone it's going to be applied to everywhere. I'll say two things when people start on, so I'm going to give an example to tell them, hey, you can really get to like something real before you start being in trouble. And then the other thing we tell them is, obviously, our commitment is first and foremost, to people that are already on the platform versus new users, when they started making something real meaning back to this issue, we had, you know, how do we get people to learn mobile? And I said, use the success cases and evangelization is really important. Well, if I have a company that starts killing aggressively and isn't going very well, I'm not going to let them go. Because that I really need them to prove that actually bubble works at scale. Like, you know, when they if we have a startup that most people haven't heard of that is built on bubble stuff, you know, like, I don't have any issue like it could just happen automatically, right. And so I each of these clients, that starts getting worried You actually bet on them. And so we, what I tell people that we knew how much time we spent on existing users trying to make things better and festival them, versus like new product features and stuff like this. They'd be surprised. Like, it's really our commitment, morally, and our best business interest to feel, you know, to make sure that things worked well for people that stop. Yeah. Now, we may be getting pains. Yes. But you know, what, if you have your own engineers as well, that's, you know,


17:28

what, exactly, yes,


Emmanuel  17:29

that's what it is.


Ben Tossell  17:30

Yeah. And I also think that people also people panic about the best case scenario that might happen to their life, amazing idea that they have, without even having something that has 10 users or hundred users. And it's always Yeah,


Emmanuel  17:44

it's fun. I mean, like, at some point, you know, seasick ensues as an expectation when you start is the drive that gets you to start so isn't that a bad thing? But yes, it's a it's definitely something we have to handle. I mean, there is another thing that we hear often which Looking fear, like me, and then I'm building a bubble, it doesn't generate code because it actually does not. How can I migrate off bubble? Right now? I mean, the best answer we have is two things. So if we were to shut down, we open source everything, like we've said that repeatedly, it's on our website. So if people are worried that we go out of business, then we feel we do them to code so that they can keep running. But they have to say, and the second thing I say that if we don't go out of business, again, no point our interest is to find a way to kill their businesses, because we, you know, not many businesses have those incentives, valid line between users and the provider. Like you should think, you know, like a lot of platforms. What we, as a business, you don't necessarily want the best, what's best for us, not the best for your clients. For us. It truly is actually, I mean, at some point, of course, we need to try something. So we're going to disagree a little bit on whether it's 29 or $25. But at the end of the day, again, for us to succeed You need business to do extremely well on us. And so we want the best for our users. We just need to find a way that works economically. But you usually I mean, people video pricing issue, if people are doing well on bowling. We're honestly 50 times cheaper than having a team of engineers. So it's really just about, you know, we work on that together to make it work.


Ben Tossell  19:18

Yeah, exactly. You mentioned that one. That one started that was like, the numbers are huge. And we need more of these success stories or these stories, just sort of showing off what are some of the sort of big crazy, interesting, weird, small, different types of things that are you've seen built with bubble.


Emmanuel  19:40

I mean, it goes from like, an Airbnb for pier docks. Oh, yeah, we can read up dots. I think so. Pier. share.com. Yeah, we have these guy in Canada. So it's not a startup. So that's interesting, who basically rebuilt his interest. He worked for an HR company. Like no AC appliances, and he built his entire business suite on bubbles, you know, HR invoicing, ordering stuff for ordering supplies like materials and stuff like this pieces, all of that built on mobile because I was just working good as a way he could find on the shelf we had we have two guys actually nights a little bit bigger because there is a little bit of money in Utah started like a marketing automation platform for small businesses. And then we have people doing personal projects, you know, like it's an example I give often of a guy will build an advent calendar for his girlfriend. You know, like you have a day behind like instead of December and you get a surprise when you click on it for her iPad so that you know she will have a digital one that obviously you couldn't find anywhere else. It's a question that we get often you know, like when we're meeting investors last year they were like, you know, what are the main use cases of bubble in truth I mean, it's all over the place, because that's how it's built. That's kind of the point


Ben Tossell  21:03

that seems to be the nature of the no code space is everyone's quite curious. And everyone loves to almost push things further than you maybe were originally planning to push like to have them. But then equally, it's still, like it's a platform with all these different types of tools that allow you to do a mix, Matt. I mean,


Emmanuel  21:19

it's actually the most fun things that I have a My job is when I see people building things that I thought technically were not possible, just by combining pieces like elements or actions in a weird way. And I see them doing behaviors that I didn't think we're possible. He's actually the most cool thing ever.


Ben Tossell  21:38

Yeah. And I think that's that seems to be like a theme of people who are running platforms. They see things that they didn't know were possible with the platform that they've built, which is like a crazy thing. But it's awesome to see that people are pushing.


Emmanuel  21:51

I mean, he comes with a lot of problems. So it's really cool. But so the reason why performance is something we need to work on is we're so open ended Like but was actually pretty fast if you have clean is dying and you know are reasonable with the number of elements you put on the page and stuff like that. But the problem is, because it's very open ended, people do crazy shit that we've seen pages was you know, 1000 different fields and the type, you know, like the type of data, they had 1000 fields, like this is actually costly because at some point downloading all those things is expensive and processing these things just takes time. And so we're in the business of optimizing things regardless because we don't want I mean, we have a few tools to tell you here you're doing something inefficient here, but at some point we want to create something that just works because that's where the challenges


Ben Tossell  22:36

Yeah, yeah, I've seen so many awesome stories. So what is what's next for Baba? What are the key things like they're on the roadmap? Anything you can give us some insight.


Emmanuel  22:50

So on the product side Oh, really like finally tackling performance seriously. I'm hoping we can start seeing visible impact this quarter and early next quarter. We have a full redesign. coming in for the editor, which is not gonna change the UI that yet I mean, that's something we do in two steps. But at least we get something that is more like that. The problem is with design standards. In fact, I design what you can see today, which is amazing. And we'll have probably like a, we have a better integration with air table because it's something that keeps coming back a lot. So pushing on, like the ability to upload like very large files, because we have people that wanted to upload like gigabyte files and something we don't support yet. So we have all those things to increase how user useful the platform is, for some specific use cases, and a new design, better performance for people that are scaling, and the new design to make the platform easier to learn. Because I think at some point, design matters a little bit to not scare people from a business perspective. Like we're really starting to tackle growth, which we've never done so far. Let me before that a little bit. Because of our bootstrapping history. I was doing that like kind of awkward On an opportunistic fashion, like if something comes to us, I would grab it. And that's how we get some press or some or some exposure to users. But now we want to start turning this into like a growth machine. So we're experimenting everything from, you know, paid marketing, which we've never done. So we started this month, a lot of things to increase the reach, like a startup program to start, you know, having like relationship with pretty much every incubators or school that has an entrepreneurship hub, because that's really what should be seen. We're working on better ways to engage with our better users, especially startups, because that's really the core of our user base. To increase like, evangelization lovers are two angles. When I was 22 people. I guess that will end the year around 30 or something. I believe in keeping the team smaller because we're in a world where you can automate a lot of things and so the biggest team sometimes the bigger the other hand, like can you build internal tools with bubble Do you use a lot of Code automations. myself was a team. I mean, we all are PM, the product management tools is built on bubble, our website itself. And not just a website. But the In fact, a lot of you know, account management or marketplace. All of that is built on Bumble, actually. So that actually is a way for us to iterate very quickly. So another thing we're working on is a bit of copy for website, like because I think we're understanding ourselves a little bit on the website. And so that's going to be implemented pretty quickly, because it's all built on Bumble. Yeah, we don't, we actually don't use that here. We use segments, which in some ways could be seen as a good tool, because you can do a lot of things with it without writing code. But yeah, though, we use a lot our tool. In fact, part of the onboarding. When people start the company, even engineers, you have to do two things that are completely different from other people. You have to be two weeks on success rotation, so answering emails from users which is pretty intense, but the Very efficient way to learn the product because people email you like, crazy situations they created. And that happens. And okay, I'm confused now and you have to confuse them. And then we actually have a bubble test. So for about a week, we have written a very extensive test to force people to explore. Not all because it will be complicated, but probably 90% of the features we have. So because we want to maintain a very strong knowledge of the product, especially among engineers, because at some point, that's kind of the challenge you have is that engineers are not our core market, and so they don't use it as much as other people on the team.


Ben Tossell  26:34

So how do you with that, like that bubble test? Have you ever thought of making that public? Any of your marketplace experts have to go through any testing I've done? Yeah, we definitely thought


Emmanuel  26:46

about that. Just not to I need to figure out the right way. Like you know, the internet is an interesting place as soon as you put something out there and people will have you know, answers somewhere like you You need to think a little bit carefully. I'd love to spend some time hopefully this hearing like making a freelancer and agency community a little bit stronger. And so that means you're probably letting people read them, but also like having some kind of certification. But I want to that carefully. As soon as you start getting like a bubble certified batch to someone who's very hard to take it back, even if they don't do well, you know, you have to think you have to look carefully.


Ben Tossell  27:25

Yeah, that's definitely one of those shut down.


Emmanuel  27:29

One thing I mean, having said that, I mean, like our current like the freelancer slash agency community, because most of these guys or girls, women did not come from an agency background. And they literally created businesses on top of it like without bubble, they would not they would be making a living in a different way. So I really want to find a way to help them more. I think right now because of our forums and communities, very concentrated on one place. They found a lot of customers that way. But I'm hoping at some point we can put more energy to help them grow bigger. Yeah, so some of them, some of them, I think make a better living than I do. Pretty cool.


Ben Tossell  28:11

Yeah, yeah, I think offend them. I mean, I mean, a friend a few years ago started doing like, no code development and design for people. And he was the develop developer in our team. And everything was built on bubble. So and now he continue to run an agency built on bubble. Building quizzes is called the up starters. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.


Emmanuel  28:37

I mean, I see them, you know, analytics.


Ben Tossell  28:39

Yeah, yeah. So yeah, he's, yeah, he's now got an agency doing doing that stuff built on mobile, which is awesome. Yeah, it's just seeing that people have really flocked towards like Freelancer agency style of,


Emmanuel  28:52

well, yeah. Because what's happening is, again, the benefit of no code is that once you know how to use these tools, you can build things properly. 10 times faster than writing code. So at the end if the customer doesn't really care as long as it works, so you can basically sell them something 10 times faster, it's going to be easier to iterate and probably charge them, you know, five times cheaper, which means you're making a pretty good living compared to the existing solutions with code.


Ben Tossell  29:19

Yeah, for sure. So how you said you haven't really looked at growth or like you haven't really thought about growth or making a growth engine rather what was what's been what made it successful bubbling because everyone seems Do you think it is like the the product buying of people, once they're on they're on and they love the product so much that they just right? Yeah,


Emmanuel  29:40

I think, I think so. When I say we haven't done any growth effort over the last eight years of the company. We did one thing that eventually I think works well, if you do well is building a product that people love, like, product addiction is something very strong. So because you do this that people become kind of obsessed of itself. It can be tough. I mean, we get emails, it can be very emotional. William, we have both from from, like, sort of passion goes both ways. So they have that, then you create a community where people can start exchanging with each other. That's a forum that has turned out to be our biggest growth engine. so far. The reason being, having a forum has two major advantages. So first one is three advantages. The first one is the shows that the platform is alive, because sometimes you don't know you know, some people show up on the forum and say, they can see how many posts they have. The second thing is actually makes it boarding much faster for us and much easier for us because we actually, it's not very costly for us to end users, because most of the time this is done through the community. So we start getting emails from people when they start having real issues that require us to look at the application. But a lot of the work of you know, learning how to use a platform is actually done through the forum and people are okay with that. So we've outsourced a lot of the work to our users. That way. The third thing, which I did not expect at all, because I'm not an SEO person, but I discovered that very happy is that when you have a forum that generates a lot of posts, it's very well indexed on Google. And so and all the keywords are basically defined by users. So we have a very wide coverage of keywords. And that's how usually when people look for local platforms, we're pretty high on the list on Google. So that's how we've been finding people.


Ben Tossell  31:25

Awesome. Is is a forum built on Bumble or is it?


Emmanuel  31:29

No, it's a it's kind of bad. It should have been it's under discourse. Yeah, yeah. So I mean, when I started it, it was in June 2015. So it was a stretch and I, so I took like half a day to make it look a little bit like a ball and I use what was on the market.


Ben Tossell  31:47

And wasn't accusing me. I just


Emmanuel  31:50

mean, it's about it. Now. I mean, it's embarrassing. I mean, it would be better if we had that, but that's what it is.


Ben Tossell  31:57

Okay, well, yeah. I've loved having you on this one. question I'd like to finish with is, if bubble already existed today, and you had no part of it, it was nothing to do with you. What would you be building? Also, if I was doing something completely different? Well, maybe Yeah. And then no code related to.


Emmanuel  32:17

So actually, you know, what if I wouldn't I really want this thing to exist and exist at scale. And so it's hard for me to think about something else that I would want to do in technology, if it's not possible. And so if I were not doing what I'm doing today, for some reasons, you know, product goes well, or not, or something and I'm out, or if I hadn't met Josh, I will probably be something working. It's got some very fringe in the public sector in France, I think, in the education space, because it's something I really care about, which actually is related to bubble in the code. I think. Another way to define what we do is, you know, we're educating empowering people by educating them to do something and something I mean, I was schoolteacher full time for a year. In my own experience, that's actually something that I care a lot about. So I would be in some kind of I don't know, which position but that would be something public sector and trying to work with the education space. is a public sector or some kind of nonprofits, I don't know. But probably not technology. It's hard. Because something like bubble is so fundamental, like, rundown liquid is a thing. But if we do our job properly, and if we scale very well, no, could we not do a thing anymore? It's just a new way to build things. And whether it's good or not good doesn't matter. I mean, you could use good for the thing that bubble can do, but that would be only like, you know, 5% of the time. And so if we do this, we have the opportunity to massively change how technology works. And that's basically changing everything, changing how people work, you know, and everything. So it's hard for me to think about all the tech ideas I could work on that would be as impactful either, right. So now my job is to make it well.


Ben Tossell  33:55

That's awesome. That's a great answer, right? Yeah. I agree with you that hopefully Soon it won't be thinking building something with code or without code. It's just Yeah, the other way to build stuff.


Emmanuel  34:06

I mean, yeah, I really hope, I really hope five years from now, we don't talk about no code anymore.


Ben Tossell  34:10

Yeah. And it's just, this is how you build just a way to build things. Yeah, of course. We are. Thanks so much for your time. It's been. It's been awesome. I really appreciate it.


Emmanuel  34:21

Thank you very much.


Ben Tossell  34:22

Thanks so much for listening. You can find us online at maker pad.co or on Twitter at make that we'd love to hear if you enjoyed this episode, and what we should do next.

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