Tools to navigate Web3 seem to be springing up everywhere—and confusion about if or how to utilize them is just as persistent. Gokul Madan, founder of the Vault, was in the same boat: He knew Web3 wasn’t going away, but he didn’t understand the finer technical points. So he learned hands-on by using Bubble to build the Vault: an app that helps creators mint and sell their NFTs and allows their supporters to access the creators’ exclusive content. Gokul hopes to make NFT minting and selling easier for creators of all stripes.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
The Vault helps creators mint and sell NFTs to give their biggest supporters (super fans) access to exclusive content, events, merchandise and more. We democratize token gating to make it accessible to the masses. Think Patreon or Gumroad, but for Web3.
How does your app work?
Like any marketplace, there are two sides to the Vault: creators and supporters.
The creator signs up using their MetaMask wallet (no need for a username and password). The incredible Web3 plugins on Bubble help make this happen.
Once signed in, the Vault makes it incredibly easy for the creator to add content. You can import all your existing content/products with just the URL.
We even identify Gumroad products and embed a Gumroad button, so supporters can access the content directly on the Vault.
The next step is to mint the NFTs that unlock all of this incredible content, which can be sold to the supporters directly on platforms like OpenSea and Rarible.
When supporters visit a creator’s Vault, they initially won’t have access to all the exclusive content. They can find the relevant NFTs right on the creator’s Vault and buy them from OpenSea or Rarible.
Once the NFT is in their Metamask wallet, coming back to the Vault will automatically unlock all of the exclusive content, merchandise, events, etc.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
My background is in analytics consulting: By day, I assist large Fortune 1000 companies with their deals strategy, divestitures, IPOs, and valuations (through a large consulting firm).
However, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. My dad is an entrepreneur, and growing up watching him, I’ve always wanted to do the same. Over the years, I’ve had multiple product ideas and got as far as wireframes and mockups. However, I didn’t know how to build front-end apps (I can query back-end databases). So invariably, that’s where all my ideas would stop.
In March of 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I listened to a podcast where the founder and co-CEO of Bubble, Emmanuel Straschnov, was the guest. I really liked the episode and thought I’d give Bubble a try. In two weeks, I built a very rudimentary app that generates a QR code menu for restaurants. While that app didn’t really take off, the experience of building something from scratch, talking to potential customers, getting feedback, and being able to manifest my ideas into an actual app felt absolutely incredible.
The bug had bitten me, and there was no turning back.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Before the Vault, over the last two years, I’ve built multiple apps on Bubble. The two apps I’m most proud of and have gotten the most traction are:
- Junior Boss: an app to help kids learn entrepreneurship through practice.
- No-Code Buzz: an app to help no-code makers find solutions to their hardest problems through a bounty program.
As 2021 progressed, I got more and more interested in the Web3 space. I saw some incredible NFT projects kicking off and some spectacular failures too.
Originally, I wanted to build an NFT ticketing platform. However, over time, I found that very few products existed that enable regular content creators to launch their own NFT projects with utility built right in. Most of these products also require a fair bit of coding and detailed understanding of the underlying blockchain architecture. There seemed to be a large population of creators who understood the value in Web3 and NFTs but didn't know how to participate.
I wanted to build something that addresses this need. However, I didn’t know too much about the technicalities of how NFTs worked and how they interacted with the blockchain. So I figured the best way to learn would be by actually building something.
As the famous quote goes, “If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Luckily, my hammer was Bubble and the nail I wanted to hit was Web3 and NFTs. That’s when I discovered some Web3 Bubble plugins built by EazyCode. I am so grateful for all the incredible work that EazyCode is doing to make Web3 accessible to the Bubble ecosystem.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
In January 2022, I was accepted into the On Deck No-Code fellowship.
It was during this incredible fellowship that I conceived, pivoted, validated, and launched the Vault.
Two of my biggest milestones so far are:
- The Vault won the “Best Bubble Build” on Demo Day, which was judged by Théo Goldberg (a Growth Associate at Bubble).
- KP, the program director of the On Deck No Code fellowship, created and launched his very own exclusive Vault.
For anyone out there reading this, I highly recommend checking out KP’s vault. He has some incredible resources, merchandise, AND an exclusive mastermind group with him that has some rockstar guests.
What are your future plans for the Vault?
My plan for the Vault is to grow it and get more creators on the platform. I plan to start with a niche: tech and digital product creators (most of whom build publicly on Twitter like KP, e.g. Arvid Khal, Blake Emal, Courtland Allen, Rob Walling, Sharath Kuruganty). Currently, there are only about 110,000 Web3 developers for about 47 million content creators. Only a very small handful of creators understand Web3 jargon, Discord, utility, programming, etc.
My goal with the Vault is to help make Web3 and NFT content gating more accessible to this large population.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble – many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.