We asked OnOtto founder, Tony Kau, about building an app that helps households stay on top of periodic maintenance by sending recurring reminders. Tony has a diverse background that includes analytics, cloud infrastructure, web development, and entrepreneurship. He has managed web and app servers, written custom apps, data pipelines, and integrations in Python and PHP, and worked with several types of data stores. He chose Bubble because the no-code platform offered flexibility to integrate external APIs and helped him build a completely functional app within a few days.

Tell us about your app and what it does.

OnOtto is a recurring reminder app that helps households stay on top of periodic maintenance. Properly caring for a home and its systems improves your quality of life and safety by avoiding costly premature repairs and replacements. The app also works great for other categories in "adulting" as well, like chores, vehicle maintenance, lawn and garden upkeep, even personal health and pet care. We had tried using calendar reminders and popular checklist apps before building OnOtto, but none really had the feature set and workflow conducive to the periodic maintenance cycle for households.

Checking off a task on OnOtto.

How does your app work?

After signing up, a new user is invited to add the tasks that they would like to remember. The user can browse the OnOtto "Starter Packs," which are basic collections of common maintenance items with links to quickly add the tasks to your checklist. From there, you can add the other members of your household and assign task owners to help share the work, and add supplies needed for each task.

The supplies for tasks due in the next seven days aggregate on the shopping list, where you can easily see what you need to have on hand to complete this week's to-do's. If you'd like to hire a service provider for a particular task, you can also check the box to "Put it OnOtto" and we'll connect you with service providers in your area that can help.

Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.

My background is a mix of analytics, cloud infrastructure, web development, and entrepreneurship. I've managed web and app servers, written custom apps, data pipelines, and integrations in Python and PHP, and worked with several types of data stores. While I love getting in the weeds to learn new technologies, I usually had very little to show for it and felt like I was reinventing the wheel with every app. For my day job, I work a lot with Tableau which is a no-code analytics platform. It's really easy to prototype and iterate in Tableau, which inspired me to search for a similar concept for building web apps.

Why did you build your app on Bubble?

The more I learn about successful tech startups the more I hear the virtues of launching a minimum viable product (MVP) quickly and iterating based on user feedback, rather than trying to build the total vision and only then invite a target user to try it out. I was looking for a web app prototyping tool to see if I could build and test OnOtto and other concepts quickly, when I came across Bubble.

The kicker was the flexibility to integrate external APIs as well. For example, if I need to build or use a feature or function that lives outside Bubble, then I can just integrate it via an API and not have to rebuild the entire app. I usually try to learn a new technology or framework with each project I build, so I opened up the Bubble tutorial and a blank Kanban board and went to work. Building on Bubble was, by orders of magnitude, the fastest I've ever been able to get an app idea from my head to an early but functional prototype (just 2 weeks of nights-and-weekends!) so I can start collecting and iterating on user feedback.

What have been your milestones or successes so far?

The "launch as fast as possible" milestone was a really big deal for me, in contrast to other projects where I focus more on learning and building, this time it's about delivering value quickly. It's still early days for OnOtto and the userbase is quite small, however, the most important user - my wife, Sarah - is very happy with it. She and I have been using it to manage all the recurring tasks in our life that we can think of, and it's brought peace of mind and a new level of organization to our life.

What are your future plans for your app?

My goal is to create the best user experience - to make OnOtto the defacto app for managing recurring household tasks. In the spirit of delivering value quickly, I want to iterate and add features based on user feedback, rather than on my preconception of what it should be. A few items in the pipeline include iOS and Android apps (with notification badge integration for reminders), a marketplace of expert-curated task lists, and an easy-to-use platform for service providers to connect with customers and manage their recurring clients.

OnOtto Logo
OnOtto Logo

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About Bubble

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.

Do you want your app featured by Bubble? Reach out to us and tell us about your app. In addition to this series, we sometimes select our best apps to showcase on our website.