We spoke with Somebody Build This (SBT) co-founders, Lauren Meyer and Paul Mickan, about building an app that allows current and aspiring entrepreneurs to share their ideas. Lauren and Paul are finishing up their MBAs at Northwestern and have both held various roles in the tech industry. Having previously used CMS platforms like Wix and SquareSpace to build websites, Lauren wanted the freedom to build any features that she wanted, like an upvoting system, so she turned to Bubble.
What problem does your project solve?
Lauren Meyer and Paul Mickan: We believe that everyone has good ideas, and sometimes the best ideas don’t make it past an iPhone note or dinner conversation. On the flip side, there are millions of potential entrepreneurs out there that want to start a business, but just don't have the right idea. To address these challenges, we help amplify people's ideas, including those of aspiring entrepreneurs. By crowdsourcing ideas, upvotes, and comments from our community, we connect good ideas with potential entrepreneurs to facilitate product ideation, which reduces the risk of starting a business.
How does your app work?
When new users sign up for a free "Thinker" account, they can post ideas, upvote/comment on existing ideas, and engage in our Thinker community. Recent ideas have ranged from "Taco Tape" to "Crowdsourcing Prescription Drug Prices." Typically, these are ideas that the Thinker doesn’t plan to build themselves, but we also encourage entrepreneurs to post inchoate ideas so that they can validate their concept and receive feedback. In the next few months, we plan to launch paid entrepreneur features, including data analytics for posted ideas and primary research capabilities.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
We are both finishing up our MBAs at Northwestern and met during our first week of class!
Lauren spent her early career working on public healthcare problems and has recently transitioned into product management in the early stage health tech space. She has formal training in design innovation, and enjoys discovering and building solutions for white space problems.
Paul is a former EY consultant who has explored his passion for unique customer experiences in technology through internships at Cameo and Amazon. He will start at Google in July. We first learned about Bubble from a LinkedIn message - Alexandra from Bubble reached out to let us know about the Bubble accelerator she was looking to grow. Only 3 weeks later, we started to ideate on SBT, and Bubble was a great solution!
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Lauren: I had built sites previously with services like Wix and Squarespace, and I defaulted to designing some of the site features offered by these no-code platforms. But in the end, I wanted more flexibility - I knew what features I wanted now and in the future, and those other solutions wouldn't let me create them. Bubble was a great way to build what we wanted without needing to find or hire an engineer.
What has been your traction or successes so far?
We started by sending our site to friends at school and family members. So far, we have collected over 35 unique business/product ideas. We will launch our first idea challenge around "The Future of Work" (with a cash prize!) later in June and begin advertising more broadly. We’re excited to leverage the momentum from our public launch to quickly grow the number of Thinkers and ideas on our platform.
What are your future plans for your app?
Over the next couple months, we will be ramping up our entrepreneurship blog and doing a lot of outreach to build our community. Our goal is to have 300 unique ideas on the site by the end of summer, which will correspond with the launch of our paid entrepreneurship product. Through our community and entrepreneurship products, we want to change the way entrepreneurs find new business ideas and engage with their early target customers.
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 400,000 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.