We spoke with the founder of StowShare, Tristan Bietsch, about building an app that allows users to find a storage space near them at a lower cost. StowShare aims to be the "Airbnb of storage." Bietsch had a goal to create a company that would "would serve 1 million people or more and make a difference in the world." After exploring various website builder tools, Bubble was the only powerful no-code platform that allowed Bietsch to transfer all the ideas into reality quickly.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
StowShare is the Airbnb of storage. Traditional storage units can be expensive, far away, too small, and have contracts. StowShare allows people to find storage in their area from hosts or become hosts - so storage and parking are a lot closer, more convenient, and affordable.
How does your app work?
It is very similar to Airbnb’s process. When you sign up, you can either become a host or find a host to store your stuff. Once you list your space, a user can reserve it by searching within their area and clicking on your listing. After one month, You can cancel anytime with no cancellation fees. There is a page for settings, your profile and listings you are hosting, listings you are renting, the home page, and a pretty sweet 404 page. I highly recommend you look at the 404 pages.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
My background is in sales and digital marketing, but I would consider myself tech-savvy. I have been making websites with HTML since the 7th grade, and since then tried and ventured into a lot of different things - Linux distros, filmmaking, basic java, a marketing agency, graphic design, e-commerce, dropshipping, and everything in between. Doing all of these things made me realize that I want to create a real company that would serve 1 million people or more and make a difference in the world. But the issue was - I don’t know how to code well enough to make a marketplace website MVP. After looking around at things like Webflow, WordPress, and Wix, react.js + bootstrap, I found Bubble to be exactly what I was looking for. It’s very easy to use and get something online fast. Within one month, I went from an idea to having an MVP online with 20+ users.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Compared to other website builders, none of them filled the criteria I was looking for. Wix, WordPress, Webflow, or just plain code didn’t allow me to transfer my idea into reality very fast. But Bubble allowed me to create a marketplace website, with the help of Zeroqode, in no time. I am technical, but not hacker technical, and I think Bubble was the best solution to help me create an MVP so fast. It felt as easy as editing a picture in Photoshop, and it’s very fun to use.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
The first milestone was making everything just work. Once the website was done, It was amazing seeing someone sit down and use it with ease, and having their listing pop up on the map. Getting my first user was really exciting. It was one of my neighbors, and I was able to sit down with them in person and take notes on everything and give them some of my stuff for them to store with their space. The next day, I posted StowShare on hacker news, and overnight I got 20+ users (at the time of writing this). With that said, I have been trying for the last two years to make one of my companies successful and tried 20+ different ideas. So I wouldn’t call it an overnight success, and not be fooled by randomness. It took a lot of hard work to make just one thing start to work.
What are your future plans for your app?
The first thing is to get funding from Y combinator or someone similar. They have an amazing startup program, and the people I have met so far because of Y combinator have been amazing and very insightful. But getting seed money is definitely one of the priorities right now. We will have amazing customer service, bulletproof principles, great people, and an amazing product people will love. Other than that, my future plans are to grow StowShare to its fullest potential and take it worldwide. Go big or go home, right?
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.