We spoke with Vidi co-founders, Michael Salmasi and Michael Stroev, about building a live streaming platform for virtual meetups. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and global shelter-in-place orders, they decided to create an app that made it easier to find, host, and share virtual meetups. While they had initially planned on using Bubble just “to build a very basic dummy prototype for an eventual MVP,” they quickly discovered that they could keep using the no-code platform to prototype and refine their product.
What problem does your company solve?
Michael Salmasi: In the wake of global lockdowns and quarantines, video conferencing has become more than a tool for business meetings or casual hangouts--it has become a new and more interactive form of online media. Vidi is the first live streaming platform for virtual meetups. We wanted to make it easier to find, host, and share virtual meetups, all on one platform, without any hassle or fees.
How does your app work?
Vidi lets creators promote and monetize their virtual meetups, which can be hosted using Vidi’s built-in video conferencing technology, or on a third-party platform, such as Zoom. Vidi users can discover meetups, register to attend, donate, and buy event tickets directly through the platform. When the event is over, the creator can post a recording of the meetup that attendees can easily access on the meetup page.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
I’m a serial entrepreneur and have launched tech products before. I was working with my co-founder, Misha, on another product that was primarily aimed at coworking spaces, a target market that evaporated overnight, thanks to the global pandemic. We shelved the project, and I brought Misha onto Vidi, which was just an idea at that point. Misha doesn’t have a technical background, and while I can code a little and do have a good understanding of how apps are architected, I usually try to stay away from the heavy lifting that is required of engineers. When I started seeing articles about “no-code” platforms, I was initially skeptical. I experienced flashbacks of playing with early HTML WYSIWG editors, which were always a miserable experience, especially compared to just firing up a notepad and writing some HTML tags. But I was still curious, and I had seen the no-code platform mentioned a few times before, so I bookmarked Bubble.io. I didn’t have time to hire developers or get up to speed with modern web development frameworks, so I decided to build Vidi on Bubble.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
We needed to build something, and we needed to build it fast. Bubble seemed to offer a fair amount of flexibility while lowering the barrier to entry, especially compared to starting from scratch with different libraries and frameworks. I didn’t really expect to go very far--initially, I had planned to build a very basic dummy prototype for an eventual MVP. The more I worked with Bubble, the more I realized what I could do with the no-code platform. I got a lot further than I thought I would, and I’m quite pleased with the MVP we were able to deliver.
What has been your traction or success so far?
We only started testing our platform in the beginning of May, so it is still quite early for us. We’ve built a small amount of traction around a select base of creators who have been experimenting with the platform/format, as well as some organized events that have brought in a fair amount of viewers, with our biggest event drawing 100 simultaneous participants.
What are your future plans for your app?
Besides growing the user base and validating our concept, we hope that Vidi becomes the “Twitch for interactive online meetups,” so we plan to create a user experience that matches platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Our near-term roadmap focuses on adding capabilities such as more powerful host controls, AR filters, custom backgrounds, custom emojis, reactions, and more. We plan on using Bubble to incrementally refine and extend the UX. And even when we “phase” out of using Bubble, we can continue using the no-code platform for rapid prototyping of future features sets or future versions of Vidi.
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.