Interview with Emmanuel Straschnov from Bubble

15 Minutes

Emmanuel Straschnov from Bubble


-   “If you want to be able to build anything you want, you're going to have to learn how to use the tool and you're going to have to make mistakes. You will fail.”

-    “To me. I mean, in terms of like bubble is, you know, has the potential to become something as big as, you know, the Microsoft of the world. Honestly, because are reinventing how programming works, we will become massive.”

-    “At the end of the day, software is necessary for everyone. So it should be easier in every type of organization to deal because otherwise, organizations just spent a ton of time and spent a lot of money to a point where it's almost not sustainable, by, you know, building technology the old way that is just 50 times more expensive.”


Emmanuel came on the podcast to talk about Bubble and the great opportunities it offers. Bubble makes it possible for anyone to build software, even if they have no coding experience or knowledge. Emmanuel talks about how if you want to succeed with Bubble, you have to learn how to use it and know that you will fail and you’re going to have to make mistakes along the way. Bubble provides an affordable and customizable way to give people in every field the opportunity to build their own software.


[00:00:00] Jeremy: Hello. Hello everyone. Hey everybody.


Hey, how's it going? Hey man. How are you?

Emmanuel Straschnov: Good. How are you?

Jeremy: Good. Oh, this is like, literally I just switched up like the software that I'm recording the podcast with. So like, ah, man it's been a fucking morning. I just, we used to use a software called [00:01:00] cast and now I'm switching to zoom for some reason.

Cause I'm like, Oh cool. There were some echo issues on the last one. And then this was like, I got my God you're I've got like three podcasts that I want to knock out today. I'm so glad that you agreed to come on to this man. I appreciate it. Yeah. could you tell me a little bit about who's you, who is your audience actually?

Yeah, so we have a bunch of just, most of them are non technical people. So like, people who like fund business number one. So like, it's normally like a younger demo. I want to say 19 to 26 ish people that are building things, right. Like building businesses, like monetizing. So like one segment that we do is the no-code CEO.

So there's a lot of shit out there about no code. Right. and you are one of the legacy platforms that's been around the longest. [00:02:00] and no one really knows how to, there's nothing out there on monetizing no-code so it's like, it's a lot of hobbyists out there. So there are a lot of people, I would say at least half the audience.

So like we get around maybe a thousand downloads an episode, and then I want to say. 50 60% of the audience are people who like the tips on building and no code and then the business model around it. So two challenges that effectively happen when building a company or a no-code company is everyone's a hobbyist.

So like you're not going to get a bunch of people that like, unless they're highly motivated and they want to make something and even then they give up. So like, You seeing all these trends I thought bringing you on would be an amazing experience to talk about what you've seen over the last eight, nine years.

You've been building this and you guys yet eight [00:03:00] years. So it's really hard for a lot of people too. And I'm sure you see this with bubble that people get on. They try it. It's probably a little more technical and then they get off or they don't, it just happens. Right. So like the motivation curve, or like, I want to say called the fog fog behavior model.

Where, unless they're highly, highly motivated, they won't do something technical. I kind of think about it as if they're not high, if they're not making money, which is motivation, they give up. So kind of giving people tips, right? Like, in stories on how you got your first customers, how you kind of built with no code, why you built it, the community you're empowering.

cause. Bubble has also gotten to be a great community builder as well. You guys have like a companion site, I believe. Was it zero code or something? Yeah. I mean the, yeah, it's got to be [00:04:00] convenient. I mean, it's one of the major, I mean, we know them well, it's one of the contributors that started on the platform.

Yes, guy. Oh, okay. So it was like built with bubble and then kind of just as is, is, is selling a lot of, templates. Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So like, I just want to hear, I mean, that's kind of our audience. Right. Like a lot of them are makers, builders, like people who want to monetize. and I just thought I'm going all in with this.

So, and I kinda, well, I mean, we can unpack there and like kind of how you got started with bubble, why you created it. I know you are European. Yes, French. You're French. Brilliant. So like there is, so I am like the more I Twitter, like Twitter search, no code. The more I learn so many people are European.

Like, yeah. For some reason, some things that started a lot in the UK Netherland and friends, [00:05:00] which is interesting. Got you. Yeah. Like I hear like a Sam Dickey who founded no is a London or he, I think he's Scottish. The guy who's currently running. It is Scottish. English maker, Pat Ben came on the pod last week.

yeah, he's English. I'm thinking I got all like what, what, why do you think that is necessarily? Why do you see that trend is the trend changing over here to the States? How's that working in your view? so I think it's. Couple of thoughts here. there is something in Holland, in particular, in the enterprise phase for no-code.

It's not something that people do too much about because it's, the price is very different. And so you have companies like baby blogs, mandates that were for some reason, started in the Netherlands where I don't know, I guess, you must speak in those, a process driven approach that some businesses have over there.

So in terms of technology, there are, could take nudges from there. It's not necessarily what's written on here. What happened here? [00:06:00] Honestly, I think it's kind of random. it's just, you know, Ben tussle got into middle code. In fact, I don't think you remember something, but he was the one hunting bubbling, 2014 or 2015.

So like getting to know code at that time, he was a prototype. Right. And so I think that's how he kind of discovered no code. And then he came back to him and then, because makeup has been in Europe because I'm French. We got more press and friends that in the us relatively speaking. And I think at some point, you know, it's so early that you should start having more people in a region, then there's kind of a network effect that happens.

But I think the U S would catch up. The other thing I would say is that the local community, like the maker community that is very vocal on Twitter. It's not necessarily the core of our community, our community, you know, business owners. I don't have time to tweet and then not super present there, but in numbers, I mean, the U S is by far our first country, since the beginning, and where we make most of our money.

but they're less visible and clear. So I think, [00:07:00] Oh yeah, they are less, there is a little bit of a light. Twitter effect here. Yeah. So like, I guess that's true. So you see more people in the States paying for your product. Cause that's one thing where by far, is it agencies? Cause I've seen some again, I've seen some agencies pop up, like no code agencies that use bubble exclusively.

Is that something that in your business model, you kind of put in there or. Is that just like, it just happened organically and you started feeding it. It just happened organically. What we still, what happened is a lot of our, a lot of our users started companies on top of us. And that's what I'll use is a little bit different than from the other users.

Part of the maker movement. Like all users don't play too much. Like they really try things because they want to make a living out of it. And, I think what happened, I mean, I know for a fact that what happened was a few of them, their business didn't work out because a lot of startups, [00:08:00] this is really great ideas.

And then they found themselves with no business, but a skill that was pretty valuable to them because they realize they could pretty quickly build an app for probably, you know, not the same price as it looked at the problem shop, but something like definitely in the thousands, if not more, and they could do it.

Probably like a week where someone else would take like three months or something. So they started sending that to their friends. And that's how the agency things started. Zero code it's, something like that. I mean, it follows their own code, started building like a meditation app and Volvo, for instance.

Got you. Like, so how many, how many total users do you have right now? so, I mean, it's a spectrum, obviously we have about like 430,000 accounts, I think. Oh, wow. And about like, amongst the active, it's a, depending on the mound site between 15 and 20,000 monthly active, like you have a lot of people, you know, sometimes some people disappear and some people, you know, they don't come back to the data, but they keep paying.

It's a little bit blurry. Everyone comes [00:09:00] back to his application every month to change it, you know? Right. But they're paying, right. So like, so you have, what 10, you have the, those fifth, those 10 or 15,000 are paying customers. Not all of them because our freemium guy regenerate. Yeah. That's one thing I was, I wanted to ask cause like bubble is the most.

I think naturally, right? When you build on a product more and more and more, it gets somewhat more complicated. So like why you need to add more functionality to it. Bubble is the fucking King when it comes to everyone I talked to in no-code. Right. Like, nevermind the glide and all this other stuff. But like, if you want to build something really serious, it is, it is bubble.

It's a different market. So I think deny them the little upgrade, honestly. Sure. But what they offer is, it's more for the maker. People that don't necessarily want to invest too much time to get something up and quickly running. Yeah. I want to get that some point, I think, you know, it's important to be everywhere.

[00:10:00] Yeah, our value proposition is really, you know, you want to build something serious. Don't spend, you know, $20,000 or $50,000 getting your app built by someone, build it yourself. So it's a little bit of a different value proposition. that said, I don't know, the King was definitely the one that pushed the limits of what you can do without could the furthest.

Right. How do you blend the, like, as you said, 400,000 active Anthony, or sorry, 400,000, like registered, and then you think you are really generous with the freemium. Have you ever thought about being a Le? So you have 10, 15,000, like active and then what fraction of those are like, actually. Can you get to the paid and are there strategies around increasing that?

Well, obviously you want people to convert to paying? Sure. I don't, I don't really want to get into specifics, like something I want to be a little bit careful. I mean, it's a percentage of those 15 to 20,000 that are paying. But is there a [00:11:00] strategy around, like, we can, we can do generalizations, but like, about around converting a freemium to a paid, right?

Is it like a drip campaign? Like, are there creative ways to do that? That, like, we can tell us to be honest, we probably should be doing more there. Something, we haven't spent a ton of time on, usually what's happening with our users though, is that because they build a real thing at some point naturally is they're going to want to use that custom domain and I'm not sure we need to email them to say, Hey, did you know you could use a custom domain because they're serious.

They don't mind necessarily like having the branding of somebody else in the URL or on the page. And so maybe you want to tell them, Hey, by the way, did you know that for like 20 bucks a month, you could have your own domain, you know, I think it's actually fine, honestly, as he is. I mean, we, we could do a little bit of upsetting and stuff like this, but effectively, if someone is building what we see in on that, I think people, when they start building their own bubble, probably like seven hours a day.

So I only, we need to email them or tell [00:12:00] them they should convert to pain. They will. When they're ready, not to the question, should we. Not, should we not have a free plan or should we reduce how much you can do the rhythm free plan? I mean, honestly, it's a little bit core from the beginning. We decided to have Virginia's free plan because we have a ton of people using us in schools.

We even have people, you know, in high schools using teach computing thinking, which is some things that you can really do is bubble and not really resolve the tools because Bubble is much more open ended. Like if I had to summarize how we're different from all the other no-code tools. Not that does sound like something ascending point, but actually real is you can go wrong with bubble.

You know, you can do buttons. Like if you don't build your ads the right way. You will have the wrong behavior. Oh, interesting side. Whether it means that you can build pretty much whatever you want, because like, and I want to be clear on that because sometimes in the no-code space, some people say you can be like, you know, amazing things and everything you want in a few minutes.

This is a lie. Like if you want to be able to build anything you want, you're going to have to learn how to use the [00:13:00] tool and you're going to have to make mistakes. You will fail. And one of the features we have, and we're actually the only tool of the market who doesn't have that feature has that feature is a debugger.

So when you build an app on bubbles, You can, you know, you have a developer that lets you run step by step, your work flows so that you can see what went wrong. It's something that is not necessarily with all the tools because you don't have that amount of control. You know, when you build those workflows and saying, when the user clicks on this button, save, sits in the database and an email charter credit card change a page like.

Because of how appended we are, people will be the things. And so back to the high schools, what we found out is that some people use us not necessarily to teach how to build web apps, because at some point, you know, if you're in high school, you maybe you don't care about that. But to teach competing thinking, because again, if you can go wrong, that means there is a learning opportunity because then you can give a situation to a child or a teenager and be like, okay, De-bug, this and that will make them, you know, think a little bit more careful.

Pretty much what they want the application to do. [00:14:00] Yeah, absolutely. Does it come with obviously yes. There's that learning curve there. So as far as do you make it easy to debug? Right? Is it like, is it actually reading code? I haven't gone that much in it, but do you make that easy as well? Like for no coders or do you have to be somewhat technical?

No. I mean, you have to use how to use Bubble. You have to be careful. But that's it's own local basin or visual throughout the bugger is not looking at the code of the bugger is really, you know, the workflows that you build in the application where you run them step by step and for each action, you know, you're going to say, for instance, you know, you have an action signs or user up well to find, to send your user an email on the password.

Right? So in bubble where you're going to define is. W without Kodo, even typing, it's just clicking base things. This is going to be in the Zack inputs, right? And you pick the right input on the page. Now let's say you are not careful. Then you pick the wrong inputs. Let's say, you know, you put the email independent of the password and the password is in place of the email.

That's the kind of things that the vendor would let [00:15:00] you, develop because when you're going to go step by step and debunk things, he will tell you what for that action in that particular case, here's what the email is. And you can understand where it's coming from and whether you pick the wrong. Yeah, I see that.

Okay. So I want to back up a little bit to the moment you wanted to build bubble and how you got your first customers. Like, so if you could unpack just a little bit, after you launched the I'm, I'm guessing the beta after you launched the first version of what you were doing, how did you get those first customers?

How did you find your first users? And how'd you go from there? So, we never have, we had a lounge by the way, like the website was always alive. If you were finding us, we actually waited pretty late before starting, before starting like having the anxious stuff like that. I think the product hunt that Ben did in 2015 was kind of our lounge, but that was like three years in, 2015 in 2015?

Yes. Okay. so what, what, the way we found our first cause it was, so from the beginning, [00:16:00] Our goal was to enable nontechnical people to build businesses. And so, well, we, which is a little bit different by the way, from, you know, the workflows, which is more for designers. So it's actually, if you can create in the local space, it's a little bit of a unique value proposition.

Absolutely. and so we went where, you know, nontechnical people that are looking for technical people hanging out, when they want to start their businesses, when they want to find a tech person. And so we went to tech meetups and so we were in New York, then they actually, I believe that still exist today.

Like, you know, literally, Technical nontechnical people meet up so that they can meet in practice. It's not great because you don't have a lot of engineers that go to the things because the shortage of engineers is huge. And so we would go there. I remember the first one we went to where we found our first users and the stuff that stuck with us for like two years.

I mean, there was the business wasn't bubbled for two years, so that was pretty long time. They were, they're looking for engineers building like a financial literacy platform where people could share tips about how to manage your personal finances. And we would go there and be, well, we're not [00:17:00] going to be your CTO, but we have this product pretty early on.

I mean, it was September, 2012. So like literally like a few months in the product. Pretty ugly was pretty slow and buggy. However, they had such a big need for something like this, that they started using us regardless, which is that's the reason why we always feel we're doing something truly useful. You know, when you can find people that are willing to spend like, you know, eight hours a day on a product that's limited and slow in the early years, that means you want something real.

And so we would go then tell them, look, we're not going to be a CTO, but we have this thing you want to give it a shot? Probably. Let me think probably took to like six seventeens that night and one of them reverted to being like a user for two years. And there were our first bank customers. Oh, wow. Okay.

And how did, so that was the first. So how many customers were that? Well, it was one, one team, one team. Okay. So they’re paying us like 50 bucks a month. They're actually the first payments we've ever received was a check because at [00:18:00] that time we incentive to distract integration yet I did catch it in though.

Oh God, you got to send me that. That is an amazing story. Like, I think, I think a lot of our listeners will love that because they think they need to build these fancy tools and these fancy integrations and they need to have Stripe. I love the Flinstone, you know, the Flint, you know, the term, the Flintstone startup.

I don't actually. So like, you know how the Flintstones, they had a car. Right. But like, they were actually moving it with their feet, but all you could see was the car moving. So like essentially what a Flintstone startup is, is like grabbing that check from someone, but it appears like it's a SAS platform.

Right. So I think that's how the founder of MailChimp was like collecting people were like actually mailing in checks. So like, I'm not surprised that they'll shrink started, I think in 2002. Yeah. Early 2000. So, I mean, it goes a little bit, you know, advice for grants. Said like in the early years that you still hear sometime [00:19:00] when white dominated people, which is do things that don't scale.

Yeah, definitely. Well, sometime misinterpreted what that means. That just means, you know, don't invest in things that are not worth it yet go for what's most important at that point, you know, us receiving a check from one team that was spending a lot of time on bubbles. So in fact, a few times they give it, give it to us personally because you know, they were in New York, me spending a few hours to.

Strive for the integration. Wasn't that I ROI because we didn't have a ton of users, but improving the platform for them was much more important. So when did raising money come into play there? Like how did you go from the first customer? How did you get your second customer and then raising money as a no code startup being somewhat new as a, like an industry in 15.

How did that go? So we actually didn't raise in 2015. I mean, we raised in 2019, so we bootstrapped for seven years. Oh shit. Yeah. So we had a team of 12 people fully bootstrapped without having raised a dime until April of last year. The [00:20:00] hats off to you and man, that is better. Oh, I love that. Yes. Okay. So how did you go about bootstrapping it then for the first four years?

I'm making money from users, you know, the boring way. So you're a ways away. People have been building businesses for literally, probably three or 4,000 years, because it started way, like when you have a shop, you know, sending, you know, vegetables. so like I I'm, so in my head, I'm thinking, so Emmanuel loves, I'm going to build something valuable.

You're going to pay for my shit. Right. Like, that is what I, but like then the freemium model thing, right. Less aware did. So obviously everyone was paying at the beginning and, and no, no, actually, no, no, we still have the free plan, but again, we went from people that, for which, for whom, you know, but what would not be a hobby we went for people that really needed somewhere to build these people.

If you tell them, okay, it's going to be 50 bucks to use a custom domain. They're like, okay, sure. Whatever. We could probably have charged more than that. $50 felt right at the [00:21:00] time we actually not 29. because we, it was kind of an ideological. We didn't do any market survey or anything. We were like, people should be able to build a tech company, a tech business tech enabled company for 50 bucks a month.

That's a great. and so, yeah, I mean, so there's a lot of the first users we had with nothing. Some were paying, some were bigger. So we found one larger customer that started paying us a little bit more because they wanted us to kind of integrate some features that we didn't have right off the bat. and so you did have kind of like a hybrid service built it.

Like if you wanted something extra, pay us a thousand bucks or something, we would call that sponsored features. So. The way that would work is it was a way to make sure not necessarily to make money, even though, I mean, the money was nice. I mean that let us survive without, you know, raising money, but it was also to make sure that, you know, you're not building a future for someone that's going to disappear you right after that.

So if someone, for instance, one of the features we added with the request was, you know, [00:22:00] Calendar elements. So to display events on the calendar, you know, it's not necessarily the first thing you would deal with in your local tool. I mean, there are so many things you have to build any way that said, we have someone that reached out to us and said, I have an investor meeting, two weeks from now, this feature is really important.

And we said, we would build it for you for $5,000. So that's how you price discriminate a little bit, you know, $1,500 a month was very cheap, but at the same time we will, if someone is very serious and he's meeting investors and he hasn't spent basically any money on developing his app, Because it used bubble and you tell them we can basically stop what we're doing and build that integration for you next for next week.

If you have time to build your app for your investor meeting and you tell them it's $5,000, they actually, most of the time, I mean, we would be people saying, okay, that's fair. Sure. We would feel that for them. It's not really a service business because we, we never, you know, would. We don't build that, you know, for them and they keep the IP.

That's why we call it a sponsored feature is like this people would sell the rights for people that have like important reasons to change a little bit. [00:23:00] And for us, it was a good way to make sure we were building something that was actually used. Because if you put $5,000 into something, I mean, you might disappear if you work at, if you can't raise money or anything, but usually those people were serious.

Absolutely. I would agree. So like, Finding those serious customers? Well, one I'm thinking, okay. If, if in 2015, you're bootstrapping this, how did you get that, that critical mass of users paying you 50 bucks? And then you had some five thousands, let's say Spreadshirt in there. At what point did, were you able to like.

Pay yourself. And what was the, and what happened? Like what hit or what clicked with bubble, in order to pay yourself and your cofounders and a couple other staff members, depending on selves. okay. Pretty early on actually, late 2014, I think. just based on the proceeds of the business, to be honest.

so people were, people were testing it then like are testing, paying. No, some people were building real [00:24:00] businesses on top of us. Like, so then, you know, we could start doing the sponsor features, so that would make like a more regular revenue stream. And then we put the team together, started hiring people in 2017.

It got to a team of like 12 people before we actually raised around last year. So how did talk about that then? Right. Like you've obviously have, I mean, at that point, at least I'm thinking, I'm just, I'm guessing I have no idea, but you're in the low millions or even you've got a lot of revenue. Right. So like you might be able to command more, you didn't really do a seed round or was that a seed round?

We did the CBRE. I'm not sure. Okay. And that was to see, because that was the. The first money we raised. Yeah. it was like 6.25. So you could call that a small series a at some point, you know? Yeah, yeah. Right. At some point doesn't move. Like it's just not like, I think Webflow also last year raised up.

$72 million like [00:25:00] series a, right. I mean, it's a, and by the way, it's not too surprising that there are, we are in a similar space. I mean, not the fact that there isn't such a big series there, but the fact that they bootstrapped. So is it in bootstrap, but there is an initial round. And then for many years didn't raise anything.

Yeah, right. Well, and I think that's what, cause I think I told you are, you were on twist with Jason. and that's what they call it in the launch accelerator that we're in right now, which is a, they call it a Pegasus startup that you cause you fly over rounds. Cause you have money. Right? So like I always said, and I want to, I want to jump into this a little bit a tad, which is, I'm like you where I'm an entrepreneur's entrepreneur.

I'm going to build something valuable and it's going to be so valuable. You're going to pay me for it. Like I love talking profit. I love talking revenue. I love talking margins. I don't love, I don't just true. It's just me. I don't love, User base, right? Like just, Oh, we got 18 or we got 800,000 users, right?

Like, and it's [00:26:00] an ad model. That's something, but like, it just doesn't excite me as much. So you obviously built up the leverage with these investors and you were a, I I'm guessing with the revenue and the traction you had and not having raised before you were able to command a little more and be a little picky or.

Was that not the case, given the no code space and there being a lot of little smaller competitors out there. How was the fundraising process for you? How did you get involved with it after not raising for so long? Fundraising for us. We were pretty fortunate. Actually. It was pretty quick, honestly. I think we, we had our first like investor meetings last week of January and we had a term sheet by the last week, the last day of February.

So, we were in a great position, like when you have a prop, so. Whether, you know, people value the fact that we bootstrapped for all these years. I don't think to date. I mean, some people could actually argue that we could have [00:27:00] run faster or something, but what's more important is when you have a profitable business, because at that time we were profitable, you're going to walk away, you know?

So you, you BATNA, you know, you messed up the alternative to another agreement. Fine. You know, you can print as a business, you've been running it, you a team and you know, it's fine business as usual. Yeah, exactly. So that made a pretty good place to fundraise. Now we actually, when we fundraise, no code was not as hot as it became.

I really saw something happening with the no code space, which, was not called NOCCA. That even when we fundraise that, I don't think that would, Dick has no coding. was most second part of last year. That's when we re mentioned this was in February, it was not necessarily as big of a thing at that point.

and I don't think there were many companies raising, like the glides and those companies raised after like late 20, 19, 20, 19, yet. So, what do you think? I mean, you mentioned a couple people, right? Like a dollar. I think they [00:28:00] raised, you know, a couple of million or something. I'm not sure. you guys with the six, seven, there's obviously the two biggest players, you guys for apps and then web flow for websites.

And again, you guys are kind of in the same space, but not, I like the differentiator. How early on did you, like, what did you tell people? What is your differentiator like when you going to investors and you're saying, yeah, but like we're seeing web flow and we're seeing these types of people. Like, I'm sure you got a little bit of that from some investors.

What did you normally say? Or how did you approach that? two ways, either we would say bubble is about, is actually visual programming, more than no code, which is not something that other tools can really say, or to be more like illustrated and explicit, we would say, well, you could build Twitter or Airbnb and mobile, you can do that workflow.

That's at some point, that's the simplest way to explain the difference? Like what, what is a fantastic tool? I mean, I think they really nailed something, but they're more in the Squarespace or Shopify space, whether it's [00:29:00] CMS or a new commerce website, our competition on the city's Rubion rails. Like it's, it's actual code, you know, like, because.

Today, there are really any other local tools that let you go as far. Like you can't build Airbnb on any local tool except us. And when, I mean, they've been, it's not like a simple market, it's like the full functionality of it. And so usually when you explained it that way, it's, people get it. I personally actually don't see Wipro as a competitor.

In fact, I mean, we're integrating pretty well. A lot of our users would work for, for the marketing website and then they use mobile for their actual product. And that's great. Do you ever get, do you get, I mean then obviously you think, do you think glides a competitor? No really, because glide is more for like, native applications, which we don't do.

Gotcha. from, Google sheets, which makes it much easier to build something quickly, but other people give you much less control, so much less control. Like they don't have the workflows that we offer. You know, like our workflow engine is [00:30:00] really, really powerful. and so that's something that these tools don't have, but again, it depends what you're looking for.

I mean, if you, if you have a list of information in Google sheet and you want a native app to be able to modify it, put that everything, then. So you get to something more trusted than on bubble. Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. Right. Like its bubble is the more dedicated people. Right, exactly. but I also think that when you get the more dedicated people, those people will pay you more and they will pay you more often.

So like those people you've got there. So yeah. So what we see, and I won't get too much into specifics, but we are, Like people that pairs the most to their parents, you know, a few thousand dollars a month or something, they started at like 29, but then some people have great weather. The good thing about business is our net revenue sharing is actually very negative, not the church because, you know, we sell to startups, like people trade businesses on top of it.

And so a lot of projects. Don't work out that people don't subscribe. Then they come back maybe a few months later, but you know that [00:31:00] Catholic church, but on the negative and church side, it's great because we had a model where one person starting really having traction will upgrade way more than a lot of people, that compensate by it.

So when you, can you describe what net revenue turn is for? The audience is how much money you losing because some users are leaving the platform and how much money you getting from existing users that upgrade. So you there's a difference between the two. And so, a great place to be is a negative review chair, which means people upgrading compensate for more than just people leaving the platform.

That means even without getting new users, Your business grows, revenue retention. It's just same thing. Just a different way to continue. Yeah. Revenue retention. Exactly. So one of the, one of the reasons why I've always held off on like VC funding is because you kind of have to take their opinion into account when you raise their money.

So, or, right. [00:32:00] Exactly. So when you raise 6 million or 72 million, I think they kind of have this grower die mentality. Right. Like as long as, I guess, as long as you have 51% of the company, you're fine. You don't have to exactly. You can one ear out the other kind of thing, but like, if you own less than 51% and they have this grower diamond totality, is that aligned or misaligned with where you want to go with bubble?

Like, are you fine with saying cool bubbles, a $20 million a year company? And the investor sitting here, I've known a couple of VCs that have canned $20 million a year companies. Cause they're like this isn't going to be a billion dollars. So how do you go about that? Like when you raise money, was that an approach at all with like through the partnerships that you made?

Is that misaligned? I don't know. I think the early years of the company, it would have been misaligned that there's a reason we didn't raise around, not necessarily in terms of scale, because I've always wanted this thing to become [00:33:00] massive. I think. To me. I mean, in terms of like bubble is, you know, has the potential to become something as big as, you know, the Microsoft of the world, honestly, because people that we reinvent, how programming works will become like massive.

And this is our line with that. Then our goal was never, you know, to create a business that makes a few million dollars a year with a comfortable life. It's not really what you care. Right. That said in the early years, I think where we would have had some, these alignment with VCs would have been on the timeframe.

You need to keep in mind, like something like bubble is not new. Like the idea is this is the oldest idea in technology, you know, like that was the idea behind, you know, going from MSS to windows and Macintosh, you know, graphic user interface that was at that time for using the computer. And then it's about what we're doing is for programming.

The computer it's fundamentally is this the same thing is, you know, something you used to require a code, let's create an interface. You see what I mean? And so for programming, this has been done many times, you know, like [00:34:00] HyperCard from Apple in the late nineties, front page and visual basic to some extent we're local tools.

So it just didn't work out. Because he still did. I mean, they worked out as businesses, but they haven't changed completely how programming works because people still want to learn CSS, HTML, and JavaScript in schools. people are still cutting today. And so, where I'm going with this is that this is a hard problem to solve.

That has a very high level of skepticism because of the failed attempts. Yeah. Oh, right. So you don't want to go to, and so how do we have VCs too early on? We would have been kind of forced to go to market. So we went to market very early, you know, in this meetup that I described, but it was like very small, you know, we would go ourselves, like literally in person, we wouldn't do any, like, you know, Google ad or anything like this.

have you had VCs? They probably would have pushed us to go to market sooner because they want to test faster, whether this is going to be a big thing. And if you go to market with a product that's kind of limited, first of all, people are not going to like it, and you're almost going to reinforce the [00:35:00] skepticism.

Like what, when I see people in our space that make claims that. The don't honestly, they shouldn't exist that you can build anything without code, and it's just not true. They kind of reinforce, you know, the skepticism that people have in particular from engineers, but from everyone. And so we didn't want to do that.

That's why we decided not to raise money because we're like, let's actually get to a point where, you know, when we make the claim that, Hey, we can build Airbnb or Twitter without code. We actually. Deliver on that promise. And that took us like probably five or six years, honestly, to get there. And so the timeframe was VCs will not be the same today.

I mean, I don't know because I only have one. I mean, I have quite a few investors, but to have one lead. And when VCs that is who sits on the board, I have no, I don't feel there is any misalignment at all. I was thinking of, we want the same thing. We want this to be big, diverse, supportive of our approach.

Probably wouldn't have been as easy again as we raised in 2014 or 2013. But on that one, I think we're right just to wait. And now, no, we [00:36:00] very much wanted the same thing in the same timeframe. So I guess this is what I would love to end on is where no code is going. You've touched on it a couple spots, and I think bubble's definitely going to be in the play for being that billion dollar company.

because there hasn't really been a billion dollar no-code successful. Definitely not a builder. Like a website builder, I think, like web flow is not there yet. I, bubbles, I think, we, and by the way, I don't think that would be just one. I think that we'd be a few players. I could imagine some kind of like multiple at some point it's probably five or 10 years from now.

Got you. Okay. Yeah. Right. So it's probably a far off, there's more, there's more than enough room for one right now for their niches. where do you see no code today and where do you see it going? And so my personal goal is no Cody that two years, three years from now, we don't talk about middle code anymore.

Hmm. First of all, I'm not a fan of no code. Maybe I shouldn't end on that, but I don't like the word, no code. It's [00:37:00] it's too. I mean, what is good about it is that it's a catchy phrase and people know what that means. So that does help us in terms of, you know, our communication. I didn't coin that term. I mean, if you go to our website still today, the, you know, the browser tab, we said visual programming, which I got more accurate.

And by the way, bubble, if you know how to code, you can use bubble with code. And that unlocks a ton of opportunities. Like all the plugins that we have. So we don't tell people they shouldn't code. We tell people don't code to build 90% of business applications or whereabouts out there that are all pretty much the same, you know, at the end of the day to database sending a few emails, tracking credit cards, it's just about combining the different things.

But if you want to build something like truly new, like a new way to. Rank people for a dating app, for instance, that you would probably we'll have to go back to code now back to, so what I hope, I hope like two, three years from now, five years from now, we don't talk about no code and it just becomes a defacto way to build [00:38:00] things.

Oh, sure. And then, you know, business people build things and engineers embrace. This movement. And instead of, you know, they don't build the apps themselves, they build the features that I needed, through the common platform and that platform, for instance, being bubbled. So we have technical people that work with non technical people.

So non technical people build apps, like build the product and the technical people would add an action in the workflow or an element of the page that we don't have in our contract. So that's where I see no doing so, Personally. I mean, probably what we want to be is a place where people build a web businesses by the end of like the next 18 months to two years.

So whenever someone is thinking about building a startup, I want to be the first place he looks at. And then if he decides that for some reasons, we're not the best platform which might happen, then he goes to something else. But I want him to start with us. Three four years from now. I mean, at some point we'd have to move into the enterprise space and to the SMB space.

I mean, at the end of the day, software is you is necessary for everyone. and so it should be easier in every type of organization to deal because otherwise, [00:39:00] organizations just spent a ton of time and spent a lot of money to a point where it's almost not sustainable, by, you know, building technology, the old way that is just 50 times more expensive.

Absolutely Emmanuel. I love it. I love the way you've eloquently spoke about the business. I love the fringe accent and trust me, I'm sitting here just, hopefully it wasn't this tenable I'm sitting here just like going, Oh, I hope the transcriber can pick. No, I love listening. I'm entertained, man. This is not boring business.

he is Emmanuel the co founder of co founder, CEO of bubble it's bubble dot ISMP or IO. Are you, we can, yeah. Where can people find you? I think I'm fine. Also bubble that IO can find me on Twitter. I think on Twitter, Emmanuel Stratton appoint manual bubble would probably get you there, obviously LinkedIn, or just send an email if you send an email to contact that bubble, that IO, usually if an email will be sticking to me that the rice.

Amen. Cool. Thanks so much for coming on Emmanuel. [00:40:00] Thank you very much. Was very fun.


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