Why I decided to stop Roadside 2 months after launching the app?
Roadside was born with the aim to propose a solution for transport companies to book a safe parking space on the main European transport corridors. Those parking spaces are provided by professional truck parkings, transport companies, logistic centers, truck centers or any company wanting to leverage their empty and non-exploited spaces to generate new revenue. I wanted to develop truck services booking (wash, repair) and within years develop our own network/franchises of Roadside truck centers (parking, wash, repair). I started to work on this project in my spare time when I was working within AS 24, then in November 2020 I went full time on it!
During this 1.5 year, a lot happened. I first designed 200+ wireframes for desktop and mobile, then wrote 80+ pages of specs + IT architecture for this app with the generous help of 2 senior IT consultants. I learned a lot working on that document with them and I am very thankful for their time and the energy they dedicated to Roadside at the very beginning.
We finally submitted these documents and wireframes to several software houses to quote the entire product (app + webapp). In the meantime we found two business angels ready to follow us and invest to develop this app. In the end we didn’t get further with the software houses, mainly because it was too risky budget wise and we wouldn’t have full control over our own product. The aim was now to find/hire developers to build this app!
In October 2021 we met with our business angels ready to finalize our fundraising and go a step further. But unfortunately it didn’t go as expected, they asked my partner to leave his current career plans to go on Roadside full time, like I was already. Without that they wouldn’t invest in the project, for reasons I totally understand, and I am confronted right now. How is it possible to establish a sustainable business, building the product, finding partnerships and customers with one person full time ? We had a lot of thought on how we could make it work, but he took the decision to follow his career leaving me in a tough situation, without the possibility to pay the work accomplished until then by a subcontractor developper I was working with at that time, and without the perspective of having someone who will work on developing Roadside by leveraging his network. At this point, I was thinking about stopping Roadside and giving up… Almost a year, and still no product. On top of that I was going through changes in my personal life.
I took a step back and started to dig the world wide web. How can you build a MVP without knowing how to code ? It appears there are few companies proposing no code interfaces to build apps. So, let’s give it a try! I started to build Roadside on Bubble.io, it’s amazing the number of things you can do with their platform, really. It’s the perfect tool to bring a product to the market and test it out, without spending thousands of euros in development. I learned how to use it and 5 months later I released the MVP of Roadside. Here we are, now : I have my MVP, I still need to make it evolve and in the meantime I have to onboard parking partners and service providers. That’s the moment I would have need my ex partner/associate full time. Unfortunately being alone on this project I decided to move on.
You can have a great idea, a great product, a great vision, but if there’s no one to execute it with you, it’s worth nothing.
What did I learn ? What’s next ?
I am glad I tried and pushed Roadside that far, I’ve learned a lot and developed a lot of new skills during these 1.5 years. I had a lot of fun designing and creating the brand/identity, as well as building the webapp. I can confidently say today, if I need to launch any kind of app and create a brand tomorrow, I’d be able to do all that within 6 to 12 weeks. But, I’ll not make the same mistake, I’ll focus on finding full time partner(s) first.
I’ll now take a step back. In the coming weeks/months, I’ll focus on developing my skills :
- Keep on learning polish
- UX/UI knowledge (Adobe XD / Figma)
- Website and app creation (Webflow and Bubble)
I am open to any discussion and I would be glad to join an ambitious project at an early stage. Or maybe you have an idea and want to create something ? Let’s talk about it!
To conclude I’d like to say a big thank you to the people involved in Roadside at any point in time, I’ll not forget what you’ve done.