BaasBox State of Union

The first signs of autumn, finally the heat gives way to the fresh September breeze.

It’s my favourite time of the year, when plans are laid down and the good intentions for the year that will be are made. We breathed this same air in Rome when Claudio and I sat down for the first time to talk about BaasBox. We had worked together for more than ten years in the ICT sector and, in recent times, app development has become our main job. We knew from close up all the problems and difficulties that every developer meets daily in the course their work. Among these there was (and there still is) the need to find a solution, Claudio told me:

“I don’t want to keep rewriting the same functions from scratch every time, go back and rewrite the back-end of our app. Enough”.

The first embryo of BaasBox was coming to life. We were about to radically change our lives. From that day in September we have made lots of progress and many are the adventures, the experiences, the errors, the arguments and successes that we have lived together.

The victory at the “Cloudseed Contest” in November 2012, the acceleration program in LUISS Enlabs in June of the following year, the seed round and the capital increase, but above all, a dream called Silicon Valley that was realized with the participation in the final selection of Y-Combinator.

Together with all of these experiences there are the Hackathons throughout Italy, the training for the developers, lessons in some prestigious universities and meetings with some extraordinary high calibre people such as Michael Seibel, Michael Widenius, Evgenij Kasperskij e Riccardo Zacconi.

For those who may not know what we are talking about, BaasBox is the Backend — as — a — service open source software that we have created and made available to all the developers in the world. Today, more than 44,000 developers have used our creation and there are hundreds of apps in the stores that use it as a backend. Our path has taken us to believe that BaasBox should and must remain the mBaaS that any developer can use and manage themselves on their own server machines or on their applications in cloud. We were born and raised independent and with the conviction to remain concentrated on the development of software that is installable on any platform. From this point of view our motto is, “BaasBox, your self-hosted mBaaS”.

In these years, thousands of apps have used BaasBox as a backend, we have supported our community and, at the same time, we have developed projects for our clients. This experience has brought us to realise that the needs behind of an app are many. Destiny and history have made us understand that having a structured workflow doesn’t only allow you to develop more quickly , but it allows us to concentrate more on the aspect has the most impact on the success of an app: user experience.

It’s pointless to speed up development if the final result to present onto the market is mediocre, it is also pointless to have an infrastructure ready to scale for millions of people if the app hasn’t been projected to be usable. After hundreds of interactions between our projects and those of our community, we understand that the most correct mental process is the following:

1. Validate the business model

2. Have clear ideas on the functioning of the app

3. Devise a native design

4. Develop the app

In this value chain the necessity of a backend software and the writing of code only comes at the end, whereas we have noticed that the most enduring and cases of success are those have left nothing to chance and have followed the correct sequence that I have just demonstrated. Paradoxically, this change of paradigm has led us to follow, maybe less projects in respect of those on which we worked before in a disorderly manner, but in the end, they have all achieved the predefined purpose and have become apps used by many users or used by companies as a business tool.

It is best to follow or act as a tool for thousands of apps that have little chance of having a future, of follow fifty that could become the next success stories?

Our course has suggested that we follow the second path, and this is why today I am writing this article, because we want to pursue the following vision:

Build awesome apps faster.

There are two key words of this vision, “awesome” and “faster”.

With the first, we want to communicate the intention that an app can become something big, marvellous, well made and could possibly scale up at a global level. We are not only talking about aesthetic aspect, we are also talking about dominant dynamics of a project, of the business model, of ergonomics and usability. Each of these aspects has to be “awesome”

The second word is faster, which doesn’t mean approximate or cruder, but it means, “To do things as they should be done in the shortest time possible”. We can state this with confidence because, during the course of all these years of work, we have managed to codify those processes and methodologies able to cut the time needed and that guarantee the final result.

With this letter, I would like to present the new face of BaasBox characterised by three specific products: Makemake for product design, LUNA Development for development and BaasBox Open Source Software for backend services.

I want to speak clearly, this new version transforms BaasBox into a company that has as its main aim that of sharing know-how and methodologies, constructing in parallel the tools that speed up all of these processes.

Our jouney has brought us to here and now I hope we can continue together to new destinations.

Here the brand new

Fedrico Pacilli
CEO & Founder of BaasBox