Massimo Sgrelli
Jul 17 · 4 min read
Freely inspired by something happened almost 40 years ago

Here at LombardStreet.io Ventures, we aim of reinventing venture capital role for seed-stage companies. Everybody knows that writing checks it’s not enough, but very few investors on the market go beyond providing intros.

We believe that if you want to help your portfolio startup to succeed, you need to get your hands dirty and do things that they need. Marco Bambini created Creolabs some years ago, and it was a real challenge. Building an end-to-end software development environment that works excellent is incredibly complicated and expensive. He and his team bootstrapped in Italy to keep the company’s burn rate as low as possible and to get access to talented designers and engineers quickly. Then he moved the company to Silicon Valley in 2018 when the product was ready to be released. Now they are good to go and move a step ahead in the company’s life. To help this transition Luigi and I accepted Marco’s invitation to temporarily join the Creo team, and be ad interim involved in nurturing Creolabs’ community and growth. We have been advisors in the last two years now, and we loved what they accomplished. Now it’s time to push the pedal to the metal and release the product potential.

Since releasing version 2 of Creo six months ago, the team made huge steps forward to improve product functionality and usability.

They released an impressive list of features in less than six months, like:

  • A new Creo UI design made by a great Italian designer winner of 2018 Apple Design Award
  • An improved CreoPlayer to speed up testing and demoing of your app directly on an Apple device
  • Dark and Light Mojave UI
  • Swift code exporter, to export the entire project to Swift/Xcode
  • Flex Layout support, the famous multi-platform layout engine — flex-box — which helps you efficiently address interface design issues across different screen sizes
  • Image and video filters, to include terrific imaging effects in your app
  • Live code to enable the use of Creo as a fast prototyping tool for Swift/Xcode projects
  • Split panels interface to get both UI design and business logic available on the screen al the same time
  • Apple Simulator support
If you are curious, you can get a complete list here.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tons of improvements, fixes, new APIs, and classes were pushed into the git repository, and the product is stable for production use.

The fantastic thing is that since today the product growth has been entirely organic with zero marketing effort — and I mean nothing. The team primarily goal in the past months was listening to the users and improve the product. Now Creo is ready to enlarge its user base and be adopted by many other software developers as their iOS development environment of choice.

We are so excited to be ready for this significant step forward, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Last June at annual WWDC Apple unveiled its new development framework for app development called SwiftUI.

We couldn’t be happier because of Creolabs has years of advantage in this area, and Creo development environment provides a much more complete set of functionalities. Creo is not just a tool to design the user interface, but it comes with all you need to create and release a whole iPhone and iPad application. A second major point is the programming language. SwiftUI uses Swift, of course, and Swift is much more complicated than Gravity — Creo programming language. Gravity syntax is very similar to the Swift one and, in its early days, it has been freely inspired by the best of Kotin, Lua & Ruby. Surprisingly it was released before Swift showed up. Gravity is an interpreted language with a 10KB runtime and with a super-efficient virtual machine which takes care of memory management, dynamic typing conversions, and much more. You could also see it as a kind of “Swift Script,” and can be learned just in a few hours — yes, hours.

We know Apple is a big competitor, but we are thrilled they too envisioned a future where building iOS applications won’t be that painful. So, it’s a pleasure to say:

Welcome, Apple.
Seriously.

We are happy that this new adventure is going to start.

LombardStreet Ventures Blog

Pre-Seed Venture Capital Firm

Massimo Sgrelli

Written by

Software engineer & investor. I love my family, coding and writing.

LombardStreet Ventures Blog

Pre-Seed Venture Capital Firm

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