A Bubble-built startup got into YCombinator 🎉

First, a huge congrats to @david @alextapper and Andrew on graduating from YCombinator! :tada:

I had a chance to interview them recently and think their story has some really applicable lessons for all of us out there trying to get traction for our Bubble-powered startups. Especially how well they scaled the Sixty platform as users validated their idea and needed more features. When I see MVP execution like this, I get all excited :clap::clap::clap:

Check it out here: https://codefree.co/sixty/

Use Sixty for Bubble help: https://www.usesixty.com/


Awesome! Thanks for sharing, this is good stuff for us all to see.

Edited to add a question

I see in your article they talk about building a V2. Is it fair to assume that this was not done on Bubble? And would they be willing to let us know what issues they ran into that made them move off the platform? Thanks!


So @brentsum, is that site running on Bubble? Or, as @andrewgassen asked, is it running on something else?


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@sudsy I’ll let the founders chime in when they can, but I believe the site today is a custom V2 not built on Bubble. I’m not sure what the scaling issue was, but they deal with a lot of live video chat so that could’ve had to do with it.

The important takeaway was the Bubble app they built was the vehicle that allowed scaling to the point where they could bring on a technical co-founder to build that V2. I see far too many app builders worried about scaling with Bubble when they don’t have any revenue/customers. That’s why I personally would like to see Bubble tackle things like Native iOS/Android solutions for consumer apps before tackling enterprise-level scalability. I think in the lifecycle of a startup, once you build a team and hire developers, they will naturally want to build with React/Angular/Rails instead of Bubble. And that’s okay.


Native iOS/Android solutions are more necessary for B2C & C2C startups. But I believe Bubble has got a higher potential for building Business Apps, so I think tackling entreprise-level is a higher priority than native apps since webapps are fine.


I hope Bubble will be able to do both well. :slight_smile:

I’m obviously biased toward B2C as the majority of Code-Free students are building consumer-facing apps and I want them to succeed. But I also understand there’s more money in the enterprise space, where business apps built on Bubble are more likely used by internal teams in large organizations. The tension lies with the fact that enterprise and consumer tools are at odds with feature set: consumer prioritizes better design, responsiveness, mobile, and user-facing features while enterprise does not.

I agree, @brentsum. I also think that B2C seems to better align with Bubble’s founding philosophy - i.e. to enable anyone to “program” without knowing how to code. After all, “enterprises” can generally afford high-dollar “coders”. Everyone stands to benefit from empowering non-coders, though, as there will be a larger “pool if ideas” from which to draw.

Definitely a case for both. My 2 cents - I think they’ll end up doing both very well in the end. In order to remain sustainable and continue to add value to the platform and community, they have to integrate themselves into the fabric of indie software development. By initially focusing on requirements that might benefit the needs of B2B developers, I’m guessing they’ll be able to cultivate a committed (and dependent) group of paying, dedicated, reoccurring customers whose livelihoods depend on delivering value to their own customers (i.e. building a foundation before building an apartment complex). This strategy ideally allows an organization to branch out as needed while focusing on their core mission (anyone familiar with OmniGroup?).

Most of the B2B/Enterprise developers I know are teams of 1-3 people, who license software products to non-technical industries or industries that are too small for venture capital. These guys don’t have billions, but live VERY well and are working towards great lifestyles after having put in a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice to develop their business as ‘enterprise Saas for X’. I know a guy that uses proceeds from his enterprise software for local utility companies to fund ‘sexy’ (riskier) startup ambitions or creative technology products. A single indie dev might not have billions, but a network of indie devs sure will :wink:

If more developers are drawn to Bubble and contribute to the plugin marketplace, I’m willing to bet we’ll see more professional integrations with third party software suites (React Studio, etc.) for building out native applications. Small business technology companies have the autonomy to make interesting business decisions (vs. the redtape at large corporations), and certainly more resources than hobbyists to fund solid development contributions. Personally, I feel refreshed that Bubble isn’t yet accountable to VC…they have some time to explore and validate their value add.

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I wish I saw this post a few months ago @brentsum, I would have chimed in!

To answer questions:

@andrewgassen @sudsy the v2 was built with Ruby on Rails. Most of the reason we did this was because I was the Bubble developer along with another team member. The scalability concerns had little to do with the Bubble feature set. It mostly had to do with us not knowing proper development fundamentals like database architecture.

The takeaway is if you don’t have a technical cofounder, you should start prototyping with Bubble/Zapier etc while making friends with your local developer community in tandem. If you get traction, you’ll need to build Bubble better to scale, which will require dev knowledge. If you get more traction, you’ll have to shift to a marketing/recruiting role which will mean you want a real developer cofounder. If you have a developer cofounder who is a beast on Bubble, you may be able to scale pretty far. I wasn’t/am not a beast on Bubble.

Happy to add more here if anyone would like to run more questions by me.


Thanks @david for the answer!
Also, on Bubble, initially, how did you manage to set up video calls between user and expert? What was your approach?

Thanks a lot,

@Vincent_London we used a tool called Acuity Scheduling in conjunction with Zoom’s API. Still use Zoom today.

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Congrats on YC @david.
Question: I noticed Sixty asks its users to download Zoom. What was the reason for this approach instead of integrating Zoom directly into the Sixty platform? Curious to hear what drove this decision. Thank you