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How to explain what Bubble does elegantly?

Hi everyone, I need some sort of advice. Every time I’m in a meeting providing an app solution that I built on Bubble. After they have praised the app, there is often a question such as: What language did you use, or on what is this built?

I have encountered a constant impasse when I reply back that it was made on Bubble without coding. Then they think it might not be a “good quality” thing, or just try now to diminish the value of the app itself. Also, if there is an in-house coder in the room, they react like if I just insulted his/her entire family, even when they have never heard about Bubble before.

So, what I would to do, is to be able just to explain in some technical terms - but understandable- what Bubble does, without mentioning ‘no coding’ or Bubble itself.

Thanks for the help!

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As a complete non coder and coming from zero programming backgroud except for HTML in high school a decade ago…

To the outsider, Bubble is like Dreamweaver. You can throw together some fancy in your face graphics that’ll wow them initially. But then that’s it…

But if you go beyond the surface, this is where Bubble’s true inner beauty shines. You can create complex statements and advanced functionality using built in plug-ins and the Bubble database. You can use API’s and extract data from nearly any website or application, create a complex database that can easily be searched and optimized, and you can even incorporate javascript if you need to (which is what I’m learning now).

Don’t sell yourself short - the application you developed wasn’t built with ease because Bubble has a very steep learning curve but the results are incredibly rewarding. Instead of devoting your time to proper syntax, Bubble allow you to devote your time to proper programming - thinking and following through on complex work flows resulting in stunning complex applications.

Coding is the language, but Bubble is a thought process - and at the end of the day, I’d rather be able to think and not speak than speak and not think.

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Thanks for your answer, Dylan. If you were in my position, in one of those meetings. How would you ‘fashionably’ reply to this kind of question?

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I’m sure others will chime in and I’m certainly no expert:

If everybody is impressed with the results and it’s yielded increased productivity, then it speaks for yourself. Sometimes silence is golden.

If you must speak, substantiate yourself using numbers, NOT fluff words. I would say:

“Using Bubble, I created an app in 2 weeks that used over 100 workflows (look it up), the database takes and manages over 1000 different variables - The numbers speak for themselves.”

-Mic Drop then exit scene

Once again, NUMBERS mean things, words are just fluff.

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" It takes years to learn how to code and build an app. With bubble you can build that same app from scratch with no prior knowledge, in a matter of days. Everything is built visually, using plain English "

This is for someone who is not a programmer. If the person had some codeing knowledge you could use other terminology.

“Bubble is a powerful tool that merges a visual front/back end editor with an integrated database. Using plain English you can develop an entirely custom application from top to bottom that combines modern ux design with an Easy to use interface. The learning curve to build an application goes from a year + to a week+.”

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You can always throw out some of the technology that Bubble is made of. :wink:

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You could ask them to think of Bubble as an interface to a programming or markup language. Think of command-line interface vs user interface.

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The world is not ready yet to accept what bubble can do (to me this is nothing less than web 3.0 where everyone the power to create is given to everyone, but I must be biased by a scientific background).

So I would separate evangelizing on bubble and pitching my app.

For pitching the backend, it is often all about name dropping and I would say the back end is based on coffee script, using a nosql elastic search database and the app is entirely RESTful but not opensource. As I don’t have a technical background I barely understand the implications of the previous sentence.

If asked about the CTO, well I just say it has all been outsourced to a freaking talented team based in NY…

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Would be nice though to know what that means (at least on the surface :D)

I struggle with this question too and I think you make a good point to separate the philosophy behind Bubble and the technical characteristics.

As for the Bubble philosophy, which I think you shouldnt dive into too deeply while pitching your app, (a combination of some technical terms and the numbers as explained above would work better I think) I would look at Bubble in the same way as I look at Adobe Creative Suit. You dont have to understand how Adobe Illustrator is built, you need to understand how to use the tool to create something that exceeds your client’s expectations. We can all open Illustrator and mess around the app, but actually creating something impressive takes years of experience and practice.

To me Bubble is very similar to the Adobe suite as it combines a bunch of those applications into one platform: visual design, website development, database design, app development, UX and UI design etc. Which is actually an awesome compliment to the Bubble guys when you think about that…

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I work for Pivotal, a pretty large technology consulting firm with some of the most talented engineers in the world. I use Bubble for prototypes on client projects, but it does get looked at suspiciously by our developers. There’s a lot of magic going on, and the inability to look at or modify the underlying code of the applications we build is the main reason why the devs I work with don’t feel great about it. I actually believe this fear/concern goes away 100% when Bubble opens up the ability to build your own plugins/elements. If devs could build a module they feel good about, hand it off to me (a product manager) or a designer, and let them go to town, that increases EVERYBODY’S productivity.

TL;DR: devs are afraid of too much magic without visibility. IMHO, if they aren’t your customer, you shouldn’t care.

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If I were going to try to make Bubble sound sexy to a developer, I’d say something like:

Bubble is a json-based declarative language for web application assembly. It’s designed to let non-technical users combine hand-coded javascript modules seamlessly into a working node.js application. It supports both front-end javascript components that the user can combine in a free-form way, and back-end server components the user can link together. It includes a simple but powerful expression language for linking components together and defining business and display logic.

I think @potentialthings is exactly right about making developers comfortable: the more that they can program things that plug in to Bubble, the more they will like it. Right now we have our API, which I think is a good selling point, and letting users build plugins is one of the big projects we have on our roadmap for this year.

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thats awesome! i think pivotal is a seriously awesome company. can i ask what you do there?

to answer the ops question, i say “its a gui over a programming language”, or “you program with your mouse instead of your keyboard” or “its a programming tool”.
if someone asks “oh so you click, so anyone can do it?” i say “yes of course anyone can do it, just like anyone with photoshop can learn to be a designer or anyone with a pencil can write a novel. it’s a tool just like any other”

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I’m a product manager in our consulting branch (Pivotal Labs). I work with clients to enable them to be good PM’s in an agile world!

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