Using Bubble as a long term solution?

I have been watching some videos and reading a bit about Bubble. I have noticed many talk about using Bubble to get a MVP up and running. I am curious how many use Bubble as a long term solution, is there any reason to move away from Bubble when you have a successful application?

Before I dig in at all, I should mention that Bubble continues to improve at a rapid pace. It only worked for prototypes a few years ago (and even then it was somewhat limited). Today, it’s much more robust and much more performant. Plus, their pace of improvement seems to be accelerating (for example, they had 2 developers a year or two ago and now the have 5 or 10). So, the answer really shouldn’t be based on whether Bubble can support your long-term needs today but instead whether Bubble will be able to continue to improve and stay ahead of your needs.

I think the answer really depends on your level of success as well as application specific features (and potential Bubble gaps compared to ideal).

For example, if you have a really popular blog built on Bubble then Bubble can scale really large (it’s a simple data structure to support a blog). Page loads might be a bit faster in WordPress and page load speed impacts SEO so at some point a transition could make sense. That said, Bubble continues to get better and better so perhaps the page load speed catches up by the time it matters.

Whereas, if you have, say, the next Twitter with 100M+ users then you’re certainly going to need custom code for nearly every aspect of it. Database searches that customize the app differently for 100M users need to be highly optimized (beyond what Bubble does today or what would seem realistically feasible with plugins/APIs). You’d also want a large team of developers (and Bubble still doesn’t work great for more than a few developers on a single app …but they’ll solve that soon enough I’d imagine). Lastly, there may be extra core features you need that Bubble can’s simply add. For example, you may need connections to users to be established with webhooks for near real-time information (currently, Bubble uses database lookup which are often delayed a few seconds). This doesn’t matter much for most small apps, but might be a big deal for a product like Twitter’s where people and companies share information that changes stock prices …and a few second delay for some user’s may have serious financial implications in the days of algorithmic trading. I’m sure there’d be more gaps as well with a product like twitters - afterall, they have thousands of engineers building and optimizing a single app.

Also, for all of the first time entrepreneurs out there, it’s usually a best practice with custom code to build prototypes and MVPs that you’re going to throw away. The reason is it doesn’t make financial sense to build them with an architecture that can scale because that costs, say, 5-10x more (and is also much slower). So, instead experienced entrepreneurs typically build products cheaply to iterate and nail down what customers want and then re-build the software architecture so that it can scale. As such, using Bubble instead of custom code doesn’t cost you much at all in terms of extra rework. Plus, it can scale much better than most custom code MVPs enabling you to push large investments in technology further into the future. So, it’s certainly game changing for many entrepreneurs out there, myself included.


Great reply thank you

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I found bubble doing a google search of how to found a startup as a non technical founder. It seemed like it was strictly geared toward building an MVP as you mentioned.

As somebody with no experience in tech, I thought it would be the only solution to my problem of having a business idea for a technology based service business. For my personal uses of creating SaaS products to help small business, as well as CRM, and listing sites, I believe Bubble’s capabilities fit my needs and presently envision using Bubble as my long term solution.

I feel most of the reasoning there is that I don’t really plan on needing to scale to the size of a twitter or other uber large type of platforms. In my mind, most of what the products I am building are intended to do will perform well enough on bubble to support the number of users I realistically expect to pay for my products.

I think as @sridharan.s mentioned it really depends on the size you expect your app to scale to. This is because again, my expectations are that if one of my products were to take off and have an opportunity to really scale then at that point it would be because I decided to and was successful at raising capital to scale the business and investors would want something that we had complete control over and used custom code and had more flexibility with servers and a whole lot of other technical stuff I am not experienced enough to speak about.

In the end, I am a business person with no technical skills, and bubble has proven to me (not because I’ve made money yet, but from learning and building on bubble) that it is the only way I am going to be able to create a technology based business. No matter what you use to build your app, your follow through as a business will matter most to the success of the app.

A great salesman can sell you a pile of manure and make you believe that you actually do enjoy the smell. ( Please don’t read into that as a correlation of an app built on bubble to a pile of manure )

I wouldn’t worry at this point about a problem you will have in the future. Some of the most successful people enjoy success as Timothy Ferriss says in the Four Hour Work Week, that they do things without asking because it is easier to apologize after than to ask before. I think the point there is to “cross that bridge when you get there”.

For now, get started building on Bubble, it is a lot of fun and can be very satisfying when you see what you can do on it.