Monday, April 20, 2015

Startups take note - we're building the same damn thing over and over.

Got a new web based service you want to start selling? Well you're going to need to start coding the same damn thing yet again for the umpteenth time.  The same damn thing incidentally that the rest of the web development world is building over and over again.

Could some enterprising startup please stop this madness and build a generic web application that I can get going in 30 minutes with zero code?

Here's the components and requirements definining what is needs to do - easy to define because it's the same damn thing everyone is building. There are plenty of "best in class" companies in each category but none pull it all together into a seamless whole.  All assume that you're happy to start coding and integrating and getting bits from all over the place.

Website
I want my users to be able to come to a gorgeous looking site (or at least clean and professional anyway) - must work well on mobile. The website is a very substantial part of the requirements. It should look like my website and not show any signs that it is actually constructed using something else. No "powered by Shopify" or anything on it.
Who does this part well: ThemeForest, Shopify, Strikingly, Wix, SquareSpace, TemplateMonster, Bootstrap

Authentication
I want my users to be able to sign in and create an account using whatever the common signin services are (i.e. oauth)
Who does this part well: http://oauth.io

Authorization and user management
I want the back end to handle all aspects of user registration and handle all the crap involved with sending out confirmations, password resets etc. the back end must provide me with an API. the back end must provide me tools for backing up my user and account data cause I don't trust that they won't go out of business one day the back end company must exude the sense that it's my customer base, not theirs. if I get the sense that I don't trust them then I'm outta there.
Who does some of this currently: StormPath, MailChimp

Commerce
I want to be able to set up a simple price plan schedule of service levels and present it in that well known pricing table format that almost all websites seem to use.

Payments
MUST allow me to do subscription payments through Stripe - nothing else will do here.

API
Stripe have shown everyone how to do API's well. I want a incredibly thoroughly documented API with lots of practical examples and wide language support.

Integrated
All the above must be nicely integrated, with ZERO coding required unless I choose to through the API.

Setup and configuration
Hard to see why it should take me more than half an hour in an admin interface to set up all the above.

See what I want? A beautiful, mobile ready site that my users can sign in to, create an account and buy my subscription service.  It should take me 30 minutes to hand over my credit card, choose a nice template, set up my pricing schedule and type in the text.

It's 2015 and I really shouldn't have to do three months coding to pull all this together. Neither should the rest of the development world because that's what a substantial number of developers are probably doing.

Give me an integrated, broadly featured up-and-running batteries included web based business in a box. I will pay because I value my time - I don't want to spend three months coding the same damn thing every time I want to launch a new product.





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