Community Building August 12, 2020

Bootstrapping My Meditation Community App

Moe Nasr @vana

Hello, first time poster. Just wanted to share my journey so far regarding bootstrapping my mediation timer app, Vana.

I started the project in 2018 and hired a developer from Upwork to code the MVP, as my coding ability was sub-par.

After a few video interviews, I agreed to pay him to code the App for iOS and Android. I did not have much knowledge on the process, and over 1 year and $20,000 later, the app didn't work. I became frustrated and shut down the idea altogether.

Fast forward to 2020, I decided to re-engage with the project again since my knowledge grew and learned from the mistakes I have made the first round. After hiring a more experienced app developer off, my MVP launched last month on iOS:

Although the app is in it's very early stages, I have plans to offer more features and make the app more community oriented, such as :

  • create and join local group meditations and classes
  • share great meditation spots
  • host and book short-term rentals & retreats

I will post here my progress go-forward. Thanks,
Moe Nasr

  1. 2

    Nicely done!

    The "Discover Local Meditators Near You." screenshot is a bit confusing. Why do I need to "discover" them? Maybe just "See who else is meditating around you"?

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Yea I can see how that screenshot is confusing. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Perhaps I can update it to say "See Nearby Meditators"?

  2. 1

    Meditation is something I have always wanted to develop a regular habit for but struggled.

    Have you seen & Headspace? They are really great apps. Do you have something that differentiates yourself?

    1. 1

      Calm and Headspace focus on teaching people how to meditate. I would rather not go that route, but more so focus on helping users create/join local group meditations.

  3. 1

    Cool, meditation related a friend of mine is working on

    1. 1

      thats pretty cool!

  4. 1

    Have you now decided to launch iOS only or is the Android version still in development?

    How did toptal compare in terms of cost to the upwork developer?

    1. 1

      iOS only for now, Android in the near future.

      So far I have had a better experience on Toptal. Cost is a bit more expensive, but you get what you paid for.

  5. 1

    Congrats on launching the MVP! What are the next steps you're aiming to accomplish?

    1. 1

      Next steps are to plan for phase II of the project (community oriented), and launch on Android & the Web.

  6. 1

    Well done for launching after what seems like a stressful journey.

    1. 1

      Thank you, definitely has been stressful but I am enjoying the journey as best as I can.

  7. 1

    great idea! I was wondering how your app will be different than something like insightTimer. Insight timer also has social features where you can see how long and where other users are meditating.

    1. 1

      I feel like InsightTimer can be comparable to Peloton's business model, my App is a bit more comparable to and

      1. 1

        I'm sure it's early stages, but I think the community part needs to be front-and-center. I think Meetup isn't too bad of an option for finding local meditation groups too, so I'm intrigued by what you've got planned to differentiate!

        1. 2

          I do like Meetup and use it quite often, but one differentiator is they neglect to use the Map for discovering local meetups. Vana will use the map front-and-center. Also, it's very niche oriented, which I think would attract a specific type of audience.

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