Build an app with me: Youtube Bookmark Manager


Follow me as I'm building a video bookmarks manager that helps you to save, manage and share your favourite video bookmarks.




Why am I building it?

I use youtube a lot. Like A LOT
I will not be lying If I say that 80% of my programming skills, and probably everything I know, come from there. It is a phenomenal learning platform where anyone, anywhere can share educational content and learn something new.

But as much as I love youtube, there are some things that I find annoying. I like to watch long educational videos. Sometimes they are hours long, so it's very difficult to find that one specific moment that I loved, when I re-watch the video.

Youtube has a functionality that helps to save videos or put them into playlists. But I find that ill adapted for long format videos.

Youtube Playlists

Let's take the first video for instance: How to build a product. (Yeah, I'm a real fan of YC). It is ~48 minutes long.

video example

Imagine If I heard something really cool at 9:19, then at 34:22, and then at 40:00. There is no way for me to actually store that information easily. I could save the whole video in a playlist or generate a link with a timestamp (eg: https://youtu.be/C27RVio2rOs?t=1677 ) and save it to a note taking app or in your browser's bookmarks. Not very handy huh.

Before starting to work on that project I've spent some time looking for competitors…

product research

None of them did at least 30% of what I was looking for. And then I found Bookmark It https://bookmark-it.happydevelopers.co. And for an instant I remember what would be my reaction 5 years ago. I would have been sad. But this time I was quite happy.

You see, most people who come up with an idea don't do any competitor research, or if they do they secretely try to dismiss it.

They try to be unique. As such, it's a hit on their ego if someone, somewhere had the same idea before and/or after them.

Being unique is not always nice. When you are unique you need to convince people that what you are building is useful for them. Having competitors on the other side shows that there is a market. That you can reuse a lot of online material they spent time creating and that you can learn from their mistakes.

Here is what I saw when I've checked bookmark it.

  • Pretty positive product hunt campaign
    product hunt campaign
  • Some traction
    bookmark it chrome store
  • No updates for a while
  • The founder seems to be a bit busy/recluse. I tried to contact him but he did not answer.
  • People seem to see value in the product
    youtube stats
  • Poor UI, bad SEO and a lot of missing functionalities

I've worked with 10+ startups over the past few years and have created numeours apps and websites. I've learned that success lies in the execution, not in the idea. I see several ways to execute this idea better.

This is why I want to build a tool that will allow yout to save your bookmarks, to manage them and to share them. Everything has to be userfriendly so we don't end up creating a nerdy product 🤓.

Thankfully I've been working with a guy who knows his shit when it comes to design, so I'll be able to have his feedback to polish things up later on. (You can find him on twitter https://twitter.com/ThisIsFranzou).

What I am building

So we're building a youtube bookmarks/timestamps manager. It has to work as a chrome extension. But the MVP will be a web app. Once we're done with that, we'll create a chrome extension. I'll be posting development videos about the project on my youtube channel Code With Vlad so you can follow along https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjmouj0JizYt0qTI53TAtFg

Idea Validation:

The nice thing about doing something that has been already done is that the idea has already been validated. Usually we would spend a lot of time trying to understant if our idea makes sense. That means talking to customers. There is an excellent book on the product discovery and idea validation called The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick I highly recommend it.

As a bonus: The problem I am solving is a problem I'm having myself on a daily basis. Believe it or not, a lot of founders create a product in an industry they have no experience in or that that solves a problem they never encountered themselves. This is why idea validation is such an important step since founders can be lost in a biased and unrealistic vision of the problem.

The tech stack:

The whole projects will be made of several parts:

  • A react frontend for the app

  • A react frontend for the chrome extension ( actually need to check if we can use react there). The extension will mainly serve to authentify yourself, save bookmarks on the current video, retrieve bookmarks on the current video.

  • A landing page, we'll use https://webflow.com/ no need to make it complicated at this stage. You can do really amazing stuff with webflow. As an example, here is a landing page of one of my side projects, https://www.talo.live/

  • An API? So here is the deal. I think that a side project should be fun. I usually use https://nestjs.com/ and plug it into a postgres database but this time I want to use something different. I want to use firebase which I think really fits the purpose here. In the end, it's a simple app, with simple queries. Plus, their free plan is huge.

Thank you for reading

Liked the content? Have something to add? Drop a comment, I would love to hear from you.
You can also follow me on twitter for regular updates https://twitter.com/vladimir_agaev

  1. 2

    Hey, it looks amazing as i watch youtube videos like a lot. message on twitter. let's chat

  2. 2

    That sounds like a very helpful project that would make saving parts of youtube videos much easier!

  3. 2

    Following! I have a super cool idea similar to this but for Twitch so I cant wait to see you code this out!

  4. 2

    Thanks Vladimir, That's really well written! The competitor research part in particular! I was working on a similar extension, not for YouTube though. Best of luck, I'll be following you!

    1. 2

      I concur. Really well-written & excellent competitor research. Make it like Loom where they have emoji's on videos, you'll have notes. Excited to see what comes out of it :)

  5. 1

    Thank you a lot for the feedback guys! It's really nice to see :)

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