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28 Comments

I built a community platform from scratch in 7 days

  1. 4

    This looks amazing! I just joined it! :D

    1. 1

      Thanks Steven! Saw your post as well.

  2. 4

    RoR is the right platform for building an MVP fast)))
    Actually, the design looks fantastic!

    1. 2

      @hrishikesh1990, actually here's an app with very similar functionality that I built some years ago.
      You can find it interesting:
      https://github.com/yshmarov/doesmystartupideasuck
      https://doesmystartupideasuck.herokuapp.com/

      1. 1

        This looks really cool. Did you launch it or was this just a pet project?

        1. 2

          @hrishikesh1990 I was posting my ideas and mostly friends were up/downvoting them.
          I never really launched it publicly...

    2. 1

      Thanks Yaroslav :-) This was my first experiment with Tailwind, had used only Bootstrap & Material earlier. I like the fact that I am able to make custom UI changes very rapidly.

      True, although I've never experimented with any other framework fully. It's been C++, Java 5-6 yrs back and post that it's always been JS & Rails for me.

  3. 3

    Nice job! How did you attract initial users? I'm trying to figure this out because no matter how great the MVP without users it looks dead.

    1. 1

      Thanks Bilal!

      Very true and it's a long story in my case. I started working on Remote Tools late 2018 and by the start of this year, we had 4K+ newsletter subscribers & 20K monthly visits. So that served as a solid base for our community :-)

  4. 2

    I'm sure building this community platform must have taken quite an effort, @hrishikesh1990. The design looks pretty intuitive and nicely crafted. What was the most difficult part in the process?

    1. 1

      Thanks Harsh :-)

      I think the toughest part was to freeze on the homepage layout and the post structure. As I put in the thread as well, we debated a lot on how the first screen should like and tried some crazy experiments around color coding to show hierarchy of posts.

      Apart from this, from a purely dev perspective, the first couple of days to get the codebase & app set up and getting familiar took some time. Was mostly a smooth ride after that :-)

      1. 1

        Yes I agree. The first screen is always an important part in design process. It can totally make or break the attention of users.

        If you want, you can check out my product at www.ruttl.com. From what you've stated above, I think it might help you guys out in the future design process. Let me know if you find it interesting and I can send you a beta access.

  5. 2

    Now you're making me feel slow with my 14 day MVP plan 😰

  6. 2

    Building a platform while building a community to use it at the same time is really amazing. nice! I guess the learning curve on tailwind must not have been very steep?

    1. 2

      Thank you so much :-) Building engagement on the community is the tough part and I'm still learning.

      Oh yes, learning Tailwind wasn't a steep curve. A lot of things are quite intuitive. Plus the official doc is amazing (but so it is for other frameworks too).

      1. 1

        Have you fleshed out the business model yet?

  7. 2

    Nice job. Did you design the UI yourself (is it included in the 7 days)?

    1. 1

      Thanks :-)

      Yes, I designed the UI myself along with inputs from my co-founders. I did this in the same week itself. However, I've made incremental changes on the website since I launched, so the current live version isn't the most accurate depiction of those 7 days :-)

  8. 2

    Looks really nice - I love the clean UI! By the way, for anyone interested in community platforms like this one, check out Scoold - it's a full-featured Q&A platform which I've been building for the past few years (a bit more than 7 days, lol). :)

    1. 1

      Thanks Alex :-) Scoold looks great and I see you've put in tons of features - great work 👏 I had actually tried using Tribe before doing this on my own but I couldn't even do basic customisations, so had to ditch it :/

  9. 2

    Wow, how did you manage to build a complete platform for a such short period of time? Did you use any frameworks that accelerated the process. I've been building my own platform for a couple of months now. Besides React.js, I'm building everything from scratch on my own. Is there any helpful website which I should look at that offers some tools to speed up the process?

    1. 2

      Also check out EasyMDE which is a nice Markdown editor component. For the backend I would suggest you use one of the existing backend solutions out there, like Firebase or Para if you prefer open source. This will save you months in development time.

      1. 1

        Will definitely check these. I already know about Firebase. I was mostly using PAAS solutions like Heroku. Recently, I got very interested in serverless architecture. AWS's free tier seems like a good fit for a startup.

    2. 2

      Hey Aleksandar,

      Great to know you're building your own platform. TBH, I was able to pull this off in 7 days due to a variety of factors working in my favour -

      1. I built it on top of an existing open-source project, Lobste.rs. So, I got most of the features out-of-the-box.

      2. I've been working on building products (MVP-startup style) for 3+ yrs now and I have grown to become fairly comfortable with Rails. Even other parts like deployment, domain management etc.

      3. The 7 days I talk about in the post is the actual dev time. I was planning the website, scouting for open-source projects etc. for much longer before starting to code.

      Now coming to your final question, I don't think there're tools that will help you speed up development process when you're doing things from scratch. You can surely use small libraries (or gems in Rails) to do standard stuff. For e.g. I am using the TinyMCE editor on our community now and there's a gem available to quickly integrate it. I'm sure you would be doing this already, but if you need any help on this, do let me know :-)

      Your choice of tech stack, however, can seriously improve your dev speed. For example, for most of our other projects, we actually use a lot of no-code tools, primarily Webflow.

      I am also guessing you would be building something much more complex than a community website, hence, the longer time :-)

      1. 1

        Thanks for such a thorough answer, Hrishikesh. The third point is especially important. As one saying goes "weeks of coding can save you hours of planning". I felt that on my own skin. 😃

        Yeah, you're right, the thing I'm currently building is a little bit more complex. I'm building a football(soccer) platform, which should be something like a blockchain tool for soccer players (but without blockchain 😁 ) .

  10. 1

    I believe @csallen did the similar with Indie Hackers for the first version of the forum.

    1. 1

      Absolutely. I would love to read how he goes about building products, earlier vs. now. I have taken a lot of inspiration in building the website from IH :-)

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