This inspiring story is of a rising startup called UI Bakery started by Vladimir Lugovsky. UI Bakery’s main objective is to provide an efficient and cost-effective way to build internal tools and MVPs. Nowadays, software development is getting more expensive, and digitalization is becoming more important than ever. Therefore, they see their mission in building a product that would allow people without technical expertise to create apps with less effort. Here is the story of UI Bakery in Vladimir’s own words.
Introduce us to the idea of UI Bakery
UI Bakery is a low-code development platform that allows building and shipping responsive web apps visually. Currently, our main focus is internal tools and admin panels. But in general, we see UI Bakery as a potential replacement for front end development as a whole. We see it as a tool that provides ways to create apps lightning fast, based on the thousands of ready-made templates and customization opportunities.
We believe that UI Bakery would speed up the digitization process for large businesses and SMEs. At the same time, SMBs and entrepreneurs will get the ability to also digitize their internal processes without much investment. We believe this would make their markets more competitive, and as a result, their product and service quality would increase.
What’s your strategy story? What led you to start UI Bakery?
The idea of creating UI Bakery was born from our own experience. Before starting this product, we founded a company called Akveo to provide a wide array of software development services. We were using open source as one of the main marketing channels, and we developed a lot of projects for our clients using an Angular project called ngx-admin. Technically, that was an admin dashboard template that you can buy on template markets like Envato and others.
At the end of 2018, we realized that front-end development is not getting easier. Besides, we realized that we were doing a lot of boring and repetitive work. That’s why we thought: hey, probably we can improve this and speed up the whole development process for clients by providing a visual builder.
And this is when we started that journey of customer interviews, hypotheses validation, MVPs. I can’t say that we were doing the right things from the beginning. Well, initially we saw UI Bakery as a replacement for web development, so we tried to build a product that would cover all possible segments and satisfy all the customers. But after the initial release, we understood that it’s hard to build such a platform with the resources available. So we started to segment our audience. Now we see that we can bring the most value for businesses trying to bring their internal tools or admin panel to life.
What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at UI Bakery?
UI Bakery is a SaaS product, and for now, we mostly use digital channels for marketing. For us, it was quite easy to get some initial traffic to the landing page of our product. We just added some banners to our existing resources. Because at that time the audience for our products were quite similar, it was a good way for us to welcome first users fast and free of charge. Currently, we still focus on free marketing channels like SEO. But we also use paid channels when we need to outreach some of the new audiences fast. For example, when we test new hypotheses.
Operation-wise, we have a really great set up, I believe. Our development and marketing team is located in Belarus, which allows us to significantly reduce our burn rate compared to if it was located in the US or EU.
But we also have a sales office in the US which allows us to operate as a US-based company. We inherited most of the internal processes from our service company, so to speak. Besides, when we were just starting our product, we were also able to compose the team from the strong and field-tested specialists. Even now, when we see that some person can add value to the product, we can transfer it from service to product which is far more efficient than hiring from the market.
Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?
Originally, I was a software engineer. And my main mistake was that I had no idea how to manage people until I made a lot of mistakes. Initially, we used to hire based on the level of comfortability with that particular person. But in the end, you realize that it’s also important to hire people that are different from you. This allows you to see a problem from a different angle. So it became much easier for us after we learned a lot about management techniques.
My second mistake was that in most of the cases I was thinking as a coder, not as a business owner. I was trying to write the code when it was important to think. If I had stopped coding earlier, I believe our business would have grown even more.
Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?
I think the main lesson I learned from my whole career so far is that doing anything is better than doing nothing. One part of success is always luck. But you won’t depend on luck if you are working hard. Fails only mean that it’s not the time yet.
Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.
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