Startup Weekend company CloudMine is on a roll, and are offering services that help other Startup Weekend teams. We had the chance to ask the CloudMine team a few questions about the magic of good team chemistry and how they’ve dealt with the inevitable twists and turns in the road to entrepreneurship.
Startup Weekend: Did you know either of your co-founders before Startup Weekend? If so, what led you to attend Startup Weekend? If not, what was it about the trio that worked well together and allowed you to trust each other.
Brendan, Marc, and Ilya (team CloudMine): Nope! I met Marc at the first Startup weekend in Philadelphia. I pitched the original idea for CloudMine (which we no longer are doing, see below) which was selected as a team, but there were not many mobile developers there, so I joined another team. Marc had already committed to another team, but really liked the idea and so we agreed to talk after the weekend was over. The original CloudMine idea resonated with something that Marc was working on on the side, so he was interested in talking more. We spoke about the idea and him coming on board sporadically over the next couple of months. I met Ilya at a Philly Startup Leaders networking event with similar results: the original CloudMine idea resonated with something that he had been thinking of working on, so he joined the conversation. Marc and Ilya got along very well very quickly. I think for all parties involved, it was clear how sharp the other parties were, how passionate they were about the space, and how well we interacted with each other. All of us could easily imagine working with one another.
SW: What was the biggest pivot CloudMine has seen? Was this an expected change or were you resistant to it/did it catch you off guard? How did you execute the pivot?
CloudMine: When CloudMine started we were essentially working on what is now iCloud, but for non-Apple platforms. We believe that there was no reason for Apple devices to be the only ones with elegant syncing and data curation options. At the time, even Apple did not have wireless syncing, which seemed like a no-brainer with the current state of technology. As we began to develop our solution to this problem we would occasionally run into mobile developers in the tech community in Philadelphia and they would get REALLY excited about using our platform to store stuff for their mobile apps. This happened 10-12 times before we realized that those were the ONLY people who had gotten that excited about our idea, so we pushed the pause button on development and took two weeks to stalk every mobile developer we could find, especially ones not already connected to our network. We talked to 45 mobile developers over those two weeks. Every single one of them was excited about the possibility of a platform that would replace the need to write web services and build infrastructure for their apps. The market had spoken. We scrapped the B2C layer we were working on and begin preparing the new version of our platform: we had become a B2D company (D = developer).
SW: We constantly hear about how hard entrepreneurship is–and it certainly is!–but what have you most enjoyed about your journey together and with CloudMine? When have you had the most fun?
CloudMine: None of us would argue against your point that entrepreneurship is hard. The fun part for us is working on a project we are passionate about. We work crazy hours and tackle hard problems but none of it FEELS hard or long when we are working on it. We say things like “where have the last six weeks gone?,” but never are bothered by 12+ hour days. Time flies when you are having fun, as they say! We are really passionate about building a tool for other developers. Mobile back-end infrastructure and web services are typically written in a very similar way every time, take time, and cost money. There are also people who don’t know Ruby, Python, or PHP who can’t deploy an app by themselves. We enable knowledgeable developers to release apps faster and cheaper and newbie developers potentially the chance to deploy apps AT ALL. This is pretty cool. Some of our most fun has come from helping developers with their apps and see the cool things that people build on us at hackathons and startup weekends.
Stop writing backends for your mobile apps. CloudMine is a platform that eliminates the need for mobile app developers to build custom backend solutions for their mobile apps. Development of server-side components is expensive, repetitive, and distracts from perfecting your app. Let us handle it so you can focus on making your app awesome.