Our Platform Part 1 – Envisioning a Full-Stack Solution with the Capacity to Power Any Start-up, Prototype, MVP, or SME

First published Nov 27th 2022, 10:44 am.

TLDR: The Solution

The core of this platform consists of the following scalable components:

  • A private business-facing API used for internal controls and processes.
  • A public-facing API for user-centric applications and front ends.
  • A data structure standard, model/schema control and data ingestion system.
  • An administration dashboard focusing on data visualization, business intelligence & day-to-day operational control.
  • A data manipulation, automated workflow, and proprietary script engine.
  • A secure cloud-based supportive infrastructure with a focus on automated deployment and updates, security, disaster recovery and access control.
  • Third party integration for standard functionality including payments, communication, logging, data extraction and a shared repository of user, product, and service data.
  • An enterprise-grade database, data & file storage solution, with a base set for integration with enterprise data warehouses.

It is a platform that allows full user-centric customization of its data, objects, relationships, and user access. At its core, it acts as a service that enables the storage, access control and manipulation of large amounts of data, a dashboard management system for reporting, mapping, and graphing data, an, and an operational meta-system allowing full view and control of business activities and intelligence.

Intro

Every year more people come to me with an idea. I used to just be the ‘website guy’, but after more than two decades tinkering in IT and with code, I could build more than just websites.

I love the excitement and innovation around start-up culture; the highs of a successfully roll-out or contract, the dreaded anxiety and following rush you get when things come together and work. I love building something I’ve designed and planned from scratch using the methods and methodologies that work for me. For most of my life I enjoyed building for someone else’s idea; never having any intention to realise my own until I had gained the wisdom, personal growth and experience I felt could only come with age…

The Personal Problem

…but I’m not getting any younger.

Despite the growing few who can invest early, and despite seeing offers in the million’s multiple times in my life for companies I had co-founded or software I had prototyped, I never saw the prototypes and MVP’s I had built the foundations of realise their full potential. I watched stacks I had built on my own over years languish and sit unused, and it bothered me. I walked the first few steps of the start-up journey and, every single time and through no choice of my own, I did not get to enjoy and experience the entire journey. I could never grow professionally and scale alongside the software I was building no matter how desperately I wanted to. For a myriad of reasons, previous start-ups, or ideas I was involved in as the ‘tech guy’, just didn’t get where I wanted them to go – and the primary cause was not due to any failure of the tech itself.

Eventually, I got tired of it. I still wanted to build, but I no longer wanted to wait on someone else, put the growth of the software I was building, and by extension my personal and professional growth, in the hands of a single individual or business entity. Outside of the companies I was more than just a contractor to, I got very tired of chasing unpaid invoices in the thousands for software I had built that my clients were trying to commercialise and sell for millions.

The Professional Problem

To add to the salary and competitive arena, too often I was witnessing businesses throw huge amounts of money at projects, plans and ideas in return for effectively zero or a net negative. The product is never delivered, or if it is it’s behind schedule, a broken mess, over budget, and a far cry from the expectations and requirements of the end-user. I kept fighting an internal monologue battle: surely, I could deliver better than this competition, couldn’t I? The older I got the louder it proclaimed, and I had to be certain this wasn’t an over-abundance of pride or arrogance speaking.

These groups and companies were raking in millions, sometimes tens of millions, for contracts and software that I just knew I could design, deliver, and manage better. With more focus on and pride in my work than I ever saw coming from teams I often worked with or competed against. I needed time to be sure I was competent enough to provide more value than those around me. I had to grow until I started waking up knowing I could. I wanted to be certain that I was a choice worth making.

And I could work to make that choice even easier. I was that stereotype of a frazzled hermit working late past midnight on energy drinks coding away in the dark, with no social life. Instead of having to be believed that I could deliver the solutions and platforms that I said I could, I built them in advance, rolled them out, ran tests proving their saleability and usability, and pre-packaged them.

Instead of rocking up to our first meet-and-greet, discussing a potential design for a new prototype, making promises, and throwing potentials around, I worked hard so that I could arrive with a packaged solution already built, ready to provide value and solve problems on the spot. Right there and then. No promises needed to be made, no guarantees that I would, no draft designs, no doubt on if it could be done. It’s right here – you can use the platform right now, test your prototype right now, connect your front-end right now. Not in six months or twelves or whatever it might end up being.

I developed until I was at a spot that I can bring 90% of what you’re looking already developed and we can already be halfway around the racetrack before I even walk out of the room if you choose to go with me. Being able to bring value instantly would help me be certain that I was the right choice. With a solution already built, ready to be plugged into by your mobile app, your front-end designs, ready to be iterated upon or have customized propriety functionality layered on top of it, ready to power anything.

I can’t speak for contracts worth hundreds of millions or billions, yet, but I’ve seen it plenty in millions and tens-of-millions. And after years of analysis, learning, experience, and getting past the thought that maybe I’m just being too judgemental when it comes to others and arrogant when it comes to myself – I realised I can provide better value. Businesses don’t necessarily want more software to maintain, more staff to hire and train to integrate more systems, they want the entire suite ready and an individual or team they can trust handling their technical back-end requirements with industry and enterprise skills and standards. I want to sit down and be confident saying: I’ve already got you covered, our platform is right here, right now, ready; now let’s get this show on the road.

In Solving My Own Problem, Could I Solve the Problems of Others?


Could I do anything about what was bothering me both professionally and personally as above, and in helping myself, help others?

All the individuals or companies that come to me have similar problems which plague start-ups, non-technical business-savvy individuals who want to build software or require a tech solution, or just individuals with an idea, some funding, and a desire to get the ball rolling.

All require a technical back end that is often universal in nature and requirements: data storage, file storage, scalability, security, accessibility, API, payments, transaction history, logs, products, customer communication, account services. The 90% of the underlying stack that is everywhere in some form or another, that powers companies and their daily operations. If I could build a package exceeding the expectations and requirements of that 90%, I could tick those boxes in our first meeting, and let companies focus on their custom 10%, with or without my involvement – whatever they were comfortable with.

What I Wanted to Deliver to You

So, after a good period of rest and study, I swapped the order of how things were done. I built new software, before anyone had come to me and asked me to. I drew upon my experiences and built a new platform, standard and collection of full stack services first, and can license it to start-ups, individuals, companies.

The platform is now the ‘core offering’ of my own new start-up company: a start-up for start-ups, the expected functionality already provided, a base standard already set. My team and I can in turn build modules on top of this core that can act as the propriety and intellectual property of individual companies. But the base already exists and is ready to power anything, cutting out the initial months, or potentially years, of sourcing, designing, hiring, and developing a supportive back-end solution.

In designing and building this package, I have made it easier for start-ups and SMEs to go to market and deploy MVPs and prototypes. I’ve done this by removing the costs, timeframes and friction required in establishing a supportive technical team, a backend that can handle payments, user registration and accounts, product and service data, and removing the need to hire and manage a team of engineers for initial development and deployment.

So that moving forward into 2023, whenever anyone comes to me with that next billion-dollar idea, a requirement for a unique API or service, a fresh prototype requiring an innovative and agile back end, I have a complete solution under my wing already. It’s deployed, and any front-end developer can connect and communicate with it to provide all core business services. I can join or support the company in terms of staff, development, custom integration, advanced proprietary internal software development, or purely as an advisor.

I no longer want companies coming to me and asking me to build a full stack solution for a prototype, seed, or pre-seed investment, and/or a minimal viable product. I want them to come to me because I already have an established full-stack back-end offering, and a desire to work with them as closely as they like to immediately implement it. I don’t want to say I can, or I will in an industry where you can’t even trust those words anymore. I want to be a solid, valuable, and trusted member of teams. I want to feel that rush and excitement of innovation and start-ups. I want to say I have. I want to empower companies and individuals to immediately focus on their front-facing user products, prototypes, and services, focus on their own proprietary code and innovations, and go to market cleaner and faster.

This product is a bespoke out-of-the-box solution that integrates with, not relies upon, all the standard and expected services while providing its own. It is a platform that effectively replaces the first 6-12 months of a start-ups back-end and API development stage or innovative new product or service. It can be customised to suit stage one of operations and prototyping in a day by anyone familiar with the GUI.

The Solution

The core of this platform consists of the following scalable components:

  • A private business-facing API used for internal controls and processes.
  • A public-facing API for user-centric applications and front ends.
  • A data structure standard, model/schema control and data ingestion system.
  • An administration dashboard focusing on data visualization, business intelligence & day-to-day operational control.
  • A data manipulation, automated workflow, and proprietary script engine.
  • A secure cloud-based supportive infrastructure with a focus on automated deployment and updates, security, disaster recovery and access control.
  • Third party integration for standard functionality including payments, communication, logging, data extraction and a shared repository of user, product, and service data.
  • An enterprise-grade database, data & file storage solution, with a base set for integration with enterprise data warehouses.

It is a platform that allows full user-centric customization of its data, objects, relationships, and user access. At its core, it acts as a service that enables the storage, access control and manipulation of large amounts of data, a dashboard management system for reporting, mapping, and graphing data, an, and an operational meta-system allowing full view and control of business activities and intelligence.

Outro

I used to be hesitant that maybe I was too crazy or arrogant for thinking I can design and build my own system and platform and scaling up as requirements change. Purely because of an itch I can’t scratch that tells me I can build and provide better than so much of what I’ve seen so far in my 20 years of experience in start-ups in the one-to-twenty-five-million-dollar bracket. There’s plenty more still to do, a lot more. But rolling out this MVP to a first wave of clients for feedback is the first step – of many.

Continues with Our Platform Part 2 – Phase MVP Out-of-the-Box Capabilities: Ensuring our Platform is the Right Solution.

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