Case Studies

Building the Backend of an Early Stage Startup Using Low-Code

Dec 6, 2023

About:

Giftit, a social gifting app, transforms the gift-giving experience by eliminating guesswork and preserving the element of surprise. It removes the anxiety and waste associated with uncertain gift choices, offering a delightful experience for both givers and receivers. Users use Giftit to request Sherlock, an AI persona, to discreetly message friends via apps like WhatsApp and iMessage. The shared transcript of the conversation includes shoppable gift recommendations, enhancing the joy of thoughtful gift-giving.

Available on Play Store and App Store.

Challenges in Building the Backend as an Early-Stage Startup

In the early stages of Giftit, the team, new to Firebase and GCP, were faced with the mission of setting up a backend that not only scaled but did it fast. The urgency of getting the MVP out made finding a solution for quick development and deployment a top priority.

Previous Tools and Their Shortcomings

They first attempted native Cloud Functions, discovering the process to be slower and more complex than manageable, especially given their tight timelines and learning curve with Firebase and GCP. Exploring other backend builders such as Retool, they concluded that none came close to allowing seamless integration with their existing GCP stack.

How BuildShip and Rowy Addressed and Solved the Problem

BuildShip, coupled with Rowy, became their go-to solution. This powerful combination simplified the complexity of Firebase and GCP. It allowed the team to build and iterate on the backend swiftly. Remarkably, they managed to develop the MVP of 'Sherlock,' a crucial feature in Giftit, within a mere 3 days, leading to the attached demo.

Integration with FlutterFlow and Speed Advantage

The integration of BuildShip and Rowy for the backend with FlutterFlow powering the frontend proved transformative for their small team. This synergy enabled them to rapidly deliver features at an unprecedented speed. The integration offered a more simple and efficient workflow compared to traditional software development and deployment practices, known for requiring extensive boilerplate, setup, and prior knowledge of cloud service provider architectures. Notably, the enhanced logging capabilities of BuildShip made troubleshooting and system monitoring much more manageable.

"Leveraging BuildShip in tandem with Rowy and FlutterFlow, we've accelerated our early product development cycle significantly, achieving a speed at least 5X faster than using traditional methods. This synergy allowed us to build our MVP in record time."

"Leveraging BuildShip in tandem with Rowy and FlutterFlow, we've accelerated our early product development cycle significantly, achieving a speed at least 5X faster than using traditional methods. This synergy allowed us to build our MVP in record time."

Conclusion

The decision to integrate with BuildShip and Rowy, simplified Firebase and GCP intricacies and enabled swift development for the Gifit team, as seen in the creation of 'Sherlock' in just three days. Integrating with FlutterFlow further accelerated feature delivery, showing the power of BuildShip to integrate with other frontend tools. BuildShip's enhanced logging simplified troubleshooting, showcasing Giftit's journey as an adaptable, innovative, and efficiently powered startup.