CodeReturn is a branded, self service gallery access system for volume photographers.

CodeReturn

Portrait of the maker

Andrew Vernon

Maker

Maker

Flexibility is key! CodeReturn was originally built specifically for my business and use case. But I quickly learned almost everyone calls their data, clients, subjects and approach something different. This required rebuilding my forms to allow complete customization of how the fields are named, which ones are showing / required etc.

Expert level
40
hours to build

Build a SaaS as a nontechnical person

What is it:

CodeReturn is a branded, self service gallery access system for volume photographers. It works as a SaaS in the photography space created by Andrew who is not technical and does not know how to code. It does this by hosting forms where the photographer's clients enter info about themselves or their family. If it matches with the info in the subject database, they get the passcode automagically. If not, the photographer is contacted with the info that was entered to find the passcode manually.

Maker Insight:

Flexibility is key! CodeReturn was originally built specifically for my business and use case. But I quickly learned almost everyone calls their data, clients, subjects and approach something different. This required rebuilding my forms to allow complete customization of how the fields are named, which ones are showing / required etc.

What did I learn:

1. Yes 2020 is crazy. Before this year, what if I told you that a photographer would also be a software developer? Experts in non tech niches are now making software. Andrew scratched his own itch by creating a web application to solve a problem for his photographer business. A photographer created his own SaaS. Mind blown.

Scratching your own itch is one of the best reasons to start. Because you are the expert at that problem, because you have it. What I learned about Andrew's story is even though he was an expert at the problem he still needed to talk to other photographers to validate of some nuances in their business.

In the current book that I am writing, I talk about the different stages of launching. And how that successful Maker's take advantage of it. After you have built something, does it work for your needs? Then after you ship that version, the next stage is reaching out to 3-5 potential users of your product who also experience the same pain point. I'd recommend you do this before you have a finished product.

One of the biggest momentum and product killers is shipping too late and spending time on the product that you may need to reconstruct because of product feedback from your target users.

Lesson for me: Making quickly isn't just about how fast you can build, but involving small groups of people a little at a time to get quality feedback.

2. What I was most interested about is how to keep track of the different client accounts. Bubble enables you the ability to create user accounts. Based on log in, all the pages and data for that user accounts populates within the logged in experience. From there the user can manage their customers.

Bubble comes with some plugins that handle user log in and authentication as well as payment. Some of the best payment plugins I have seen are from Makers glowing about using the Bubble Stripe plugin.

3. How do I get my customer's data into the system? One thing that I thought really interesting was the approach to use CSV upload every-time the photographer has a new client. This upload serves as matching criteria from the photographer's customer to get a password to access their photos.

I'm amazed at how Bubble handles this process:
- Photographer uploads CSV
- Their customer enters information about themselves into an input form for Bubble
- If matched correctly a magic password to access the photos is sent to the customer to log in

I've never seen a use case like this within Bubble.

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