Jufl was a social networking concept that came from when a friend and I found that we kept missing each other at uni, and would often eat by ourselves 😔.
But alas! Turns out other people were in this position too! We did some initial surveys and figured out that uni students would benefit from a way of letting their friends know when they were on campus, as timetables and circumstances would often change.
🔧 Building it
At the time, we didn’t have the time or skill to build this for ourselves. The best option (so we thought) was to work on a pitch, and raise some money to have a contractor build it. My friend got too busy at work, so I ended up going through this process myself.
Working on a business plan, communicating with potential investors, and eventually project-managing the build was a huge learning experience. I got to work with development teams in Australia, New Zealand and India, and a design team from Slovakia.
Looking back at it, I did pretty much everything wrong. I invested too much time and money into the initial product before getting it in the hands of customers. I only thought about the way I would use something, and not someone else. Rather than letting the data speak for itself, I got too emotionally invested in what it should look like. There were plenty of signs that it wasn’t going to get much traction in hindsight, but hindsight is always easy…
I certainly learned a huge amount of soft and hard skills along the way. I learned how to manage teams, what you should be paying for services, how to make sure you’re not getting screwed (!), how to engage with customers, how to strip back features to just the core of what you need to do, product design, team management, social marketing and much, much more.
While it was hugely beneficial, it’s safe to say that if I ever have an app idea again, I will be building it myself!