Hi, I’m Florian.
I’m an experienced software engineer, who started Instamobile to help developers and entrepreneurs launch their mobile apps more quickly. I have 8 years of mobile development experience, having worked as a software engineer at Twitter and Instagram (part of Facebook), in San Francisco. And this is on top of another 6 years of coding, which I started before high-school. I love coding. A LOT! You can find me everywhere:
Making apps has been my obsession over the last 12 years. I literally worked on hundreds of projects, and wrote code on tens of different programming languages. My code is being run every day by more than a billion people – if you have a Twitter or Instagram account, you’re running my code every time you use it! While working on all these projects, under various circumstances, and after I spent more than 7 years in Silicon Valley, I noticed a few key things that made me start Instamobile:
1. Building a mobile app is frickin’ hard
It takes time, money and effort. To do product, design, development and testing. Across iOS, Android and web. With product managers, designers, backend developers, frontend developers and testers. I hope you realize how complex this is. And this is just building an app – you need to build a business as well.
2. 80% of building a mobile app is duplicate work
Developers know this already – each one of us probably built tens of login forms in our life. Think only about Login with Facebook – I think I implemented it at least 10 times from scratch. Hours I’ll never get back. But it’s fun. That’s why developers still reinvent the wheel every time they get a chance.
Freelancers and agencies know this the best though. Freelancers get paid to reinvent the wheel. That shopping app your freelancer built for you and charged you a few thousand grant? Guess what, they charge many other people the same amount, on the same code, with a few design tweaks.
There are a lot of things apps have in common: login & registration, user management, analytics, push notifications, chat, accepting payments, in-app subscriptions, server configurations, etc. Wasting time, money and energy on any of these things is plain stupid.
3. Hiring top 1% talent is impossible
It’s impossible to hire top talent in the design & development worlds, when you are barely getting started. Not only high class developers would be extremely expensive, they are not even available to you. Top developers are either running their own companies, or they are getting fat checks from their comfortable Silicon Valley jobs (trust me, I know).
Even if they would be available for freelancing, chances are you’ll get outbid by some other company that has more capital. So in most cases, you need to settle for lower quality design, code and product. If you ever tried Upwork, you understand exactly what I’m talking about.
4. React Native and Firebase are game changers
React Native and Firebase changed the mobile development game entirely – everyone can now launch a fully fledged mobile app in no time. Even those who are just learning how to code. The combination of these two (React Native & Firebase) has lowered the barrier of entry into the mobile world tremendously. You get to build an app for both iOS and Android, with the same code, while not having to deal with server infrastructure and backend development. If you developed mobile apps 5 years ago, this probably sounds too good to be true.
5. The best way to learn a new programming language is by directly working on a project
My first lines of iOS code (Objective-C) went out to 300 million monthly active users. It was during my first internship at Twitter, in the summer of 2013. I had ZERO experience on iOS (in fact, I never even had an iPhone until months later).
It turns out that once you already have some basic computer science skills and know at least one programming language, navigating a completely new codebase, written in an unknown language is actually easy. And you get to have a ton of impact right away. That’s why I encourage all web developers who want to get into mobile development, to start with a premium (or open-source) React Native project. Getting your hands dirty is fun and extremely productive.
That’s how Instamobile came to life. Instamobile’s mission is to provide developers, entrepreneurs and freelancers with premium fully fledged boilerplate apps, to help them launch their new businesses more quickly and at a fraction of the cost and energy. I’m leveraging my experience working at successful mobile app companies, to build app templates that are extremely beautiful, written in high-quality code, and optimized for user growth. If you’ve read this far, you should definitely check out my React Native templates.