If you ever create anything online, graphics, games, music, software, pictures, films, whatever! It even comes with it’s own fancy short url. Read on to learn about how Ameya build the site on his own!
What is Nuubuu, is it your first venture? If not what have you put into Nuubuu that you learnt from other ventures?
nuubuu.com is a simple way to sell your digital creations online, like ebooks, music, movies, stock photos, web site templates, fonts, software – anything that can be saved as a file. Getting started on nuubuu.com is easy. Create your account, upload the e-book file (or music file, movie file, photo file etc.) to nuubuu.com and share a short URL via your blog/website/Facebook/Twitter/online forums/ etc.
Your customers can purchase your e-book via a simple, elegant and secure web page (here’s an example – http://nbuu.co/0). Your customers can pay for the purchase using their credit card or via PayPal. The e-book will be delivered to them via a secure, expiring link.
nuubuu.com charges a 5%+25 cent transaction fee. There are no other fees – no subscription fees, no storage fees, no bandwidth fees.
nuubuu.com will payout the sale proceeds via PayPal.
Pretty simple, eh!
I have worked on a couple of entrepreneurial projects in the past; I built a performance appraisal service solution that was targeted at large enterprises. Most of my customers were medical engineering companies in South East Asia. That was my first venture. Later on, I helped my friend build and launch a feedback and CRM solution for medical practices. nuubuu.com is my first Internet based consumer targeted solution.
I think the key lesson for me was to get my product into the market and get real world customer feedback as soon as possible. It is easy to fall into the trap of building the “perfect” product and delay the product launch – and that can be a costly mistake. Making a course correction earlier in the product development cycle is much easier as compared to making a change later.
You mentioned in another interview that you wanted a domain that could also have a short URL counterpart, how important do you think these are these days and how much value do you feel they add to sites like yours?
For me it was a functional requirement – I wanted to enable users to share URLs to their nuubuu.com product pages via Twitter – which has a text-real-estate limitation. I also wanted the URLs to convey the branding. And, I wanted to avoid using a generic short URL service because spammers and other unsavory folks have abused many of these short URLs services – sometimes using these short URLs in email campaigns can result in tripping the spam filters and I wanted to avoid any such complications. In nuubuu.com’s case, the short URL is nbuu.co – and doesn’t provide generic short URL redirection services – the destination of any nbuu.co link will be a product page on nuubuu.com or a 404 page.
You are currently the only person that works on NuuBuu, what is the best and worst part of this?
I think the best and the worst part of my current situation is that there is nobody to hold me in check :).
But seriously speaking, the biggest challenge is that my work is largely serialized. There’s only one person doing the work.
Having the right partner or the right team can significantly amplify your impact – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts etc. But, it is important to have the right folks in your team – team members who complement you – and help you achieve way more than each could achieve individually. Having an emotional connection, mutual respect and trust is key to a team’s success; if any of these components are missing – then that team is challenged.
Do you ever find that what you’ve coded was going in the wrong direction, how do you get your head around starting from square 1 again?
I always make mistakes – many mistakes – and these are good learning opportunities.
I ended up rewriting the code a few times from the scratch. I had chosen an entirely new platform and a new language for this project – I was learning as I was building. So, going back to the drawing board a few times was a natural part of the learning process.
I can give in to the NIH (not invented here) syndrome sometimes. But, I’m getting better. While it is fun to write everything from scratch, code reuse is so much more efficient and makes you so much more productive. And, you are basically standing on the shoulders of giants when you reuse code, components, gems etc. developed by experts who have a lot more experience and specialization in that particular domain. And, the shared code is well maintained, kept up to date, bugs are fixed in a timely fashion – and all this code maintenance takes a substantial amount of time and effort – precious commodities for any startup.
Finally, if you realize that you’ll need to course correct in the early days, that it’s part of the learning process, you won’t feel too bummed when you figure out that you screwed up and need to go back to the starting line.
How long have you been making websites for? How long did it take you to get to where you are now and be able to spend a few months after coming up with an idea to just produce it for public use?
I have been programming for a while – from systems programming to application development. I had done some web programming in the past, but I was building nuubuu.com on a new platform that I hadn’t used in many many
years, nix, and an entirely new language and framework, Ruby on Rails. However, there are tons of resources on the Internet – tutorials, books, newsgroups, q+a sites (I love stackoverflow.com) – that made it super easy to get started.
I realized that there was an opportunity when I was chatting with a friend who was in the process of converting a self published medical book from a hard copy format into an ebook format. It was obvious that there was a solid, motivated customer base for this book (the hard copy sales were a good indicator) who’d purchase the book regardless of which market place it was offered through. And, inspite of driving the sales of this book primarily through his marketing efforts, he would end up paying a significant portion of the revenues as transaction fees to these ebook marketplaces. Talking to a few more folks – authors, designers, photographers – it was clear that content creators were paying a hefty transaction fee even if their marketing efforts were driving the sales.
It just made sense for my friend to sell his book via his own website – but the prospect of developing and setting up a solid, secure e-commerce website was daunting. A website that made it super easy for my friend to sell his e-book while allowing him to maximize his revenues seemed to make sense.
I started toying with the idea of building a website early this year/late last year when I was helping my father, who is an avid blogger and has published a number of e-books, sort out his blog site. I was going through his sales figures and noticed that his book sales spiked whenever he announced the book on his blog. It was reasonable to assume that his blog was driving a non-trivial amount of marketing and there was an opportunity to help him maximize his revenues for these sales.
I built a few prototypes soon after but I started in earnest only in May this year and had the first version of the site out in a few weeks. I went through a number of iterations and was ready with the final version, which I felt was sufficiently complete enough for folks to start using and get value, by late August
But, nuubuu.com is not done – not by a long stretch. I’m working on a bunch of new features and will release them on a frequent and a regular cadence.
Is there much cost that needs to go into a site like NuuBuu, what could someone do If they had an idea for a productivity site but little finance? These days, launching an Internet based startup is easy and not that expensive.
In the past, startups had to contend with non-trivial capital expenses – buying servers, buying networking gear, renting an office or a warehouse to put all that stuff in etc. in the very early phases. And, as the website grew, usually linearly in most cases, these expenses would follow a step curve pattern resulting in periodic large capital expenses. This meant that many startups had to contend with raising capital right from the get go.
With the advent of cloud computing – most of these costs are variable – typically, they grow in line with the growth of the business. You can start with a small footprint in the cloud and expand that gradually as the website grows. Hopefully the revenues from your website can support your growth. This is great for early stage start-ups so that they can focus on building great products without any capital-raising related distractions. Once the startup has a viable product and has some traction, then the question of raising capital can be addressed.
How do you hope that Nubuu will help creative people online to sell their Ebooks, songs, music, videos etc..? Where do you hope the site to be in 6 months/1 years time?
nuubuu.com allows content creators to easily sell their creations from their websites (blogs, product web pages etc.), social networks (via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Clipboard etc.), email marketing – via any electronic communications medium. Simply share a short URL to the product on nuubu.com which takes the consumer to a simple and a secure purchase page – from where they can buy the digital goods – the e-book or the music album or the software – using PayPay or their credit card.
nuubuu.com can help content creators retain more revenues from the sales of their goods as compared to other digital goods market places. Most of the major digital goods marketplaces charge a hefty transaction fee for each transaction. The benefit of being in a marketplace is that your e-book (or your tune or your video) can be discovered and purchased by an interested consumer. But, in many cases, the sale is driven largely by the marketing efforts of the content creator. The author will announce his new book on his blog and that will drive traffic resulting in sales. However, in the case of those sales, the marketplace provides only storage and e-commerce facilities. The content creators can retain a larger portion of the revenues from such sales by selling their creations via nuubu.com which has a simple 5%+25 cent transaction fee model.
You work from home and have a shared office, how important is it to get out of your house for you, do you find you work better outside of home?
I enjoy working with fellow entrepreneurs, hackers – the energy and enthusiasm is infectious,and I honestly believe that their “smarts” rub off on me. And, so I try to work in shared setting often – at least a couple of times a week. But most of the time, I work from home, usually late nights (I’m a bit of a night owl) and weekends.
How do you stop yourself getting distracted when working at home? What is your typical workday like?
I usually work in the evening on weekdays. I work in short spurts – 40 to 60 minutes at a time – that’s the limit of my attention span. Then I take a break – say about 20 minutes. This approach works for me. I usually keep the door to my office shut – that’s a signal to my family that I’m heads down and they leave me alone.
How does Nuubuu compare with tools like “paywithatweet” (being free). Is there even such a place that lets people sell digital creations other then you?
Paywithatweet is a great solution to get your free content out the door and into the social community and get a network effect. nuubuu.com is a great solution for monetizing your content and maximize your revenues – in a super easy fashion.
The digital goods marketplace is poised for tremendous growth. There’s a ton of new opportunities for everybody – from content creators, aggregators, content marketplaces etc. There are a bunch of sites that are now catering to digital goods sales; some of the comparable sites are sellfy.com, pulleyapp.com, e-junkie.com, fetchapp.com, payloadz.com, gumroad.com. Most of these sites require you to proivde your own merchant account (PayPay in most cases) and supported only PayPal as a way to purchase digital goods, except gumroad.com (which has been developed by a very impressive young developer, btw – so there’s a great example of a young developer), but gumroad.com only supports credit card payments. It was important for me to provide potential customers the choice of paying for their purchases using a credit card or using PayPal. I believe that nuubuu.com provides a compelling value proposition – simplicity, ability to maximize ones revenues and options for customer to purchase goods using credit cards and PayPal.
Can anyone start a web-business?
What do you do to get peoples attention and get them as excited about your
projects as you are?
This has been such an exciting project and I’ve been telling about it to whoever will listen – and I’ve gotten such great reactions and feedback. I have largely relied on word of mouth to spread the word and I’ve been fortunate to get some good traction.
Any words for the readers at www.youngwebbuilder.com?
Building a startup is easier than it has ever been – and right now is a good time to jump in. Build something and get it out the door fast.
Thanks so much for your time Ameya! Good luck with the site.
Don’t forget to check it out, if you have a game, music, app, anything digital you want to sell! http://www.nuubuu.com.
Don’t forget to come in our forum if you want any ideas or help with anything.