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Build In Public: Spotlight Edition ⭐️ (Raphaël Goldsztejn, CEO of WeWeb)

Build In Public: Spotlight Edition ⭐️ (Raphaël Goldsztejn, CEO of WeWeb)
By KP • Issue #26 • View online
Hi everyone, welcome to the latest Spotlight edition of the Build In Public newsletter. In this recurring Spotlight series, I invite and interview one new startup founder each round to unpack insights and actionable advice from their story that can be helpful in your own journey. 
In today’s edition, I wanted to feature Raphaël Goldsztejn, co-founder and CEO at WeWeb. (a YC 2021 Winter batch startup)
Full disclosure: WeWeb is a startup I’ve been helping within my personal capacity and is in no way affiliated to On Deck…yet. (because never say never haha!)
I first found out about WeWeb 1.0 when the team just graduated out of YCW21 during a 1:1 with Raphaël who was introduced to me through a mutual contact. He shared the initial idea of building a backend agnostic platform and that piqued my interest immediately. The founding team is incredibly talented, committed, and community-oriented. In my opinion, WeWeb is a super powerful and versatile tool. As a fan of the emerging new no-code tools, I agreed to help them with their public Product Hunt launch today. Check it out here and go support them!
Here are the full notes from my interview with Raphaël:

A Conversation With Raphaël Goldsztejn
KP: Hi Raphaël! Welcome to the Build In Public newsletter community. Why don’t you give us a quick intro?
RG: My name is Raphaël Goldsztejn, and I am the co-founder and CEO of WeWeb.io. I have a background in finance and worked for a few years in the corporate world. Fortunately, I met my co-founders early in my career. They introduced me to the web, which is way more exciting for me! We built a few side projects together and after a few iterations, we ended up creating WeWeb, giving up our jobs and taking the leap into the startup world.
KP: How would you describe what you are building currently?
RG: We are building WeWeb.io which is the fastest way to build and deploy a beautiful front-end using any system as a back-end.
It’s a big claim but, thanks to our no-code editor that includes business logic workflows and off-the-shelves back-end integrations, users can deploy the front-end of their web application 10x faster, without sacrificing performance.
KP: What’s a recent milestone you’re excited about?
RG: Until now, users were required to type Javascript to create logic and workflows in their WeWeb project.
Today, we’re launching our no-code workflow builder, which means users can now add business logic, create, read, update, or delete items from their database right from their WeWeb front-end, without writing a single line of code. They can still write Javascript functions, but they don’t have to.
KP: What specific inflection point led you on this journey? Why are you building what you are building?
RG: Well, initially, back in 2018, my co-founders and I got excited about the JAMstack, the idea that, by decoupling the backend from the frontend and tapping into the API economy, you would be able to build much faster and more robust websites. So we built a no-code website builder that integrated super well with headless systems. But when we did Y Combinator in Winter 2021, we realized people who want to build simple static websites already had plenty of options. And we noticed that our users were bending WeWeb all kinds of ways to build web applications. What they really wanted was to be able to build the front-end of robust web-applications that would play well with their external data sources like Airtable, REST APIs or their own SQL databases. Talking to our existing customers and paying more attention to what they were already doing was the game changer we needed.
KP: Who does your current project help/serve the most? (Ideal Customer Profile)
RG: Our power users are product people and technical people who need to build a front-end faster using their own back-end stack. We also have a lot of web agencies who use our product because it allows them to say yes to more business opportunities.
KP: What are 1-3 killer features/selling points that you believe make your offering quite unique and valuable as compared to the alternatives?
RG: There are a number of awesome no-code web app builders out there but WeWeb is the only one that serves professionals with the perfect trilogy of:
  • design freedom (like webflow)
  • backend freedom (like retool)
  • no-code workflows (like bildr)
You can set up workarounds in other tools, but WeWeb does all that by design. Which makes it more scalable and efficient.
KP: You’re a YCW21 founder. What were your key takeaways from being part of the YC experience?
Number 1: taking a few breaks is important!
All jokes aside, I’d say my key takeaways were:
  • Launch as fast as you can. You need a large amount of feedback to get on the right path, and you can’t get this feedback if you are in stealth mode.
  • Success is possible, trust in yourself, work hard and make it happen. The YC community is filled with inspiring founders who made it happen because they never gave up and kept faith in their teams and themselves.
  • What matters the most is to enjoy the journey. Building a startup is a marathon. During YC, the whole team lived together for 3 months in the same house. There were ups and downs but we had a ton of fun and built incredibly strong relationships.
KP: How has the principle of “build in public” played itself in your story/journey? In what way has it helped you?
RG: Great question! We’ve only just started to “officially” implement the principle of “build in public” at WeWeb and it raises a lot of questions: what are we comfortable sharing? what would we rather not? How much time shall we spend sharing more about our journey?
We strongly believe in transparency by default in our relationships but, at the same time, it’s kind of scary to share all kinds of confidential information when there’s so much competition out there.
One thing’s for sure: building in public has helped us with recruiting. Our last two hires applied because they followed our employees online.
KP: What is one tip on building a startup you’d give your younger self from 4 years ago?
RG: Launch faster, strive for speed of iteration, and among all, enjoy the ride.
KP: What is one tip about no-code you’d give someone who’s a PM/designer/founder getting started in their journey?
  1. Define your project specs precisely and choose the right no-code tool by elimination. There is a myriad of tools out there and most probably only a few will be able to address your use-case entirely. Don’t shy away from reaching out directly to the makers. Most of them will be happy to steer you to the right tool if their solution doesn’t work great for your use case. I do that all the time.
  2. I’ve seen people spend so much time trying to build their project for a couple of weeks only to realize that it isn’t possible with the tool they chose. This gives bad publicity to the no-code world and that’s why many say that no-code is restrictive.
KP: Where can people find you on the Internet?
RG: Twitter is a great place to connect, my DMs are open (https://twitter.com/raphgoldz)feel. OR feel free to shoot me an email. I reply to every single one: raphael.g@weweb.io
KP: Where can people find your newest product launch/release? And do you have an ask for the community?
RG: Our website is: https://www.weweb.io/
As was mentioned before, today, we are “live” on Product Hunt. We would love your support, feedback, and comments. Come join the discussion at https://www.producthunt.com/posts/weweb-2-0
CLOSING THOUGHTS
Thank you for reading! Please share this with your friends on Twitter/Linkedin or if you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to hit reply :)
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KP
By KP

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