Hello! My name is Jose, and I built Planmesh along with my partner Guy. My background in user experience, marketing, and web development. Planmesh is for anyone who likes to spend time engaging in different activities with the people around them. Guy and I built it because we wanted to be able to share what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go, in the future, with our friends while knowing who else wanted to do the same.
After graduating from college and starting our day jobs, Guy and I found it challenging to make and finalize plans with our friends. They were either too busy or didn’t want to deal with the back and forth that came with determining the best time, location, and activity for our get-togethers. So we set out to build a platform focusing on intent to know when friends want to meet up for food, drinks, a workout, or to chill. We believe that if planning were more straightforward than it is now, people would make more plans and have the opportunity to connect on a deeper, more meaningful level around shared experiences.
Guy and I talked about building an app in the social planning space since graduating college around 2012, but the need to make a steady paycheck made it challenging to focus on this project at the time. Neither of us had any app development experience, so we needed to hire a mobile developer to write the initial code for Planmesh. However, we didn’t have the resources to do this at the time, so we ended up putting this project on the back burner for some time.
I spent the next few years refining my UX skills while designing experiences for websites and mobile apps in the e-commerce and finance industry. Finally, after Guy and I had enough money saved up, we decided to give a go at Planmesh. Using the time we had after work and on weekends, we reworked the app’s initial architecture and design. And with the money we had saved, we hired Sandip Patel to build the platform.
Sandip was recommended to us by a friend I was working with at the time. Once my friend made the introduction, Sandip, Guy, and I hit it off, and we immediately rolled up our sleeves to start creating the MVP version of Planmesh. Our initial deal was a fixed price contract to build the app. However, we transitioned to a monthly salary model once we established the product roadmap and realized we would like to maintain a long-term relationship with Sandip. Within nine months, the MVP of Planmesh was ready for beta testing.
We shared the app’s beta version with friends and family before launching to collect feedback and released it to the Play Store and App Store when we felt it was ready. We emailed our mailing list, shared the app link with friends and family on social media, and submitted the app on Product Hunt. To our surprise, the Product Hunt campaign was a big success, and we ended up ranking as the #2 product of the day.
We released Planmesh 3 weeks ago, so we’re very early in our product life. We are not yet making any revenue, but we are seeing growth as our downloads are in the hundreds at the moment and have been growing consistently, owing primarily to our successful Product Hunt campaign.
We haven’t done much marketing until now because we needed to focus on fixing bugs and adding a few key features, but we plan to push ahead with our marketing efforts. We want to focus our marketing strategy primarily on social media campaigns using influencers. We also plan on running PR campaigns by reaching out to media outlets and sharing new features and releases with them. So far, we’ve done ASO, using SEMRush to help us align our keywords with search terms our potential users are researching.
We built Planmesh in React Native. We chose the framework because we wanted to make the app available for iOS and Android devices without developing two separate native apps. It was a challenging framework to build with because of the limited documentation available for troubleshooting issues, but we’re happy with our decision to use it.
Our biggest challenge with Planmesh is to convince our audience that we have a solution to the problem of planning social events given the fact that other platforms have tried before us.
We are working on several features to provide our users with an end to end experience when it comes to planning. For example, we’d like to allow our users to view location listing details such as hours of operation, ratings, photos, and more from within the app to help them finalize their location selection when making plans.
I loved reading How to Build a Billion Dollar App by George Berkowsky. In layman’s terms, they laid out the process and steps needed to build a successful app.
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