CONTENT & PHOTO BY LIDIA VIJGA. In the photo: Maxime Julian and Anthony Riera, founders of peel dating APP
Pandemic and the quarantine lockdown that followed have entirely changed our values and the way we relate to others and the world around us. Along with the shift in our morals, we are experiencing a strong need for meaningful connections and a growing attachment to others.
Anthony Riera and Maxime Julian, the two french developers, landed in Toronto from the UK, days before the lockdown came into effect and got stuck in the quarantine with a lot of time on their hands.
The pandemic made us realize being single at home during those times is harder than ever.Maxime Julian
After trying a few dating apps in Toronto flooded by an unlimited number of profiles to choose from, they realized that none of the apps helps them achieve the desire to create meaningful conversations. So they went ahead and developed a one-of-its-kind dating app that limits the number of interactions; this way, people can build deep and more meaningful connections.
In just two months, they have launched Peel dating app with the motto Quality Over Quantity, and here is a sneak peek.
The founders realized that the secret to a good connection is a good first impression. The bio is designed to bring out your true personality in the process. And the app saves you the hassle of scouring the internet in search of that perfect icebreaker. You make the first move by answering the question that the other person has chosen. No more boring openers!
Advice from Anthony to everyone who is working on a product right now
My biggest piece of advice would be to go as fast as possible to test out your idea, ideally without spending any money. We are living in the age of “everything as a service,” and you can always find tools to achieve what you want to do and most of the time for free. For instance, with Peel we used promotional codes we found on Reddit threads; as a result, we won’t have to pay for hosting for a very long time! For your minimum viable product, use technologies that you know and love, this will speed up the process tremendously!
Practical tips from Maxime on how to build an app in just 2 months
Bootstrap as much as you can and go “MVP mode”. Focus on what makes your app unique and search for resources (ideally free) you can use to boost your app development. With Peel, we knew that what would differentiate us would be our matching process and limiting the number of chats a user can have to 2 maximum. With the onboarding flow, these were the elements we spent the most time on to create a unique and clean user experience. On the other side, we used an existing open source project to build our chat rather than building one from scratch, which would have easily taken us a month. The image picker library we use to allow users to upload photos from their phones is also from an open-source project. Rather than coding our own monitoring dashboard, we use private Slack channels with Slack’s API. There’s a lot of other choices we made and the resources we used to speed up the development of the app, thanks to those we were able to build Peel in a couple of months.