Published on October 18, 2019
Last Tuesday, I finally announced my next passion project, Eventy. I must say that the timing was a little off. I've been planning on doing the announcement for several weeks now, but every time something kept creeping in between. So when I saw the announcement by Meetup.com's new pricing plans and all of the outrage by that, I knew that there wouldn't be a better moment than that.
Eventy is an app that I've been thinking of building for quite a while now. But over the past years, the idea has been becoming more and more concrete. The thing that I sorely miss, being a user group leader, conference organizer, speaker, and attendee, is a unified platform. A place where I can maintain and keep track of all these different parts of an event experience. All while having a really nice end-user experience.
The landscape for event software is too scattered at the moment. You have so many different kind of apps that might excel in what they do, but they don't work together. So you'll have to maintain multiple accounts and switch apps all the time.
My main goal with Eventy is to do the exact opposite. Instead of connecting individual apps together, I want to provide one platform for everyone. A place where attendees can find new user groups. Where conference organizers can host their CFPs. Where speakers can maintain their talks. Where user group leaders can schedule their events. And so on.
I also firmly believe that a unified solution is the only way to provide a great end-user experience. The main challenge will be to find unique ways in which all the different parts of the platform work together. I'm already thinking this over and believe that Eventy can fill in some of the gaps that other apps are leaving.
Now the thing is that as a user group leader and conference organizer, I find myself in a unique position to build a platform like this. Because I have first-hand experience with the domain in question, I can add even better validation to the product. If I am not satisfied with that I'm building, then how can I expect others to be? This is a major advantage and also extremely motivating.
Because you see, in the first place, I'm building this platform, not for others, but myself. As Taylor mentioned in his recent Laravel Snippet podcast, building a product that enriches and improves your own day-to-day life, is the best motivation you can have. I'll be using this platform myself almost all the time, so I'll be dead sure to make it as good as I possibly can.
Now people have been asking me why I don't want to help out with other (open-source) projects instead. That's because I want to own this. I want to make sure that I have as much freedom as I possibly can and that I'm not limited by any constraints. If you own your product, then you only have to keep account with yourself and not others. I want to say that I thoroughly respect other projects and what they're doing. But I just want to do my own thing. I don't consider that something bad or selfish. You should be free to pursue your own adventures.
Other people have been giving me advice on doing market research first. To make plans on how to build Eventy. To think as much ahead as possible. I'm not planning on doing any of that. The main reason being that I'm building this for myself in the first place. I know that I am going to use this, so why waste effort on market research when you already know you're going to use it? And I'm not saying that I'm not thinking over on how to build Eventy. It's just that I already gave it a lot of thought. I'm ready. I'm ready to start and get that MVP out there as soon as possible.
People have also been asking me if I'm going to monetize the platform. I am indeed planning on doing that. How I'm exactly going to do that, I'm not sure yet. There's a couple of options on the table which I'm considering, but I can already tell you this: Eventy will always be free for attendees and speakers. This is because those are the two groups of people who will never get any money out of this. You might be a very professional speaker who charges fees, but that's probably the exception to the rule. I want to give these two groups of people the freedom to make use of the platform without being constrained by a paywall. As for event organizers, that lies a little different, but as I said, I'm still not sure about how the pricing model is exactly to look like. It also does not make sense to talk too much about that before I've put some more thought into that.
That MVP is something that I want to launch fast. The first version of Eventy will be a really minimalistic version with the bare minimum to get started with organizing events. Then I'll iterate. I'll add more and more features in small or bigger steps and take it from there. The platform will grow and grow to eventually get to the point of the vision I currently have in mind. And beyond that? Well, the one thing I've learned from working in a SaaS company for almost five years is that you're never done. There will always be room for improvement.
The plan I currently have for building Eventy is to be as open as possible about it. That won't mean that the source code will be open source. But I'm planning to share progress, decisions on technology, and my choices about what I'll be working on next fairly open with everyone. I believe this will be the best way to let people see that Eventy will be a constant work in progress and constantly improving. I'm also hoping that in this way, people will stay as energized and excited about the platform as I am.
One of the ways I'm going to tackle this is by starting a new podcast. I've just launched the first episode of "Building Eventy" where you can listen along with the progress I'll be making, the tech choices I'm making within Eventy, the business side of things but also to talk about the domain itself, whether that is hosting events, organizing conferences or giving talks.
Judging from what you've read above, you can already guess that I'm very excited about all this. I must say that the road to Eventy hasn't been easy. In the last couple of years, I've struggled a lot with finding a passion project where I could throw myself at 100% and keep ongoing. It was hard, but with Eventy, I feel like I've finally found it. Even though there's a lot going on in this market right now, that does not get me down and instead only motivates me even more. I'm anxious to see where Eventy is going and how far it'll get.
I plan on giving more info about the first steps of Eventy really soon. Thanks for reading!
I'm a software engineer from Antwerp, Belgium. I work as one of the core team members of Laravel, the popular PHP framework.
My passions are open-source, building communities, managing software teams, and creating quality and maintainable products.
I'm currently building Eventy, an app for user group leaders, conference organisers, speakers, attendees, sponsors and venue owners.
Together with my buddy Rias I organize events for Full Stack Belgium in the cities of Antwerp and Ghent. And together with my buddy Freek I organise Full Stack Europe, the conference for the whole team.