Over the past couple of weeks I’ve ran into numerous articles urging entrepreneurs to build prototypes – without writing a line of code. Whilst the concept is sound – I think many developers can’t resist the urge to jump in and get their hands dirty. What about the non-developers then? Well, Weld is a new startup out of Stockholm, founded by serial entrepreneur Tom Söderlund, who previously sold his gaming company It’s Alive to Daydream for a fairly neat sum.
Tom has a fairly ambitious goal for Weld – to radically simplify the process of creating software. It would seem then, that Weld – software enabling simple construction of prototypes is just the first step.
Weld was born out of this frustration, and I’ve been thinking about this problem area for the last five years. The long-term vision of Weld is “programming for non-programmers”. We want to radically simplify the process of creating software. With Weld, software creation will be more like assembling Lego blocks or building in Minecraft: fast, playful, and with immediate feedback.
This isn’t to say though, that there aren’t plenty of competitors out there – Invision, Balsamiq and Mockingbird being 3 of the most popular ones. When I spoke to Tom about the competitive landscape, I get the sense that most of the unique features tend to revolve around collaboration, something that I must admit is lacking in other tools on the market.
The most prominent differences (between Weld and our competitors) are its real-time preview and collaboration features. A designer can draw a user interface on their desktop and immediately see how it looks on a smartphone or tablet. In a larger design team, group members can work on the same screens and collaborate in real time.
At this point, Tom and his team (Oskar Glauser and Daniel Sundman) are working part time on the project, whilst Tom puts in time with Goo Technologies too. They started working on the product in August and have conducted over 50 customer interviews, and they aim to launch the product in February. If you’re interested, sign up for the beta here.