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What's your story? Why start Balsamiq? (balsamiq.com)
75 points by aditya on Oct 14, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

An inspiring story. I want to know how that guy managed to actually see his laptop screen whilst coding on the beach in the sun.

One trick is to completely turn off the backlight (can be done on MBPs), and treat the display as a reflective screen. It isn't perfect: looks almost as washed out as with max brightness on the backlight, but without the battery drain.

Definitely an inspiring story with Balsamiq, though I do also see it as competition to Dabbleboard, so -ahem- you know where my loyalties lie.

I have done it with my mac book pro - the screen seems to cope well with bright light environments.

with some help from the palm tree?

This is an excellent perspective from a single founder (with child, no less) that will be helpful for bootstrappers.

On top of all that, the product seems pretty cool.

Along with the fact that he managed to make it work even though he's not in a startup hub. balsamiq is a dream startup!

If you don't need investors or cofounders/employees, there is no advantage to a startup hub. You could live anywhere with an Internet connection and a (VoIP) phone. In fact in such a situation it makes sense to live in an area with lower cost of living, as Balsamiq's founder is doing.

it's easy to slip out of startup mode when nobody around you is doing it. peer pressure & constant exposure help a lot.

you certainly can do it, and the perks you mentioned are spot on, but i've always found it harder to stay motivated when not around startuppy people.

Cofounders exert a lot of peer pressure. I'd be surprised if being in physical proximity to other startuppy friends generally matters much, considering we do some of that interaction online (HN/Facebook/email/etc.) anyway.

> area with lower cost of living

Bologna is not a cheap place to live, although IIRC maybe he had some help with the apartment, which would be a big contribution. Italy in general is pretty expensive these days, especially considering the salaries.

Everytime I hear this guy's story, I get more impressed. He was actually one of the guys I had in mind when I wrote my post on why its a good time to be in a startup. Talk about capital efficiency!


I am a very happy user of Balsamiq. I was able to deliver 20+ rough wireframes in about 6 hours using its interface. It would've taken significantly longer in OmniGraffle and we've been able to use them cross platform b/c of AIR.

A++ would do business with again.

Is OmniGraffle like Balsamiq? I though they're apps attacking different problems..

At an early stage of requirements gathering they're complementary for wireframes. Revisions/UI specs will be fleshed out in Omnigraffle for greater precision later, but that's after we've iterated with client in Balsamiq, which is what it makes so easy.

I think readwriteweb.com is looking for these stories...


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