Project skills: Django, jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap
Globshop is a crowdsourced international delivery service. It automatically connects traveller with buyers interested in getting products unavailable where they live.
Starting the Globshop project
Globshop started from scratch in the beginning of the summer 2013. I had met two other French graduate - Nikolas Jenan and Damien Brochot, both willing to launch a product in the field of collaborative delivery. As I was myself looking for a team and they were looking for a CTO, the match was pretty natural. By the end of the summer, we had defined our concept as well as most of the initial interface and user experience of the future product.
From there on, I built the alpha and beta versions of the site, the latter one launching in January 2014.
This was an amazing learning experiment, as I learnt many of the inner workings of innovative companies management, mostly on how to concretely define and develop a product from an idea.
Furthermore, this was my biggest development project to date, having to develop an entire website with advanced logic and algorithms in the backend (automatically finding travellers to carry a buyer's order or managing virtual wallets), while keeping the user experience as simple and smooth as possible.
Building a complex product
Globshop was built using Django, the Python MVT framework. Even though I had a previous experience of building a site with this framework in the context of a three-month study project a couple years before, this was a big part of the adventure for me. The complexity of our product was way beyond what I had to face during my study project, and the stakes were much higher. This was about getting an actual site out, a site that people would want to use, trust to use and use easily. As CTO, I had most of the responsibilities on my shoulders regarding the website, but it also gave me a lot of freedom.
The most important challenges were obviously to design and implement the matching algorithm that would take care of connecting buyers and traveler efficiently and seamlessly. But this also implied building profile pages with ratings and comments, a messaging system to enable users in a transaction to interact and of course a safe payment system.
Many challenges raised on the path to get all these features working, and I had to learn a lot and mostly on my own. I believe this is something to be quite proud of, even though some downsides arised from this situation as well. Mostly, as this was my biggest project to date, I didn't have guidance as to how to organize my development, and more importantly, I didn't have the reflex of reusing existing and approved code yet. Most of Globshop has thus been built from the ground up by me, which obviously was only possible because of the flexibility and inherent security of the Django framework.
Globshop is to this day still running, even if I decided to leave the adventure after a year, because the startup was located in Paris and I wanted to stay in Finland where I just had spent two years doing a Master related to innovation.