Behind the Door of Making Ambee 2.0

Goldee 1.0

Goldee (2013–2014)

At Goldee, we invented dynamic light animations for Philips Hue besides other things. It was one of the first apps for Hue lights. It gained a lot of popularity, so much so that even Philips themselves were promoting our app. It was simple, sleek, and novel. As with every innovative product, Goldee has been the target of many copycats till today.

Goldee tech:

#ios-dev #objective-c #aws

Lessons learned

  1. As a CEO, I should have been more technically advanced since it’s essential to have more control. Nevertheless, I believe it is good to trust the people we work with because nothing will work without trust. However, I believe Git control is a must for every founder of a small startup. That alone could have saved the Goldee app. CONCLUSION: Founders, have Git version control from day 1 on your local machine too!
  2. While all the people involved with Goldee added their value, having them aboard consumed much of the funds. On the other hand, Goldee didn’t generate any cash to make up for it since it was a free app. CONCLUSION: A. Start a project with as few people as possible. B. Start monetizing from day 1. C. In most cases, it’s best to do both (A and B).
Ambee 1.0+

Ambee 1.0+ (2015–2020)

After I announced the end of Goldee in December 2014, I suddenly received almost a thousand emails from Goldee users saying they are missing their favorite app.

Ambee 1.0+ tech:

#ios-dev #swift #objective-c #parse #firebase #git


If I want to keep improving Ambee, I have to go even leaner and do every bit of the app myself. CONCLUSION: Learn to code!

Ambee 2.0 (2021+)

When I announced plans for Ambee 2.0 in 2019, it was clear to me that I would be the developer; however, I could not code. I understood the basics, but that was about it. I have always wanted to have Ambee available for Android, too, so the first thing I did was to buy an Android phone. Then, I started studying Android’s eco-system, material design, programming languages, … I was eventually deciding between two cross-platform development frameworks: React Native/Javascript (by Facebook) or Flutter/Dart (by Google). Since I had no experience with JavaScript, Dart was basically as new for me as JavaScript. Still, my default option was React Native due to its popularity, but I picked Flutter in the end. It may seem that choosing Flutter is riskier because of its novelty. However, Flutter, being inspired by React Native, is like React Native done better: more modern, faster for development, and also having better app performance for users.

Ambee 2.0+ tech:

#ios-dev #android-dev #flutter #dart #firebase #git

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Tomas Baran

Tomas Baran


husband, father, entrepreneur (Ambee/Goldee), designer, developer, marketer, adventurer