CloudMine launches as the antidote to your mobile development pain points

cloudmine what we doThe app economy is very, very real. For better or worse, our digital world has been consumed by mobile connectivity and what we can do with it. But for all the inherent ease and accessibility of these new tools, the job of app developer is hardly a simple one. And with the state of the App Store being what it currently is, a broken, flawed launch can mean death for an app developer’s baby.

And CloudMine knows that, which is why it pivoted from an app itself into a platform that takes the pain out of the developing process. CEO and founder Brendan McCorkle tells me that originally, he and the early team pitched an idea of a smartphone data sync and storage app — mind you, this was pre-iCloud. “The idea was ‘hey I have all this content on my phone, what happens if I lose it?,’” McCorkle tells me. “You can get a new phone, but we thought it’d be really cool if you could get your phone back. There were a few backup apps doing this, but nothing very sophisticated.”

As the team talked to mobile developers about the prototype, the platform itself is what caught their interest. After about a dozen developers had the same reaction, McCorkle says they had to ask themselves, “Has anyone gotten this excited about our actual product? And the answer was ‘no.’”

“We realized this was what the market was telling us to do,” he tells me. “The reactions were unanimous; developers were so excited to not have to do all the scaffolding all over again.”

From there, the CloudMine product became the team’s core focus. As developers, they’d felt the pain of mobile development before, and it’s been something of a labor of love. CloudMine wants to take the back-end focus away from engineers so they can focus on the part users actually interact with. To be specific, tasks like data storage, user account management, password encryption, any sort of permissioning, dealing with public and private data, and scaling. McCorkle explains that while some similar services give developers the hammers and nails to build their apps, CloudMine will put it all together.

As a bonus, using the CloudMine service helps apps scale from the beginning. Developers often have to the make the decision early on how successful they believe their apps will be — and those that are bullish, could end up paying far too much money for hosting service. And those that don’t, only to see it featured in the App Store and seeing hundreds of thousands of downloads within the first week? Well, slow load times and constant crashing will translate to an early demise and a mountain of bad reviews.

“We can provide that scale in advance — that preemptive scale,” says McCorkle. “But we’re charging for usage. You don’t have to worry about scaling, you can pay for it as you need it.”

Part of CloudMine’s beta period was about finding the pricing sweet spot. Originally, the service charged for pay-as-you-go API usage. But while a perfectly rational solution, CloudMine found that this didn’t quite gel with the emotional mindset of its clients. “Here’s the problem: all of our early users took it to the extreme and said ‘we’re building the next Angry Birds, I’m going to have 400,000 users and if I get there and I’m making 20 API calls, then you’ll be charging me $20,000 a month,’” says McCorkle. “And that made them say, ‘you guys are crazy.’”

As a developer-facing company made of developers, this was a problem CloudMine intended to solve. It’s decided that clients can pay by user ($0.05 per active user) or find a custom pricing plan that works better for their needs.

CloudMine is a product of Startup Weekend (which it’s now a global sponsor of), and though it’s in its infancy, it’s already home to about 1,500 clients who have made about 1,500 apps with its service. They range in shape, size, and form — from college kids building weekend projects to creative agencies working as third party builders-for-hire to Fortune 500 companies.

The startup, which is now home to 10 people, is content to stay in what McCorkle describes as the “scrappy” Philadelphia venture scene. CloudMine recently raised $100k from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, part of which he says will go to hiring an enterprise sales lead.

Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Mobile

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Computing

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.
Computing

Lenovo’s Yoga C930 sale drops a $650 discount on its 2TB SSD laptop

Lenovo is offering one of its 2-in-1 laptops at a $650 discount. This Lenovo Yoga C930 laptop comes with a 2TB solid-state drive, a digital pen, a fingerprint reader, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.
Computing

You won't want to miss these deals on some of the best laptops around

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

These business machines can rival any consumer laptop in style and function

These laptops have the reliability, performance, and battery life you need whether you're at your desk or flying across the country for a meeting, letting you to revel in a function-first approach.
Computing

Online passwords: Research confirms millions of people are using 123456

According to recent analysis of data caught up in cyber attacks, millions of people are continuing to use super-simple passwords, with 123456 topping the list of easy-to-crack codes.
Computing

Microsoft deal takes up to $400 off select Surface Book 2 laptops

Microsoft is running a promotion for the Surface Book 2, taking as much as $400 off the price of the laptop at the Microsoft Store. The promotion applies to select 13.5- or 15-inch configurations of the convertible laptop.