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How to build a startup from scratch

By 4th January 2021January 19th, 2021No Comments

I am building a new concept for Drag codenamed Drag Novo. It’s a redo, a rethink on how we manage email. It will be a standalone product to reimagine without constraint.

?   View Drag Novo demo – it’s a WIP and will be updated every few days

?   Follow updates on Twitter – notified in real-time when this blog is updated

?   Read the full story day by day

?   LIVE: DAY 1 Create React App

I’m showing how to build a product from the first line of code to a web app. Here’s the background.

Our team is building Drag. It’s an all-in-one workspace, in Gmail, that helps teams to run their business from their inbox.

Building inside Gmail, with a dedicated team, is our commercial venture. We have raised from Techstars and Googlers, and Drag is growing. But I want to explore the idea of Drag, years from now, and build a concept without the constraints of stakeholders, limiting parameters of being inside another product (Gmail) nor consuming our team’s resources to execute our current roadmap. 

I’ll record the entire process on this ever-growing blog along with real-time updates on Twitter – follow me to stay up to date (more importantly, please share and feedback there).

What am I building?

? I’ll be building this. This is day 1 of a bigger vision to solve email. It’s no longer email, it’s something different. And the best way to explain is to just start building.


In an effort to produce content to help other Founders, I’ve decided to code Drag Novo in public. It will be part live-stream and part recordings. I will try and explain everything throughout the build.

?   This is concept only. It may go no further (but Tweet if you think otherwise)

?   I’m not a strong developer. I am hacking this together as a POC. I depend heavily on our excellent development team, led by Breno. If we go further, they will rebuild it.

?   I’m starting this as an evening + weekend over a two-week window. 

?   Novo means New in Portuguese. Just an FYI 🙂

Day 1

?   LIVE: DAY 1 Create React App

On day 1, I’ll build the basic idea of Drag (concept). I want to give more ways to manage workflow that isn’t constrained by list or Kanban. I’m also thinking about why email needs to go back-and-forth instead of one central place where users go to?

I’m building in React and Firebase. Firebase is a temporary solution so I can avoid thinking about the backend and instead focus only on the raw concept. Firebase will handle everything from authentication to hosting, databases, and storage.

Where you have complications, simplify everything. I think a lot about how complex our days are. Every part of this concept will be simplified. Shortest cycles to complete tasks, removing all noise from visuals.

Nick Timms

Author Nick Timms

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