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46 Comments:
serjester said 2 months ago:

I wish you had something about your background. Leadership is one of the most difficult skills to learn and there's load of BS out there. I learned this the hard way when I was growing my first company. Personally I don't trust anyone to give me "management" advice, unless they've personally successfully been through the grind.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Definitely, we actually come from a super nerdy psych background: it took us 3 years and 5 failed products to learn how to make the “science” approachable. We have a partnership with Stanford who developed the psychological model we’re basing everything on (from Charles O’Reilly, https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/charle...).

As for the rest, we have as many psychologists in house as we have software engineers, if that speaks for anything. Also after building our startup for 4 years now, we have definitely been through the grind (still going through it), and don’t push stuff that we wouldn’t use ourselves.

nullsense said 2 months ago:

Is there an app that tells you whether or not you have the emotional constitution for management, so you can avoid wasting years of your life reading management books and thinking your smart enough to do it only to find out when push comes to shove you just can't really tolerate the emotional rollercoaster well enough to actually do it?

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Sound like a really awful experience, if it happened to you, I’m really sorry! I’m not sure if there’s a definitive answer (in psychology) whether someone has the emotional constitution for management that is set in time; it might be a matter of timing for many people.

In any case, one of the things we try to achieve with our app is to help people in this situation: we have tips for resilience, self discovery and emotional intelligence that can help better handle this emotional rollercoaster.

It turns out that many people get pushed into leading a team a specific way (by their peers, mentors or lack thereof), instead of having the tools to find their own leadership style and learn how to grow it. That was one of the main motivations when we started working on the psychology of our app: we need to start by discovering people’s leadership style, and only then recommend content & tips that will help them on the journey

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Like many devs, I somehow ended up managing a small team.

I’ve had bad bosses before, so I found myself wondering things like:

- How do I run a 1:1?

- What do I do when someone has issues?

- How do I avoid the mistakes I’ve seen made by other managers?

But the answers tend to be hard to find. So about a year ago, our team at Bunch set out to make it easier.

Our goal was to combine micro-learning (bite-sized, actionable advice), personalisation (using goal-setting and a content recommender), a leadership competency model (my co-founder is an org. Psychologist), and a bit of gamification to make it more fun (RPG style “leadership personas”).

We’re hoping this will make leadership skills (aka people skills for managers) more accessible. We have launched it for free on iOS, and working on an Android version.

Would love to hear thoughts from HN on our approach and this direction! Also would love to hear ideas for improving UX and the content recommendations. Soaking up as much feedback as possible.

PS: We built it with SwiftUI, if you have questions about how it went, feel free to ask!

LeonardoRusta said 2 months ago:

What is the minimum deployment target of the app? From my experience building a production SwiftUI app for iOS13 isn't feasible. Maybe with iOS14 it got better...

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

we are targeting iOS13 as minimum. For us it works right now, when we were running a no-code MVP before building the app, we saw that our target audience seems to be quite tech-y and tends to have the latest devices. So we knew our early adopters wouldn't too much issues, and that once the app becomes a bit more "mass market", then iOS 13 adoption would be a lot better (something we might achieve maybe next year)

lovskogen said 2 months ago:

What was the biggest benefit of using Swift?

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

The learning curve was quite easy (when we started building it, no one in the dev team had experience with iOS before). Architecture wise, it fits _really well_ with functional reactive programming (RxSwift or Combine + MVVM). And a lot of things like animations are very straightforward to do.

The downside is whenever you want to do something quite standard in UIKit that doesn't exist yet in SiwftUI. The "carousel" that we have at the start of the app is a UIPageViewController in UIKit, but we had to re-implement it ourselves in SwiftUI.

Also there are weird bugs and crashes. A lot. I think in the end, the productivity gain from SiwftUI evens out to the same productivity as UIKit due to the time spend on those bugs/limitations.

We also planned to build widgets very soon, and having the same code base (they are SwiftUI only) is definitely going to be a plus.

natenthe said 2 months ago:

Any reason you decided on two separate code-bases (iOS & Android) with a small team versus building one in React Native or another hybrid framework. I'd think that the latter would be a better choice but wanted to see what went in to your decision making.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

yeah good question, we actually debated quite a bit on this. In the end, we want to build the best UX possible (we realized it's one of the value prop of our product), and we felt that going native would be better mid & long term because at some point, you hit a threshold with those react native/hybrid and it makes more time to polish things out.

Also right when we started (in Feb), we had to implement Apple Sign-in, and the UX around it for React native or Hybrid framework was absolutely terrible.

In the end, I still think it was a good choice: while we compromise and make people wait a bit more for Android, it gave our (small) team a lot more focus. We learn and make mistakes on one platform, iterate faster on it, and once we feel comfortable with what we've done on iOS, we'll roll it out to Android (which we plan to do in Jan/Feb next year).

natenthe said 2 months ago:

Cool, thanks for the detailed response. As a dev I'm always curious about the decision making for startups that are choosing between hybrid and native. Seems like the best decision for that is unique to each project.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Glad it helps! If we didn’t put so much focus on UX (i.e: if we were building a “boring” typical B2B education tool), we would most likely have gone with React Native (we also have a lot of expertise with React in the team). But we talked with people, and realized that they use our app at the same time that they go on IG, Snapchat or TikTok. What that means for us is that our UX needs to be just as good or even better than those big players if we want to compete on “screen time”.

That’s already quite hard to do with a 2 people tech-team, so adding on top of that limitations from cross-platform frameworks would have been shooting ourselves in the foot.

nooyurrsdey said 2 months ago:

Nice - do you have a waiting list for your android version? Would love to check it out when it's ready.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Sure! We have it on our website, https://bunch.ai or you can even drop your email directly here: https://bunch-ai.typeform.com/to/tXPvy5rA

fab1an said 2 months ago:

The workplace RPG character sheet model is pretty promising I think, great to see more innovation in this space (akin to https://boingboing.net/2004/03/16/ninjas-and-pirates-d.html)

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

thanks! we actually spent 3 years of iterations (on other products) until we reached that model. It seems to work quite well with people, as well as being on solid psychological science foundations

antonio_junior_ said 2 months ago:

How do you guys deal with @ObservedObject in iOS 13? I'm having issues with this because every change on state recreates my ViewModels and I can't use @StateObject because it's only available on iOS 14 and I have to support iOS 13 users.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

ohhh, that's a tough one. @StateObject is definitely making things easier, but the trick we've used for now (we’re still targeting iOS 13) is to wrap ViewModels in @State in a parent view, and pass it down to your view as an @EnvironmentObject.

When the subview changes/re-renders, your ViewModel stay the same on the parent view and is not recreated as it is a @State; and your subview can still listen to @PUublished changes.

We've made a generic wrapper for it, and we use almost everywhere:

  struct ViewModelWrapper<V: View, ViewModel: ObservableObject>: View {
    private let contentView: V
    @State private var contentViewModel: ViewModel

    init(contentView: @autoclosure () -> V, vm: @autoclosure () -> ViewModel) {
        self._contentViewModel = State(initialValue: vm())
        self.contentView = contentView()
    }

    var body: some View {
        contentView
            .environmentObject(contentViewModel)
    }
  }
bfung said 2 months ago:

I downloaded and went through the first session. A few UX feedback:

1. During the training part, I didn’t realize that touching the left side went back while the right side is to go next. Some visual cues may help.

2. Sharing my profile - this part seemed strange as I don’t have others at work on this app yet. The app brought up my personal contacts, which I absolutely don’t care to share this info with. I think making this app somehow get traction at a business will work, but as a consumer app, this sharing is awkward. <— this implies using some way to integrate w/Gsuite or ldap and being able to share w/co-workers, not personal contacts.

Hope that helps!

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

this is super helpful, thank you for taking the time to share it! for the first point, we also heard this from a couple other people, and actually working on improving it this sprint And we’ll keep your feedback in mind for the second point (maybe sharing it via Slack or MS Teams to co-workers)

MoritzWall said 2 months ago:

A beautiful piece of IOS app engineering! How did you make the UIPageViewController in SwiftUI at the beginning of the app? I also tried to use it but have not yet found a way to bridge the UIKit with SwiftUI.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

we tried really hard to bridge the UIKit one, but had some bugs & crashes due to the PageController (the dots underneath). I think it is caused by the fact that a same SwiftUI @State is used by 2 UIKit "bridged" controllers, and is not operated in a thread safe way. So we ended up building it from scratch ourselves, in SwiftUI :)

insomniacity said 2 months ago:

I was excited to use this, but sign-in is limited to Apple and Google?

Unless you can provide a straight username/password option I'll have to pass.

I guess you don't want to handle them, which makes sense, but there are plenty of other services that can handle it for you.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Thanks a lot for the feeback! There’s a couple other people who mentionned it today, so we’ll get to adding username/password (and definitely won’t handle the credentials ourselves ^^)

desireco42 said 2 months ago:

Why does this need to be IOS app?

I think it could've just as well be webpage and do the same.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

I would actually love for it to be available everywhere, even offline for people who don’t have access to internet/computers. We want to make it available to everyone, just takes a bit of time (we’re only 2 devs right now in the team). I’m hiring though! So if you’re interested or know someone who might be, get in touch (charles@bunch.ai). I’m looking for backend/fullstack/android people.

gingerlime said 2 months ago:

looks interesting. I installed the app but not sure about the login options... then checked the linked privacy policy and started to get nervous... I know it’s mostly for your website but it mentions google analytics, hotjar, google tag manager, mixpanel, amplitude, intercom, smartlook, facebook pixels, sentry and probably much more... all pretty much based on legitimate interest :-/ feels rather intrusive to me (but I admit I feel like a bit of a privacy freak these days... after all who even reads those privacy policies)

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I know it’s not always easy to share, but definitely appreciate it. Maybe we can add an opt-in for our analytics: we mostly use them to understand what we should build next (or measure when we do A/B tests in the app), as well as be able to help when people get in touch with a coach via Intercom. All of that can/should be optional though, so I’ll bring that to our board and see if we can do something there.

Also, there’s no harm at all in caring about privacy, rather the opposite, so your opinion is 100% valid!

alziarig said 2 months ago:

I use this app already actually and love it. Cool to see it mentioned here

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Thank you for the support!

jeresuikkila said 2 months ago:

Learning something by doing it 2 mins a day seems like a steep promise.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

It's definitely not going to be as fast & efficient as doing an MBA for sure, but our mission is to keep the app free for everyone, and even if you're only improving 1% every day, you're still setting yourself on track to have much better soft skills in a couple months

Robin_f said 2 months ago:

Would like to try it when it comes out on Android :)

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

We're planning to start working on it in January, and I think we can get the first version out in late February. If you know good senior Android engineers, send them my way! (charles@bunch.ai, no CV required, let's just chat)

mandeepj said 2 months ago:

Just downloaded and completed the onboarding. Is it a side hustle for you or are you looking to establish a business around it?

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Hey Mandeepj, not a side hustle ^^ we’re looking to estbalish a business around it. Our mission is to help anyone to become a great leader, so we want to keep the app free for individuals. We are also working on “team features”, and this is where we plan to make revenue for our business.

mandeepj said 2 months ago:

Sweet. Looking forward to that "team" launch. There's a lag in this space so you have a chance for a great shot. Good luck.

dsagal said 2 months ago:

OK, got far enough through the first tip -- seems useful, although a bit abstract of course.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Sorry it felt abstract! let me know which one it was, and I’ll improve it with the team

dx87 said 2 months ago:

"Become a world-class leader in just 2 minutes a day".

Do you honestly believe that?

dogma1138 said 2 months ago:

It’s not really 2 minutes, they basically give you each day a small scenario based on what you signed up to combined with additional reading/viewing materials such as articles and lectures.

The scenarios are actually quite good.

Nothing here is super innovative but they give you a good structure/instructions on how to deal with certain events which at least to me has been valuable.

Another value of the app is that if you are dealing with a situation you might be included to go back to it and look for similar scenarios and tips that if nothing else forces you to think about the situation more carefully rather than respond immediately.

As far as all the pseudo science and life coaching junk goes this doesn’t seem to try to trick anyone the scenarios also don’t necessarily have good or bad answers just different ways of dealing with common issues.

anonymouse008 said 2 months ago:

I've taken many personality tests, have a lot of experience building tools in the psychology space, and can say without a doubt, their ~10 question personality test is incredible. (I'm hoping it's adaptive, because I'd hate to think it was just that appropriate for me by chance.)

To expand a bit why that's meaningful: Baselines are the most important part of beginning a training regimen, and if you have junk baselines, your goals and exercises will most likely follow. This baseline is unlike any other, and I believe quite thoughtful. So, I'd venture to say the tips from 2mins a day will be just as potent.

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Start small, stay constant and make it a habit to improve: chances are you’ll end up a better leader than if you try to “sprint rush” your learning on this topic. It’s also crazy times to live in, people spend a lot of time on their screen. We couldn’t resign to designing a learning app that would make users spend even more time away from their team. Learn a bit, and spend more time applying what you learn with real humans

gregmelson said 2 months ago:

I like the app, simple and easy to use

superzadeh said 2 months ago:

Thanks!