Questo Mobile App (TC, 2015-2018)
- Project Type Start-up
- Period Oct 2015 - Apr 2018
- My role Co-Founder & CTO
- Technologies MySQL, Python, Node.js, Ionic, CentOS
- Compatibility Android, iOS, Web
- Keywords Self-Guided Tours, Travel as locals
- Skills developed Technical leadership, people management, public speaking
- Number of users ~20k (apr 2018)
- Architecture Model-view-controller, Client-server pattern
Questo is a mobile app that helps people explore cities, rather than checking tourist traps. Users receive in-app questions and they have to find clues and answers in physical places in order to finish the tour; at the end of the tour, they will have found out a lot of stories about that city, most of the information being provided by locals.
The application backend and middleware run on a Linux CentOS and consist of a MySQL database and a REST API written in Python and Node.js. The frontend is written in Ionic, built for Android and iOS and published in app/play stores in March 2016. About 20k users have downloaded the application as of October 2018 until I handed over the project and sold my shares.
My responsibilities included the coordination of a team of 3 developers and 1 graphic designer, creating the system architecture and implementing the application backend and middleware.
Questo was a joint venture between 3 Co-Founders (Alex, Claudiu & Tavi) and myself. While they were in charge of communication, creating tours and business specifications, I represented the technical side by bringing onboard my team from TC:
- myself - backend dev & CTO
- Tere - fullstack dev
- Claudiu - backend dev & devops
- Andrei - frontend devs
- Marian - designer & QA
- Andreea - PM
- Diana - BA
Media & Events
- HowToWeb - presentation, backstage, pitch, Nov 2016
- iqads.ro, Dec 2016
- romaniapozitiva.ro, Oct 2017
- digi24.ro, Mai 2017
- antena3, Dec 2017
- startup.ro, Feb 2018
- start-up.ro, Mar 2018
The Story of Questo
The idea of Questo was born after 2 of my Co-Founders (Alex & Claudiu) were on a trip to Italy, Rome. They came back from that trip with an idea and a story, to make an app that helps people travel like locals and have authentic experiences.
In parallel, I had my own idea to create an app that helps people create ad hoc groups for trips, which I already pitched to some of my friends and on THE HACK’s AppCamp, in Sept 2015, in Romania, Constanta, together with my teammate and friend, Andreea.
We received negative feedback on that event, but the story did not stop there. Andreea introduced me to Alex and Claudiu and we found ourselves in a win-win situation as they brought to the table their business expertise while we brought technical. So at the beginning of November 2015, they presented their idea to me at the recommendation of Andreea and I agreed to bring my own company (TC) into this story hoping both ideas would merge eventually. A bit later the 4th Co-Founder (Tavi), who was a UI/UX designer joined us so we officially created a new startup and decided on its name: Questo, as a joint venture under TC‘s umbrella, as a technical partner.
In Apr 2018, Questo had already reached another level of maturity and it was clear to me it was better to let guys continue their dream and grow the app in the direction they imagined before our first meeting in Nov 2015. So I made my exit from the project and continued to offer technical support for another half year until another team could take over the technical part of the project from TC team.
Nowadays, I have returned to my original idea to create an app that helps people create ad hoc groups for trips and much more. I have greatly improved that idea, after a few years of gaining experience and maturity. So I have started a new startup with the purpose of changing the way people travel. You can see more details & support us here: Voyah.
Check out here other projects I was working on through TC.