In a nutshell

Who doesn’t want to collaborate meaningfully, asked Kvadrato, a shiny new startup which is re-defining (or it intends to) the way people, well, collaborate. They want to kill email and throw the body in the gutter somewhere. They have some really smart ideas, and have watched from the sidelines as the entire instant messaging market tries to find new purpose in life after WhatsApp and wonders what to do with Slack. This startup team knows where they want to take you. And kill email along the way.

Challenges, not problems

The first challenge any startup faces is a tight budget, so tight that breathing is difficult at times. The second challenge is to build an app whose very user-friendliness will seduce users to drift to it in droves — in a world where WhatsApp is the thousand-pound gorilla, constantly refining itself. The third challenge, once the app gets its first million users, is scalability. You have to design the architecture today for scalability next year; you can’t let your own success kill you and throw your body in the gutter somewhere.

Not easy. But then startups don’t grow horns and become unicorns by solving easy problems.

Solutions, not ideas

From Day 1, we decided to do away with complicated gymnastics on the server-side code. We practically did away with server-side code, by building the system from the ground up on a distributed database. Having worked with MongoDB, Solr, and even PosgreSQL replication, we know everything there is to know about eventual consistency and non-SQL databases this side of the Arabian Sea. So, CouchDB and its sibling, PouchDB, was added to the mix to spice things up.

The app has been conceived to be a mobile-first play from Day 1, therefore a website is going to be a distant second priority. The app is in Ionic, and has been growing arms and legs as features are added in every sprint. The UI is to die for, and any instant messaging user will just get going with Kvadrato without missing a beat. All data is sync’ed with the cloud through database replication. Messages will be encrypted end-to-end, to protect the complete privacy of messages. You know the kind of messages you send in the name of collaboration — we can’t afford to let the Thought Police see them now, can we?

We are very close to the first closed-group launch of the beta release.

Now that’s value