Why we build apps like Wine Swap and Brew Trader

We were asked something recently that made me stop to smell the proverbial roses. The question itself was pretty simple – but the answer isn’t.

“Why do you make free apps using expenses from your own pocket? What do you stand to gain?”

It would be simple for us to reply with something along the lines of: “Easy – we make apps because we’re passionate about making them.”

But does that really answer the question? It’s an answer any company, selling any product, could respond with – and we’re not about being just like everyone else. Yes, passion does drive us to produce the best possible product every time, but there’s a lot more to the answer than “we wanted to.”

I mean, yeah – we did want to. Our founder and CEO, Nick Jones, came up with the idea for Brew Trader while looking at his craft beer selection at home; our Business Development Manager helmed the creation of Wine Swap – not only was it a logical next step after Brew Trader, he also really likes wine. He’s a level one sommelier, in fact.

So yes, we made these two apps because we like the subject matter. But we’re passionate about our clients’ apps as well – most of us here play some sort of sport, so Sportly was an absolute blast to work on. We live in Richmond, so we all understand the pain of parking in a city – which made creating iPermit a true joy. Knowing we were helping to take away the hassle of parking and permits out of peoples lives was, honestly, incredibly gratifying.

NS804 is a collection of people who all have different life experiences, come from different places, share different ideologies, and different interests. It’s this diversity of spirit that creates such a capable team – we all overlap in skillsets, while simultaneously all bringing something new to the table.

If you were to ask our Operations Manager what her dream vacation would be, you’d hear “Disney” before you could finish your sentence – if you were to ask me, it would be: “Camping somewhere far away from everything.”

What brings us all together isn’t even apps really (although, as stated previously, we’re truly passionate about making them). We’re problem solvers. And in the age we live in now, apps are the ultimate problem-solving tool. If it were the 17th century, we’d be watch makers, astronomers, adventurers. If it were 2000 BC, we’d be testing new materials for optimal wheel construction.

We’re drawn to problem-solving because when you solve a problem, you make something better. Bringing value into peoples lives is something that inspires us, gives us an easily-actionable reason to build apps.

The joy of knowing we made something easier for people out there in the world – even if it’s just a little easier – is worth the labor of creating an in-house app for absolutely zero profit. Negative profit, in fact.

That’s why we made Wine Swap and Brew Trader – to make finding your favorite beverages easier, and to help each other connect with people who care as much as we do about good beer and wine. It’s not the money, it’s not the drinks – it’s knowing we played a part in someone getting to do what they love, with other people that enjoy it just as much.

I’ve worked at a lot of different places, but I’ve never worked somewhere the CEO isn’t motivated by money – he’s motivated by helping others. If it sounds corny, drop on by sometime. You’ll find some of us diligently huddled over a keyboard, crafting lines of code, some of us playing fetch with our CBO, and a few others quietly designing beautiful UIs.

There’s a lot of different types of people here, but we all want to do one thing – make your dream a reality.

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