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Manuel Losada Rodríguez  

All -Tech Product Strategist

Functional Design Synthesizer


In collaboration with my esteemed business partner, Carlos Carrascosa, we embarked on an ambitious journey. Our goal was to create a sophisticated, fully-functional application to enhance the quality of communication among users.

Our development process adhered to the Lean Startup methodology. This well-regarded business approach champions the idea of “validated learning” – rapidly testing business hypotheses, utilizing iterative product releases, and employing validated customer feedback for product development. It is a strategy that enables a startup to be more agile and efficient with resources, critical for our application’s early stages.

The business model we embraced for our application was not directly centered on immediate monetization. Rather, we adopted a model more commonly observed in the United States – one where functionality and potential for mass adoption were given prominence. The objective was to create a product that could be widely used, and in doing so, attract investor interest.

In the world of software startups, particularly in the U.S, it’s not uncommon for companies to offer free services as they grow and expand. This ‘freemium’ model often focuses on user acquisition over immediate profitability, with revenue generation typically being deferred until a substantial user base is established. Once achieved, companies then attract investors who are encouraged by the potential for massive returns once the platform scales and eventually monetizes, typically through advertising, data monetization, or premium services.

Contrastingly, in Europe, the startup culture is more conservative and the focus is often on revenue generation from the early stages. This tends to make European investors more risk-averse, and the process of securing investment for non-monetized startups can be more challenging.

Our startup journey culminated in the establishment of a fully-fledged company based in Spain, complete with a 100% functional product that provided invaluable services to its users. This accomplishment was the result of our tireless efforts and our unwavering commitment to the mission of creating an application that truly served our user base.

The core essence of our app was to facilitate “immediate” communication among proximate users. We recognized that in today’s age of information overload, important notifications on a user’s mobile device can easily be lost or overlooked. This issue becomes even more critical when the user’s device is on silent mode, possibly resulting in crucial alerts being missed. This predicament became our motivation; we aimed to create a solution that would ensure essential communication among close relations – parents, children, the elderly – was never missed.

Our application, which was multi-platform, once installed, opened up a new realm of connectivity we referred to as the ‘Ringapp context’. Once in this context, users could easily discern which contacts from their phone book also had the app installed. With a simple authorization process, users could grant access to their close contacts, establishing a secure circle of communication.

From that point forward, these authorized users could reach out via our application. It’s important to note that our app served solely as a notification tool, facilitating the initial contact alert. For further communication, users could then utilize their preferred methods, such as calls, WhatsApp, etc. Essentially, our app was a bridge, a notifier that ensured no important communication from the authorized circle was missed.

We developed an Android app, an iOS app, and a server in to manage general communications and the essential systems for the service. The server was crucial, acting as the backbone, managing and maintaining smooth communication among all Ringapp users. In essence, our application sought to overcome the clutter of modern communication and provide a simple, efficient notification system for immediate, important contact among close ones.

Our application aimed to provide efficient and immediate communication by allowing users to send different types of notifications to their close contacts. Keep in mind that during the time of its development, operating systems such as Android and iOS did not have as many privacy restrictions as they do now. The landscape of device privacy has evolved significantly, with increased controls over access to device peripherals and user data, necessitating a balance between functionality and privacy.

Once a user selected a contact, they could send various types of notifications:

  1.  Quick Notification: The receiving user would hear a single, brief sound upon receiving the “ring”.
  2.  Standard Notification: The receiving user’s device would produce a sound for 30 seconds, ensuring that the “ring” would not go unnoticed.
  3.  Urgent Notification: For situations requiring immediate attention, the receiving user’s device would continue to sound, maximizing the chances of the notification being noticed.

This communication was supported by a user permissions system. It allowed users to understand the context of the person they wanted to communicate with, even allowing them to know whether the recipient’s phone was on silent or vibrate mode. It’s important to emphasize that due to the intimate nature of this information, the app was meant to be used exclusively among close family members. Additional configurable permissions were also included in the system, providing a balance of functionality and privacy according to each user’s preference.

After two years of tireless effort, development, and learning, the project was ultimately cancelled. Despite our best efforts, we found ourselves unable to penetrate the financial investment environment necessary for the growth and sustenance of our startup. In hindsight, our lack of experience, combined with an enthusiasm fueled more by startup stories from movies and TV series than real-world wisdom, were factors that did not favor our enterprise.

Our startup journey spanned two years. This duration was partly due to the need for self-learning to implement the solution, and also because our product definition method was significantly influenced by my previous experience with hardware-specific software. The technical aspects of the project were my responsibility, while Carlos Carrascosa brilliantly handled the visual design and administrative management.

After thoroughly examining the project’s viability and future prospects, we concluded that the business was not sustainable in its current form. With a heavy heart but a wealth of new knowledge and experience, we decided to end the project. Although our endeavor did not result in the success we had initially envisioned, the lessons learned, the skills developed, and the experience gained during this journey are assets that will undoubtedly contribute to our future ventures.


Over the course of this endeavor, I personally coded every aspect of the project. This task enabled me to explore the world of multi-platform software products and delve deeply into various programming languages. It was a journey that expanded my horizons and equipped me with comprehensive knowledge in Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS, and C# applied to on a Windows server.

Beyond the programming languages, the journey also provided me with a wealth of knowledge on security aspects in communication, data protection, user privacy, and more. This experience was instrumental in understanding the necessity of multi-layered security measures in communication-based applications and the best practices for implementing them.

Despite the application being fully functional and serving its purpose, I realized that had the business been viable, the product would likely have needed an in-depth review or complete redevelopment by specialists in each respective field. This appreciation for the complexity of each aspect of development and the need for specialist input in achieving a truly refined product is an insight I will carry with me into future projects.