How I Built an App
for Daily Kindness Ideas
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Bienvenido David III, founder of BeKind. It’s a mobile app that provides daily acts of kindness ideas that people from various walks of life can do. The app aims to help people build a habit of kindness by performing simple, kind acts, challenging them to be better versions of themselves.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
I graduated in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila. I worked as an architect and manager building C++ and Java Enterprise applications in the technology, insurance, financial and not for profit industries, most notably Fujitsu, General Reinsurance, Standard & Poor’s and Credit Suisse. My professional IT experience has led me to work in countries such as the United States, Philippines and Japan.
We all live in a busy world and I wanted to make time for kindness. I realized later in life, through reading and self-reflection, that we are not here to achieve but to help and love one another. The “acts of kindness” apps I saw on Google Play and the App Store were limited, so I decided to build one. Through the hard work of our BeKind team, the first version of the app was released on August 14, 2020.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
Coming up with the idea on how to help people was a challenge. It must be something that doesn’t exist yet or not yet fully developed. It must be easy to use, which is why we decided to make BeKind a mobile app.
The app is free and there are no plans to go with the freemium model. We had to make sure we have enough time and resources to last a few years, as all are out-of-pocket expenses.
Who is your target market?
BeKind was created for mobile users, 13 year- olds and above. It targets people from various walks of life who want to do simple acts of kindness and eventually, build a habit of being kind.
We would like to expand our reach through a partnership with other organizations with the same passion and mission. We would like to offer the BeKind platform for free to help them achieve their goals, too.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
Currently, we are maximizing the use of free social media platforms, which we believe to be one of the best approaches to market BeKind. Simply because the app is a social app itself.
The help from our families, colleagues and friends through word-of-mouth is also another effective way to promote the app. We also reached out to various organizations and groups that promote kindness and have gotten a very positive response.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
We strongly believe that BeKind is something that people who want to make time for kindness look for and use regularly. However, we are still working very hard to continue to spread the news about our app. We also make sure that we keep in touch with our users, whenever possible. We also have a long list of new features to add, many under development as of this writing.
What makes BeKind special is that it helps the user develop a habit of kindness. Kindness ideas are simple and doable. Every performed good deed allows users to earn virtual coins and badges which serve as a silent “pat on the back”. The user can also create their own ideas, track their own kind acts and share their stories with friends and families. These features make the app more enjoyable and fulfilling to use.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
We are all working harmoniously from the comfort of our home. The difference in time and location did not limit us to meet regularly and do our planning, deliver results in a timely manner and reach our goals. We also make sure to catch up in our daily lives in every virtual meeting.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
Nearly all of the software that we use is cloud-based which is well-suited for remote working. Such software includes Bitbucket for source control, Freshdesk for customer support, Hootsuite for social media management and various analytics software to analyze and track our marketing progress.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
Moving fast but in the wrong direction moves you farther away from your destination. Take the time to research your idea and plan the overall direction. Never forget why you started in the first place.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Building something that people use is my most favorite part. Something that makes life easier, even for a little bit.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The long hours and the stress from the uncertainty.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
These are not business books, but they have shaped how I view the world. The first is “As a Man Thinketh”, which talks about the power of thought. The other is “My Descent Into Death”, which talks about the purpose of life.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
I see BeKind has all the features we planned for at the beginning. It has thousands of users and the platform is being used by other do-good organizations.