2018 - Product development
The financing from the bank was a milestone, but not a reason to lean back. The next goal was clear: To release the first product - WEBSAIL. The plan was to slightly adapt the program of the sailing school Pieper, so that already after 3 months further boat schools can use the software. Tobias adapted the software and Malte began to call owners of sailing schools. After 2 months it unfortunately became clear, that the existing code base was not viable for the future plans of the company and sooner or later you would end up in a dead end. If Webbee wanted to offer tailor-made software for the masses in the future, the code had to be rewritten from scratch. But this was just the first setback. The second setback was that out of 15 web conferences with interested companies, nobody wanted to buy the product. In retrospect, this was a point at which one or the other would probably have given up. However, Malte and Tobias believed that their basic idea was right and that they where just having the wrong approach.
As Tobias rewrote the codebase from scratch, Malte learned from his mistakes and worked out a working sales strategy. This was no longer based on video conferencing, but on personal sales talk. To speed up development, Tobias decided to hire another developer. When he joined the company, it turned out that he was slowing down progress. It became clear that a more independent developer was needed in the initial phase, who had to be able to make architectural decisions on his own. The hired person did not meet these criteria and so the developer had to leave the team after 3 months. From this experience Tobias learned on the one hand what criteria he had to set for a developer. On the other hand Tobias also knew that the salary of a developer with the necessary qualifications was not affordable. When it became clear what high expenses the Webbee would have to pay for new developers in the future, the founders looked for solutions.
As a short-term solution Tobias decided to finish WEBSAIL alone. In order to get far with the limited capital in the long run, the founders decided to establish their headquarters in Belarus. The motivation was clearly financial: In Belarus, the salary of a developer with the same qualifications is only half as high as in Germany. Since Tobias and Malte were interested in culture and the Russian language, the decision was quickly made and Tobias moved to Belarus in November 2018 and founded Webbee Technologies LLC in the capital Minsk. Malte initially stayed in Germany.
Tobias continued to spend most of his time programming. This led to the ability of Websail being presented with all its functions, even if it was not yet ready for use. Together with the new sales strategy, the personal conversations with the interested parties on site, the breakthrough came - the first customers signed a contract with Webbee.