Universe App Empowers Entrepreneurs to Build Websites Using Only Their iPhones


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By Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

With the Universe mobile app internet entrepreneurs create complete websites using only their iPhones. Joseph Cohen, the company’s Founder and CEO started with the idea that if you could empower creators to “build the internet” you could unlock a wave of creativity (4:36). In this episode of the Breakout Growth Podcast he shares the Universe journey with Sean Ellis who is joined by Ethan Garr for the discussion.

Universe was built based on the realization that today, creators use their phones to do everything from editing photos and making music, to shooting videos and writing books. Being able to build a website in that same environment is a natural next step for this mobile-first generation, and these websites allow users to create, promote, sell, and fulfill orders. Essentially, they can build fully-functional businesses without outside help using nothing more than a phone that fits in their pocket.

Joe explains that his business model is tightly aligned with the goals of his audience. He feels strongly that the more Universe can help creators grow their businesses, the more successful the company will be. In this episode, we will learn how this approach has unlocked word-of-mouth growth, how experimentation helps the company find and amplify opportunities, and how a ship early and often mentality is embraced and shared with users.

Through the lens of Universe’s growth story, including its recent $10 million funding round, this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast offers unique insights into the challenges and opportunities facing mobile companies looking to accelerate growth.

We discussed:

  • How the democratization of the web in things like photos on Instagram and video with TikTok has created a mobile-first creation mindset (5:00)
  • The challenges of creating a website-building tool specifically for the small screen of a mobile phone (5:55)
  • Universe’s original pivot to its current business model (11:35)
  • How the companies North Star Metric closely aligns with customer success (38:30)
  • The company’s approach to growth through experimentation and continuous improvement (39:45)

44 episodes