Using AI to make technical co-founders obsolete

tamir magen credit spiritt

At just 24 years old, Tamir Magen and his co-founder Or Kliger forayed into startup land with the goal of democratizing software-startups creation. Today, the startup, SPIRITT, has already raised $5.5 million with a long list of customers relying on their AI-powered offering to quickly translate their idea into a functional mobile and desktop app without writing a line of code. Some of them even raised funding by themselves.

1. Tell us about SPIRITT and your mission?

Our mission is to make entrepreneurship accessible to anyone. We are here to create a world in which everyone can solve problems around them. SPIRITT is an AI SaaS platform that enables anyone, especially from non-technical backgrounds, to build fully functional complex apps (like Tinder, Airbnb, Doordash, and so on) by merely describing their idea to the computer via written text. 

2. What inspired you to create SPIRITT? Was there an ‘Aha’ moment?

Our vision of making the startup world accessible to everyone started when we were working on our first startup. And we were exposed to the immense difficulty associated with starting a technological venture. Let alone if you don’t have tech skills. Having had a little more naivety, we initially tried going to development shops and agencies to develop our idea but were shocked at how expensive and difficult it was. The prices started at $50,000. We realized we had few choices and had to build it on our own. In this way, we came to realize most great ideas don’t survive this stage.

3. What technology is behind SPIRITT? How have the new AI language models, like GPT3, influenced your offering?

The improvement of humanity in NLP and GPT models helped a lot in making it technologically viable. Our AI understands users’ free-text descriptions and translates that into code; the AI uses dedicated programming languages that we developed just for that purpose. When the goal is to develop a full-scale ready-to-use product, it doesn’t make sense to teach the machine a programming language intended for humans for general purposes. This led us to write a new programming language intended for the machine and for that purpose. It was a huge breakthrough for us.

4. How is SPIRITT innovating the startup market?

Nowadays, entrepreneurs face an infinite loop: they need money to build their first product, but they also need a product and users to get that money from angels or VCs. We break that loop entirely.

5. What are some challenges you’re facing? Why are they significant and how do you solve them?

A phenomenon has begun to occur whereby startups, using SPIRITT, are raising money and growing into big companies/startups. This creates a whole set of challenges in how to work with big, fast-growing companies. We solve it by simply keeping in close communication with the founders. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the next Airbnb grows within SPIRITT, and to achieve that, we need to continually listen to our users and solve their problems at every new stage. Just like Stripe and AWS did at their outset. For a specific example, a recent need that came up from the ground is the ability to connect the app with custom code.

6. What’s the future of App building? There’s a range of App builders website tools to bring low-code and no-code to the masses. Where does SPIRITT lie in this spectrum?

There are many great tools that help people build websites and even apps, and they will keep growing and helping many people turn their ideas and passion into reality. SPIRITT gets into the market to address main things: complexity and accessibility. 

Complexity: SPIRITT allows people to build full-scale applications, and not just websites or POC apps. Highly complex applications that until now required a whole R&D team to create. 

Accessibility: SPIRITT also opens the no-code world to the masses by using a natural language drive approach. There are other offerings, like drag-n-drop interfaces, which are also user-friendly but less suited to building complex apps, with complex designs, workflow’s and logic. Natural language is humanity’s most efficient tool for describing complex ideas and abstractions. And everyone already knows how to use it. 

Looking to the future: The ultimate goal of the no-code movement is to democratize software creation and allow people to do what they are best at, creative work. Therefore, I think it is enviable that people should be able to just talk to the computer and ask for whatever they need – at the end of the day, this was the goal of programming language in the first place. This is where SPIRITT gets in.

7. Since starting SPIRITT, can you share some advice or lessons learned for fellow entrepreneurs?

I’m definitely not the first to say it, but I want to give it the honor: DO THINGS THAT DON’T SCALE! We see the importance of this mindset over and over as a startup and as a company that helps startups. Getting into new problems without being afraid of manual labor. I could go on for hours, but here are two great resources instead:

  1. Paul Graham’s blog post “Do things that don’t scale”: http://paulgraham.com/ds.html
  2. Reid Hoffman (Linkedin’s founder) interviews Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb, about how they did things that don’t scale: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2UMM1UaRe3hYZv49WCZ8Ys?si=KYd5W0uGTPqIgaTSPX41uQ

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