I’m Mateo - Primo’s founder & biggest fan (I’d have to be to work on it for this long for free). I’ve been a developer for close to 11 years; I started by taking an hourly job at a construction company where I stressfully tried to piece together a brochure site in Joomla. After I figured it out, I graduated to stressfully piecing together brochure sites in WordPress for other local businesses while attending community college and learning HTML & CSS on the side (which did me no good in WordPress).
After a year I transferred to Virginia Tech to study economics and worked part-time at various startups, finally putting my coding skills to good use and learning enough to get an internship at a local leading agency called NewCity, which turned into a salaried position once I graduated.
I quickly married my now-cofounder Courtney and we moved to Egypt, of all places, where I worked remotely. We started a free coding bootcamp there, and when one day I found myself wanting to put the class curriculum on a simple website but not finding anything that could help, I built a simple page builder with a built-in code editor. Soon, my students started to use it, applying their HTML and CSS knowledge to build real, actual websites.
Re-facing the struggles I’d seen as an early freelancer through my students’ eyes, and seeing how Primo enabled them to access the web better than WordPress, site builders, or JS frameworks encouraged me to keep working on it part-time. After half a year of that I posted it to Hacker News, where it reached #1 and gave me enough hubris to immediately quit my job to work on it full-time. That was two years ago, Courtney joined me full-time a year ago as a UX/UI designer, and we’ve been going nonstop since then.
We’ve been fortunate enough to stay bootstrapped, with some small investments from friends and family. We’re aiming to build a sustainable business on top of Primo by selling themes on the marketplace, Primo as a hosted service, and enterprise support. If you’d like to help us along in the meantime, you can do so on our Open Collective.
I’ve built at least a hundred Primo sites at this point. The largest and most complex one is Primo’s landing page - it’s got e-commerce (using Stripe in a SvelteKit endpoint on the backend), a blog, and lots of interactivity.
Working on Primo, hanging out with Courtney, playing my Martin.
I’m a Venezuelan born in the US. I’ve been residing in Virginia Beach since earlier this year. I speak fluent gringo Spanish and know enough Arabic to hold a conversation with an Egyptian toddler.