Artwork courtesy of NASA


In the latest production from Big Machine, we explore what it takes to build a usable, “serverless” ecommerce application. I’m not just talking about checking out and running a Stripe charge – no we’re doing it all.

In this video we’ll set up:

  • A web site hosted by Firebase, generated by Middleman, secured with SSL
  • Digital fulfillment (with counters and expiring URLs) using Firebase Storage
  • Authentication using OAuth
  • Email notifications and customer management, integrating with Drip
  • Paranoid data collection using PostgreSQL at
  • A REAL set of checkout data, including geolocating IP addresses, payment and processor retention
  • I built a site that I want to use, far beyond a typical demo. That site is yours along with over 3 hours of video explanation.

All of the code in the video and the book is available in our Github repository. You can download individual chapters, or checkout with Git.

Buy Now: $30
A 3 Minute Preview
What You Will Build

Check This Out

This site was a lot of fun to build, and you can mess around with it live. Email is disabled on checkout and the Stripe charges all go to a test account, so there is no money involved.

See The Demo Site
Not Just a Foo Bar Demo

I can’t stand those! No, if you want to dig in and see if a toolset, framework or programming discipline is worth while, you have to build something with it. That’s what we’re going to do.

Secure Web Hosting
We setup a beautiful site using Middleman (though it’s not required), protected by SSL, and stop worrying about routes and view templating.
Secure File Storage
We’re selling access for fun things to do on our Martian base; all of it digital. Normally this means expensive CDNs are insecure URLs. Firebase helps with both of those things at a very cheap price.
Serverless Functions
The Buzzword of the day, sure, but it might also have some merit. Deploy small, event-driven functions quickly… or grind it out with Docker or some monolithic nightmare framework? Hmmm…
Realtime Database
Firebase is fun, that’s all there is to it. It’s also fast, and its realtime nature gives you some amazing alternatives.
How do you authenticate users on a static web site? What does that even mean? Firebase has a great answer to this, and we’ll wire it up quickly, using OAuth.
Service Integration
Most companies have a mailing list but don’t consider how much more capable it can be. With Drip, you can automate and manage just about everything when it comes to customer engagement. We’ll do just that.


Don’t want to commit right now? No problem – watch the first 30 minutes of the production to see if it works for you.

Or Just Pull The Trigger

For the price of a burger and a few beers, you could spend the weekend (or your commute) learning about one of the most fascinating new ways to build software.

Buy Now: $30