Why the No-Code Movement is Important? –📱 The Discourse #17

Status quo, use cases, examples, and how to get started.

In today’s edition of The Discourse, we’re discussing No-code! What does it mean, why is it important, what’s the status quo, what are the use cases, examples, and how to get started.

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Alright, let’s start!

There are two fundamental skills in business — building, and selling. And if you can do both, you will be unstoppable. Here is where the no-code comes in.

What is No-code?

No-code/low-code has been defined in many ways by different people. To me:

No-code allows anyone to visually create websites/apps/functionality that would normally require technical skills.

Why is it important?

The Gutenberg press democratized publishing. Desktop software for music creation and phone cameras for video creation democratized media production. Similarly, no-code democratizes the creation of software.

Imagine if hundreds of creators (design, product, business, sales, media people) with limited technical skills could create apps from scratch.

The value that this can unlock for society is immense. Especially when customer-focused people can quickly build something, get feedback, and iterate on it.

What is the status quo?

As a non-technical person, you have an idea and you want to build something that solves a customer's problem. The first instinct that you have is to find a developer to build out the idea.

This becomes both difficult and expensive. Unless you already have someone in your network who is good and who you can trust. Finding a good developer is quite challenging.

Outsourcing development of your product to developers working on projects results in the principal-agent problem where the agent is motivated to act in their own best interests unless incentives are aligned well.

Also, in today's world, you should be validating demand much earlier and only then seek to build something that is fully featured.

You should conduct research and experiments before investing time and money into development.

And when adoption scales, you can always get developers on board to build robust and scalable solutions. Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb, had to find a technical co-founder to build out Airbnb. Imagine if others like him could build products by themselves.

Where can no-code apps be used?

MVPs and Validation

42% of startups fail because they don’t solve a big enough market problem. You can quickly test out your hypothesis using a landing page and a waitlist. This is the first step of validation that you should do.

After the validation, it is possible to create robust apps in Glide and Bubble to get the MVP ready to test with early adopters to get feedback and traction.

Of course, once it starts scaling and you begin to reach the edges of no-code due to limited functionality or scaling issues, you can move over to code. 

Most products built on a tech-stack also need a rewrite when things scale. So it turns out to be the same problem faced using either of the methods.

But in this way you’ve got market validation before you invest money into engineering resources.

Marketing Websites

Website builders like Webflow and Squarespace have become sophisticated enough to handle more dynamic content. 

It makes sense to create your company’s website using one of these tools rather than take up the time of your frontend developer. This frees up engineering time for more complex tasks and to work on the core product.

Side projects

If you're an indie maker and looking to express your creativity, you can use no-code apps to bring your idea to life. The benefit of a side project is that you're not expecting every one of it to have explosive growth, but you're in the process of learning.  

What do the skeptics say?

Success Stories

The common argument against no-code: "Show me examples of real companies built only on no-code."

But the actual question should be: “Which companies started off as no code, validated the need, and then transitioned to code.”

In any case, the No-code movement is relatively new, and it will take a while to get results. One of the apps built entirely on Adalo getting acquired proves the hypothesis.

From a user's perspective, the tech-stack is irrelevant. As long as the users get their problem solved with decent performance, it won't matter.

What have I built?

A free, private, and simple app to improve your mental health by practicing mindfulness and identifying distortions in thinking.

🛠 Tools Used: Glide, Figma

Build better portfolios with readymade templates and learn how to keep them updated through an email course.

🛠 Tools Used: Carrd, Notion, Gumroad, Zapier, Mailerlite

What has the community built?

A social connecting platform where you can build meaningful social connections with like-minded people from Twitter and online communities. 2200+ beta users on the waitlist, 1200+ virtual coffee sessions, featured onWIRED.com and The New Yorker.

🛠 Tools Used: Bubble, Webflow

A guide to decrease the effort and time to make a side project with no code. Used by more than 2000+ no-code makers.

🛠 Tools Used: Webflow, Typeform

A place for makers like you, to build, launch, and validate your business ideas in no-time with no-code.

🛠 Tools Used: Carrd

How to get started?

This depends on your need. Do you want to build simple informational apps or do you want to build apps with more features?

Here is a list of sites that you can get started with:

  • Carrd for simple landing pages (easy)

  • Notion for guides/landing pages - Here is a thread with examples of what people are using it for (easy)

  • Glide for simple brochure-type apps (easy)

  • Mailerlite / Mailchimp (for email) (easy)

  • Gumroad / Stripe / Instamojo / Razorpay for payments (easy)

  • Airtable / Google Sheets for backend (medium)

  • Webflow for websites, web apps, guides (medium)

  • Zapier for gluing everything together (medium)

  • Bubble / Adalo for more functional web apps (hard)

How long does it take?

It depends on what you're building, but it would definitely take more time to decide on the content rather than building the app.

Further resources:

  1. Nocoloco - Podcast of my No-Code journey

  2. Hellomeets - From Sketch to Launch using No-code

  3. Adalo's - The Future is No-Code 

  4. Webflow's - No-Code Revolution 

That's it for today. Let me know how you liked this edition? Are you interested in no-code? Comment on this and I would love to discuss it with you!

Talk to you soon!

— Kavir

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