This is a common issue or problem that I hear during my conversations with would-be entrepreneurs. They have excellent ideas that could change the world, but they don't have the cash to engage a software house, or they do not have the requisite technical skills to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Worse, Angel investors and VCs want to see an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) before investing in your startup. So what do you do?
There is no need to despair because the no-code movement is built for you!
First of all what is "no-code,” you ask? No-code platforms such as bubble.is help you create user interfaces and perform data manipulation using visual interfaces without needing to write programs. The user interface generates the code in the background and lets you, the entrepreneur, to focus on functionality and create value for your customers.
What use cases are best for you to use no-code? Use it to test your Minimum Viable Product or validate your customer behavior hypothesis. Don't use it for robust B2B critical infrastructure type solutions (e.g., if you are building a competitor to AWS or Stripe).
How do I learn to build my MVP? Here are a few sites that teach you the concepts of no-code and help you develop your applications:
- www.nucode.co: As their site says- Learn & Build Apps With No Coding Experience. Join makers & experts learning & building products with no-code tools.
- www.indiehackers.com is another website with a support system for lifestyle and full-on entrepreneurs (Stripe bought this site). It also has a no-code area/ focus.
What are the top tools or sites that you can use?
Finally, here are a few solutions that you can use to build your startup's MVP:
1. Airtable (online visual datasheet that can replace traditional databases). This tools has evolved to become much more than just a spreadsheet replacement. It has become the answer to many startup’s data management problems—it has the potential to completely transform the work is done.
2. Bubble.is (make web apps visually): According to their website:
“Build any web app with no code- Bubble lets you create interactive, multi-user apps for desktop and mobile web browsers and includes all the tools you need to build a site like Facebook or Airbnb. Scale with robust, hosted infrastructure- Never worry about server maintenance, infrastructure, or operations. Bubble securely handles deployment and hosting for you. There are no hard limits on the number of users, volume of traffic, or data storage.”
3. Glide (convert spreadsheet to apps, pronto): Turn spreadsheets into software. Pick a spreadsheet and Glide instantly generates a real, working app or website to get you started. From their website: “Glide is a no-code app builder that helps you convert your spreadsheets and databases into powerful apps for work. It works by pulling data from sources like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Airtable, or Glide Tables and helping you to turn it into an app.
With Glide, your creations aren’t just limited to apps for the web. You can also create mobile-first applications for Android and iOS devices. Each app you create will default to showing screens for each table in your data source, but you can customize each screen however you like.”. Check out this post on how to build a delivery app>>
4. Adalo (Make IOS/Android apps visually without coding). It is a pretty powerful platform and you can do a lot with it.
What can Adalo do?
- Adalo can build marketplaces, display blog posts, creating a booking system and more
- You can collect In-app payments
- You can make a subscription app with Adalo-They have a Stripe Subscription component which you can use to charge your users a recurring fee.
- Build a Marketplace style app with Adalo- You can have an app for buyers and sellers like Ebay or Uber, where sellers or merchants can offer goods or services to consumers. You can allow merchants to connect their bank accounts so they payouts are handled automatically
- Share a database between apps- You can connect multiple apps to the same database. Whether you're building a multi-sided marketplace, apps for franchise locations, or an admin app, it can all be done with Adalo.
- And you can add chat and direct messaging features to your app
- Here is a link to their FAQs>>
5. SaaSbox.net (launch a SaaS business without the hassle).
SaaSBox is an “All-in-one software to launch your SaaS business. Launch your SaaS in hours instead of weeks. SaaSBox is a turnkey package of hosted software handling authentication, subscription and dashboards for your SaaS.”
6. Sharetribe.com (create a marketplace business, (like Airbnb), on the double). From their website:”Sharetribe's marketplace software and platform expertise take you where you want to go. From idea to launch, profitability to growth, and beyond. Create a website like Airbnb, eBay, or Fiverr and make money while your users rent or sell goods, spaces, or services. Build and launch your fully functional marketplace in one day — without writing a line of code!”
8. Zapier (connect applications without code/automate work and the need to write APIs)
The above is just a few of the apps I have looked through, and there are plenty more out there- search for "no-code applications" on your duckduckgo search engine!
What are the other tools that you use/know? Add on to the list and help other founders out. Start building, Chase your dreams, and change the world now!
PS: Some of the links above are affiliate links.