Internal tools: the real promise of no-code?

Modern Makers - 30/08/2020

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Hi makers,

This week in the agenda:

💰 A new funding round for a no-code startup from Europe

🎮 The video game Civilization VI recreated on Webflow

🏆 A no-code challenge organised by Makerpad

Enjoy!


Among the many no-code projects that we are seeing, a large majority will involve some kind of “public applications”: an Airbnb-style marketplace, a Tinder clone, a social network for a specific community…

These are often the most highlighted and shared projects and they are also often used as examples when it comes to illustrating the potential of no-code tools. David Peterson (in charge of partnerships at Airtable) has published an excellent article on Medium entitled: “Why “no code operations” will be the next big job in tech”.

David's point of view is the following: the real potential of no-code lies in the internal projects and tools it allows to create. In every company, current workflows and processes are not optimised and many hours of productivity could be generated through the implementation of no-code tools.

No-code tools must be able to allow Sales, Marketing, HR or Finance teams to solve their own problems, by themselves. Until now, the scenario was often the same: you identify a problem internally, a process that could be optimised and that could save you time in your day-to-day work. As you don’t have any technical skills or knowledge, you are therefore compelled to contact your IT department and submit your project to them.

Problem #1: your IT department probably doesn’t have the necessary resources (lack of talent on the market for example). Problem #2: you might get a solution from them, but it may take several weeks (or even months) before you get a first version that will not exactly fit your needs. Additional work is therefore necessary, as is the maintenance of this internal tool in the future.

Obtaining an ideal, tailor-made automation process or tool can only be achieved if the project is carried out by the person who is confronted with this problem on a daily basis. This is where no-code tools bring all their added value, by shortening production times and enabling the creation of the ideal solution to meet this particular business need.

When the person who feels the pain is also empowered to build the solution, the result is magical and utterly unique.

On top of that, David also thinks that no-code is not an excuse for not learning how to code. Combining the mastery of no-code tools with programming knowledge could well make you absolutely essential and indispensable for any company.

I completely agree with this vision that gives more responsibility to employees to solve their own challenges by themselves using no-code tools. No-code tools are here to empower employees who don’t have technical skills. Like David, I think we're going to see more and more job offers for this type of role, whose main mission will be to automate the processes and workflows of all the teams in a startup.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with this prediction?

Leave a comment


💰 Funding

This week, the Icelandic startup Grid closes $12M Series A after a seed round of $3.5M in March 2019. Grid allows you to take data from an Excel or Google Sheet file and turn it into visual and interactive documents that can then be shared internally. Unlike other solutions, Grid does not seek to convince users to adopt a new tool to manage their spreadsheets, but rather to improve the experience of sharing and visualising all this data.

With Grid, a user shares only the visual rendering of data. The spreadsheet and the formulas it contains thus remain in the hands of the user, which is of course more practical for security reasons (and to avoid for example that a collaborator deletes rows of data).


🧰 Product

A new feature available on Adalo: Custom Actions Outputs. Thanks to this feature, external components can now receive but also send back data to your mobile application.

To help us better understand how it all works, Adalo has published a video showing a concrete example where weather data from the Weather API is fed back directly into Adalo.


📅 Events

The Makerpad Challenge T30 starts on Tuesday the 1st of September. You have 30 days to create a no-code project and try to win this competition. Projects can be done alone or in teams. If the prizes offered are not enough to motivate you (we're talking about an iPad Pro for the winner), the composition of the jury in charge of selecting the best projects might convince you to participate!

Some members of the jury: Ryan Hoover (founder of Product Hunt), Wade Foster (CEO of Zapier), Sahil Lavingia (founder of Gumroad), Shaan Puri (who created the excellent podcast My First Million) and Anne-Laure Le Cunff (founder of Ness Labs).

Makerpad Challenge T30


Project

Recreating a video game on a no-code tool: this is the crazy project Sarkis Buniatyan has embarked on. A big fan of the game Civilization VI, Sarkis has unveiled this week his version of the game, created on Webflow.

A titanic project (I don't even want to imagine the number of hours of work that Sarkis spent on this project) with 12,400 elements, 1800 styles, 1200 assets and 400 interactions for a total weight of 124 gigas! Pure madness!

You can clone the project on your Webflow account to study in detail the creation of the site or launch your own game. With this project Sarkis wanted to demonstrate that no-code tools are not just basic website builders with limited capabilities. Mission accomplished!

The next time someone tries to dismiss nocode or asks you what's possible, just ping them this link

Civilization VI on Webflow


📦 In other news


📖 No-code in the news

COVID-19 is driving demand for low-code apps - TechCrunch

Is Low-Code Or No-Code Development Suitable For Your Startup App Idea? - Forbes

Can citizen coding help businesses against Covid-19? - ITProPortal

5 sales automation workflows to help you close more deals - Zapier

No Code Programing: What could it mean for blockchain - CoinJournal


That’s all for this week. If you like the content, don't hesitate to share it with your friends or colleagues.

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Have a great week,

Martin,

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