Modern Makers #35 - What's your WHY?

💰 SAP acquires no-code platform AppGyver 🇸🇴 Notion went down! Is Somalia involved?

Modern Makers is a weekly newsletter where I share with you a selection of the best available content about no-code and productivity tools. I hope this content will help you grow your business, launch your project or automate your work.

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Hello makers,

Welcome to the new makers who have joined us since last week's newsletter. I hope you had a great weekend.

As you can see, this newsletter is exceptionally sent on a Monday. I promise you, it has nothing to do with a certain Mario (see below). I'm off this Monday and with the Valentine's Day weekend, I didn't really have time to complete this edition at the usual time. That being said, I'm curious to see what the impact will be on the opening rate of this email.

Last week, I had the opportunity to be invited on the No-Code France podcast. A 60 minutes discussion with Alexis, one of the two founders of Contournement. We talked about no-code of course but also about newsletters, personal finance, and even Bitcoin. Here is the link to listen to this episode (in French). Many thanks to Alexis for the invitation.

I also had the opportunity to talk with Jean Michel, the CEO of TimeTonic, a no-code tool made in France and which is very reminiscent of Airtable. There are indeed a lot of obvious common points between these two tools but TimeTonic comes to offer some really interesting features to stand out. The founders seem to have big ambitions for this year and TimeTonic is, therefore, one of the tools to follow in my opinion.

I have also started using Typefully, the ideal complement to Twitter. Concretely, Typefully allows you to write, program, and send your tweets from a very simple interface: a text editor in a central column and another column that allows you to preview your tweet. Typefully is extremely handy especially for writing threads, a series of tweets that are linked together. I've gotten into the habit of using Typefully every night to schedule a few tweets for the next day.

This week in the agenda:👇

❓ The importance of your WHY
🤝 Behind the scenes of the Hubspot/The Hustle deal
💰 SAP acquired no-code platform AppGyver
🇸🇴 Notion went down! Why Somalia might be responsible


📚 Book of the week

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

Author: Simon Sinek
Release date: October 2011

You probably already know this book which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Its author, Simon Sinek, has become a very important personality and his book is now considered a reference on the topics of leadership & inspiration. Start With Why is overall a very good book even if some points annoyed me a bit. Simon tends to always mention the same examples throughout the book: Apple, Martin Luther King, Harley Davidson, Southwest Airlines, and the Wright Brothers. I think this is typically the kind of book that would benefit from being shorter. On the other hand, it made me think about what I want to accomplish with this newsletter in the future and in particular how I communicate about this project. Instead of focusing on the fact that it is a weekly newsletter (the WHAT), I need to think about my WHY. Here are 5 essential points:

  1. WHY / HOW / WHAT - the cornerstone of this book, also called the Golden Circle. The WHAT - the product or service you offer. The HOW: your value proposition, your process, or your Unique Selling Proposition. The WHY: the raison d'être of your business. Why does your company exist? Why should people care? Why do you wake up every morning to work on it?

    Without a clear and well-defined WHY, companies find themselves focusing on their WHAT, forcing them to communicate only about their products and to try to differentiate themselves from the competition through promotions. "People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it." It's about being consistent and making sure your actions match your words. The only way to create a real sense of trust with your employees and customers is to have a perfect alignment between your WHY, HOW & WHAT. Too many companies focus first on their WHAT, to the detriment of their WHY. Everything should start with WHY

  2. The Law of Diffusion - According to Everett M. Rogers' law of diffusion, success in the mass market can only be achieved after penetrating between 15 and 18% of the market.

    So your initial goal is to focus on people who are aligned with your values and your WHY (the left side of the curve). These two groups (Innovators and Early Adopters) represent only 16% of the population. These people are willing to pay a premium to access your product (people queuing for 8 hours to buy the latest iPhone is the example highlighted by Simon). By targeting Innovators and Early Adopters, you will be able to reach the Tipping Point, the moment when the general public will adopt your product or service. Starting to market your product by focusing on the mass (Early Majority + Late Majority) and communicating only around your WHAT will not allow you to create loyalty and trust with your customers

  3. Manipulation versus Inspiration - Manipulation & Inspiration are the only two ways to influence people's behavior. The first is effective in the short/medium term. The second allows for a long-lasting effect over time. A few examples of manipulations: lowering your prices, making a promotional offer (1 bought 1 offered), peer pressure ... all these tactics work. But there is of course a counterpart to this: none of these tactics creates loyalty to your brand. You also create expectations on the part of your customers who will expect to pay a certain price in the future. The only way to inspire your employees and customers is to focus on your WHY

  4. Hire people who believe in your WHY - You don't recruit skilled people hoping to motivate them. Rather, you should try to recruit people who are already motivated by your cause and you should try to inspire them. "You don't hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills." If your employees are fulfilled and motivated, it will have a positive impact on your customers. If your customers are loyal, passionate about your brand and recognize themselves in your WHY, it will have a positive impact on your sales and revenue. This will make your shareholders happy. So the best way to satisfy your shareholders is to make your teams happy and motivated. Employees → Customers → Shareholders. In that order.

  5. The importance of knowing yourself - are you a WHY type person or rather a HOW type person? The WHY types are visionaries with an overflowing imagination. They tend to be optimistic and believe that everything they can imagine can be accomplished. HOW" types are more pragmatic and realistic and will be there to accomplish the WHY vision and bring the project to life. It is therefore very important for a CEO (who tend to be WHY types) to surround himself well and to partner with a COO (HOW type) who will be able to execute the founder's vision. Note that the CEO and founder may very well be a HOW type. However, it will probably be difficult for him to build a billion-dollar business or change the world. If you are a very ambitious HOW type, you might be better off trying to find a WHY type founder and help her develop her vision

Some other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🖱️ Customize your browser homepage in Google Sheets - Zapier - Tyler Robertson from Zapier shows us how to turn a Google Sheet into a real dashboard with a to-do list, a notepad, a widget with the time and date of the day and even a video game

  • 🤝 Selling The Hustle for Millions: How The Hustle & Hubspot Deal Happene‪d - My First Million - Hubspot announced last week the acquisition of The Hustle. In this episode, Sam from The Hustle and Kieran (a VP at Hubspot) give us more details about this transaction. At some point, they even read out loud the initial email Sam received from the CEO of Hubspot. I find it very interesting to have the buyer and seller's point of view on a deal of this magnitude and to be able to get behind the scenes of this transaction

  • 🎮 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Nintendo - It's been a long time since I've bought a video game. In today's context, the colorful world of Mario is doing me a lot of good. I hadn't been able to play the original episode on GameCube, so this Switch version released last Friday offers a great catch-up session while including a new Browser's Fury adventure

And now, the no-code news of the week!

SAP has announced the acquisition of AppGyver, a no-code tool for building web applications, mainly for the Enterprise segment. The German giant (4th largest software publisher in the world) is thus offering itself a new acquisition, its first since 2018. AppGyver will be integrated into the SAP Business Technology Platform.

“Going forward, we can deliver a full range of simple and integrated application development tools that allow customers, partners and our own teams to enhance process automation and further improve the experience for users of SAP applications. By adding AppGyver’s solutions to our own no-code capabilities, we facilitate the creation of workflows, forms, robotic process automation and lightweight case management.”

The Finnish company, created in 2010, had raised a total of $11 million. Details of the financial transaction were not disclosed.

Online form tool Tally has added a new Form Calculator feature. You can now use the value of an answer to a question to perform calculations. This functionality gives your forms a new dimension. Here are some concrete examples of how to use it: calculate and display the score of a quiz, give a value to respondents (to do lead qualification for example) or apply a discount and display the updated price. More details about this new feature on Tally's blog.

Notion was down for a few hours last Friday morning 😱 . Thousands of freelancers, consultants, designers and no-coders have seen their productivity and work strongly impacted, Notion having become an absolutely crucial tool for them. Notion presents itself as an "All-in-one workspace" designed to replace all the other tools you use. A tool that is self-sufficient. This episode demonstrates the importance of having a plan B when such a tool fails. We do not know the exact cause of this incident. Notion has a domain name in .so, a domain extension that has since become fashionable. Small reminder: domain name extensions belong to countries, in this case, .so is the property of Somalia 🇸🇴 . In 2015, the Somali government decided that these .so domains should in the future be reserved only for official government sites. One-year extensions were offered to people and companies that already had such a domain. Notion assures that this incident is in no way related to Somalia. Notion bought the domain at the beginning of 2020 (currently it is a simple redirection to and it would therefore not be surprising to see their main domain soon switch to .com.

📦 And also…

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Have a great week, and keep building!


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