Modern Makers #39 - What Do You Care About?

💰 Zapier acquires Makerpad ⚡ New Zapier trigger for Coda

Welcome to issue #39 of Modern Makers

This week in the agenda:👇

🖕 What do you give a fuck about? 5 learnings from Mark Manson’s book
💰 Zapier acquires Makerpad and its community of no-code makers
⚡ A new Zapier trigger for Coda
📅 No-Code Week starts tomorrow, an online event all about no-code


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

This week I spent some time testing Rows, a tool I told you about two weeks ago following the announcement of their $16M Series B. I'm trying to see how it could help me when it comes to prospecting in my daily work as a SaaS Account Executive. I tried the native integrations with (to find the professional email of a particular person) and with LinkedIn (to list all LinkedIn profiles with the same job title within the same company). More details on my Twitter account.

My 30 day free trial with Roam Research has come to an end. Despite a very mixed initial impression, Roam Research has become an essential part in my content creation process in the space of a few weeks. Roam still has some rather restrictive limitations and a high price tag ($15 per month), but the benefits are so obvious that it has convinced me. It is also a tool whose added value will only increase over time, as I keep adding notes to the database and let Roam create connections between them.

Finally, I took advantage of the current promotion on Softr and switched to the Maker plan, which will allow me to launch a few projects this year.

📚 Book of the week

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Author: Mark Manson
Release date: 2016

A book I read a few years ago when it was first published. I've really enjoyed re-reading this book this week as part of my work for this newsletter. I'm also going to offer it as a present for my brother’s birthday this week. Here are 5 essential points:

  1. Solving problems will make you happy - True happiness comes from solving problems. Unfortunately, many people don't understand this. Either because they're in denial and they refuse to admit that they have problems. Or they don't want to take responsibility for solving their problems. They will blame others and find excuses. Solving problems will make you happy. In a way, happiness is then a form of action, an activity that you must try to do as often as possible. Wishing for a life with no problems isn't a realistic goal anyway. You will always have problems to solve. Your goal should be to increase the quality of your problems. To upgrade them. Solving better problems is the key to true happiness.

  2. Be in love with the process, not with the outcome - Our society tends to only show us the results, not the pain and the process to get there. You see a famous and rich musician and you start envying her. But are you willing to go through the process and deal with the pain? To play music every single day for decades? To perform in front of 10 people for years? To spend weeks on the road living in a van? Overnight success doesn't exist. The question then shouldn't be "what do you want to enjoy?" but "what is the pain you want to sustain?". Your struggles determine your successes. The joy is in the process.

  3. You are always choosing - We tend to see responsibility and fault as the same thing. People often think that if they are responsible for something, it's because it's their fault. But that's not how it works. You can still be responsible for things that are other people's fault. You can't always control what happens to you. However, you're always in control when it comes to deciding how you want to react to what's happening to you. You will feel empowered if you are choosing what problems you want to solve. If problems are being forced upon you, you will feel miserable. You're responsible for everything that happens in your life. Nobody else. Accepting responsibility for our problems is the first step to solving them. Life is like a poker game. You can't control which cards you will be served but you're responsible for how you will play these cards.

  4. The goal isn't to be right. The goal is to be less wrong - Certainty is the enemy of growth. People who are certain about things don't grow. Growth instead should be an iterative process - when you learn something new, you go from "wrong" to "less wrong". Not from "wrong" to "right". Uncertainty is where progress and growth happen. Try to be less wrong today than you were yesterday. And repeat that process every day.

  5. The power of NO - To achieve a sense of meaning and importance in your life, you must narrow your freedom by rejecting alternatives and opportunities. You have to commit to some things - a person, a career, a country, a passion... If you don't reject anything, it means you stand for nothing. And that nothing really matters in the end. If that's the case, you will feel as if your life is meaningless and empty. You must then embrace rejection (giving it and receiving it). You need to give a fuck about something. If you value X, it means you choose to reject the opposite, everything that is non-X. Your identity will be defined by what you choose to reject. Commitment gives us freedom as we are no longer distracted by non-important and frivolous things. Commitment is the only way to truly focus on something. It makes our decision-making process much easier. And it makes you stop worrying about missing out. You know what you have is what's best for you and what makes you truly happy. So you start ignoring the rest. You stop chasing. And you start enjoying.

Some other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🎧 Spotify Founder Daniel Ek on Optimising Decision-Making - 20VC - the CEO of Spotify was invited on Harry Stebbings' podcast. In this episode, Daniel talks about many topics including the European startup ecosystem, becoming a parent as well as his investment fund Prima Materia.

  • ⛓️ Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum, on Understanding Ethereum - Tim Ferriss - If like me you're interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, this episode is for you! Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum (which he created when he was just 19) answers questions from Tim Ferriss and Naval Ravikant. Highly recommended! Also on this topic, I bought the book The Infinite Machine by Camila Russo which traces the history of Ethereum

  • 📊 Excel Never Dies - Not Boring by Packy McCormick - a very long article about the most iconic spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel! The article looks at the origins of Excel, the reasons behind its incredible success, the limitations of Excel and the way it inspired some of the leading no-code tools

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Zapier announced the acquisition of Makerpad. Makerpad is a no-code education platform with a huge number of tutorials and a very active community. Makerpad was founded in 2019 by Ben Tossell, a former Product Hunt employee. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. It should be noted that this is the first acquisition made by Zapier since it was founded in 2011, a company that is now valued at over $5 billion. SaaS publishers seem to have a growing interest in communities. In recent years, we have seen Stripe acquire Indie Hackers, AngelList → Product Hunt and Hubspot → The Hustle just a couple of weeks ago.

Fun fact: it was this tweet that was the starting point for this acquisition. After reading this tweet, Wade Foster, Zapier's CEO, contacted Ben Tossell to have a chat about a potential acquisition. Finally, Wade and Ben will be on Clubhouse this Wednesday to talk about the future of no-code.

Read the official press release by Zapier

No-Code Week is an online event organised by StartupStarter. It starts tomorrow and runs until March 25th. In the agenda: a selection of conferences, workshops and demos as well as networking opportunities. Topics include automation, fundraising and web/mobile application development. Adalo, Softr, Bubble and Typeform are among the partners of this edition. This event is 100% free, you can book your ticket here.

Coda users now have access to a new trigger in Zapier: "Updated Row". Until now, Coda only had one trigger for automations: creating a new row in your database. This long-awaited new trigger makes it possible to start an automation each time an item is updated.

If you are not yet familiar with Coda (which is my case), I recommend this Twitter thread which will give you a good overview of the possibilities it offers.

Airtable has released a new trigger within Airtable Automations. This "when webhook received" trigger will allow you to generate a URL for your webhook that you can use within another service of your choice. Each time this URL is called, Airtable will use this signal as a trigger for your automation. This new feature allows you to connect Airtable to many more tools than it currently does natively.

Speaking of Airtable, the service has been down twice this week. Between that and the increasingly painful slowness of Notion, my favorite tools are struggling a bit so far this year…

📦 And also…

As always, if you're enjoying Modern Makers, I would love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I do my best to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it!

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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools or if you want to have a virtual coffee with me ☕

Have a great week, and keep building!


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