Modern Makers #43 - What We Can Learn From Disney

🎢 5 learnings from Bob Iger's Masterclass 💳 New features coming to Webflow

Welcome to issue #43 of Modern Makers

This week in the agenda:👇

🎢 Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership on Masterclass
💳 New features coming to Webflow
📊 The results of the study "The Rise of the No-Code Economy" by Formstack


Welcome to the new makers who have joined us since the last newsletter.

I tried Typedream, a tool discovered on Twitter thanks to Patrice. Typedream allows you to create websites and pages with an experience that looks familiar if you’re already using Notion or Tally. But my experience wasn’t ideal as the interface was very slow (at least during my tests). It's a pity because the tool looks great and easy to use. I’ll try to test again in a few weeks to see if the performance has improved or not.

I also discovered Endel via the french newsletter Cool Guys. Endel is an app that offers ambient music and different modes: Relax, Focus and Sleep. Unlike other applications of this type, Endel's compositions are created by artificial intelligence and a team of scientists. Endel takes several factors into account, including your heart rate (if you have an Apple Watch), the weather and the different times of the day. I like the Focus mode for my work sessions and the Relax mode for my evening reading. The app is available on Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, Alexa and Android.

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📚 Content of the week

Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership
Platform: Masterclass

Bob Iger has been the CEO of Disney since 2005. In his 15 years as CEO, he has made four prestigious acquisitions: Pixar, 21st Century Fox, Marvel and Lucasfilm. I watched his masterclass, here are 5 essential points:

  • 🤝 The art of negotiation - When it comes to negotiation, Bob focuses on efficiency. He is very candid, direct and transparent about what he wants to achieve. He is very upfront. Bob believes it will make the negotiation shorter and will give the other party a chance to say what they want to get from this deal. That's how he managed the negotiation with Steve Jobs when he wanted to acquire Pixar. During the negotiation with 21st Century Fox, he had to compete with Comcast. They made a $65B cash offer, topping Disney's offer of $62B. This deal was strategic for Disney so Bob decided to raise his offer significantly to avoid back and forth negotiations. And get Comcast in a position where they wouldn't be able to overbid. Disney acquired 21st Century Fox for $71B.

  • 🌪 How to manage disruption - Embrace change - admit disruption is happening. Disney had to react to the rise of Netflix and deliver its content directly to consumers. That's what Disney successfully did with the launch of Disney+ (which now has more than 100M subscribers). In general, when it comes to disruption, it's better to be the disruptor instead of the disrupted. Be in the present while leading into the future. Embrace disruption and don't be afraid to disrupt yourself. Change is inevitable. Be at the forefront.

  • 🌅 The importance of your mornings - Bob wakes up at 4:15am every day and arrives at work at 6:30am. As a leader, he believes it's important to be the first person in the office. “If you’re running the show, you should be the first one there. Your morning time is precious. This is the time of day when you’re at your most creative. Don’t rush it and don't waste it reading your emails. Take some time to focus on the big picture and think about the main things you want to do today. At the end of the day, try to take some time to reflect on your day.

  • 💬 Encourage feedback - Bob wants a company culture that encourages and rewards honesty and candor. It echoes what Reed Hastings (Netflix's CEO) talks about in his book No Rules Rules (you can read my notes here). You must create a culture where people can give you honest feedback. You want nothing but the truth. Bob is having lunch on a weekly basis with his direct reports. He wants to encourage people to be accountable and to share with him the bad news. It forces him to hear criticisms, which can be tough. But it’s also essential. As a leader, you need to encourage your employees to be honest with you and accept responsibility for your failures.

  • 3️⃣ What are your 3 priorities? You shouldn't have more than three priorities for your business. In the case of Bob his priorities for Disney were: 1) Invest more in high-quality content 2) Use technology to create better content and reach more people 3) Grow globally. Having 3 priorities gives you clarity and focus and makes your message consistent when you're talking to employees, journalists, investors and shareholders.

PS: you can get a Masterclass free 7-day trial

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🖊️ 2020 Letter to Shareholders - Jeff Bezos - Since 1997, Jeff Bezos has sent an annual letter to Amazon shareholders. In 2020, Amazon hired 500,000 employees worldwide. And Amazon Web Services generated 45 billion in revenue. This is Jeff's last letter as he will be stepping down as CEO in a few months.

  • ✉️ An Inside Look at How 7-Figure Newsletters Make Money - Trends - A 51 slides deck to better understand the newsletter market. With a particular focus on monetization and some case studies with the Morning Brew and New York Times.

  • 🌐 How to Become Insanely Well-Connected - First Round Review - Your network is your net worth. A list of precious tips and mistakes to avoid in order to build a quality professional network.

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

On Monday evening, Webflow held a conference to give us more visibility on its product roadmap. So what can we expect from Webflow this year? The main announcement concerns the introduction of a Memberships feature. It’ll allow you to create members' spaces within Webflow and to gate your content. No more need to use a third-party solution such as Memberstack. This is the feature that was the most requested by the community. A private BETA of this feature is planned for the last quarter of this year.

Webflow also wants to improve collaboration within its platform. It will soon be possible to work with several people on the same project. It’s clear that Webflow has a strong focus on the stability, performance and security. I’m disappointed as I was hoping to have information about a workflow functionality that would allow us to build apps.

Formstack has published the results of its study "The Rise of the No Code Economy" in which more than 1,000 people took part. Some stats that caught my attention:

  • 82% of respondents are not familiar with the term "no-code" - so there is still work to be done to evangelize the no-code movement

  • 56% of people who know how to code use no-code tools - proof that code and no-code can be complementary

Why do people use no-code tools?

  1. Ease of use: 38%

  2. Faster development speed: 19%

  3. Easier to maintain: 15%

What problems are people trying to solve with no-code?

  1. Create a prototype / MVP: 38%

  2. Automate a process or workflow: 19%

  3. Create an app: 17%

3 reasons why no-code is growing:

  1. Digital transformation has accelerated with the pandemic

  2. A rejuvenated workforce with the generation Z, more inclined to test and adopt new tools

  3. A real need for autonomy for employees who want to solve their own problems

You can read the full report here. The replay of the event is also available here.

📦 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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