Nocode has existed for years in tightly constrained verticals. Squarespace is an example of NoCode for basic websites, and Shopify has emerged as a (semi) no-code for eCommerce. In the last few years, however, a number of companies have emerged who are using NoCode to build more generic, complex web applications.
Traditionally these No-code web applications were very constrained in their capabilities. That appears to be changing at exactly the same time a number of new entrepreneurs will be trying to build new bootstrapped businesses.
I’ve been using one of these NoCode platforms (Bubble.io) to develop a few prototypes for a few months now. As a person with a CS background, I came in with low expectations and came out impressed. Bubble is much more comprehensive than what I had expected. With the correct tweaks and plugins, you can build pretty good standard applications quickly. As an example, here is a Yelp Clone, an AirBnB Clone and an Upwork Clone built in Bubble.
If your differentiator is not purely technical, this may be a good place to start. With that in mind, NoCode (and Bubble in particular) still has major limitations and I am currently skeptical it will work for larger or tech-focused businesses. The aspects of simplicity that make no code fantastically easy in the beginning hurt it as your software becomes more and more complex.
From what I can see, no code will become the working prototype of the future. Entrepreneurs will use them to build out their first versions – getting the flow and MVP just right. If the company and needs remain small and simple, they’ll stick with no-code as it drops a ton of complexity (especially around DevOps). If their company or business explodes, they’ll have a team rebuild it with a standard programming language.
This new model of no-code prototyping -> scalable codebase will reduce overall development a ton and result in a different kind of entrepreneur as technical strength will not be required from the get-go. Instead, entrepreneurial teams will be even more focused on talent in product and front-end design.
- No-code development tools paid templates and plugins. (Expect a ThemeForest for NoCode)
- More No- code applications for specific verticals. Shopify is pretty close to a “nocode” for eCommerce. WordPress is a “nocode” blogging site. Expect more “nocodes” apps to emerge for integrations & migrations,
- Nocode developer certifications and developer marketplaces. We’ll see a bunch of marketplaces opening up with no-code developers who can get your product to market in weeks.
- No-code development shops that will help non-technical entrepreneurs get to market pretty quickly and much more cheaply than with existing full-stack development platforms.
If you currently are working on one of these opportunities or want to work on them, please contact me at charlie at iamcharliegraham dot com