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I want to build a product but have no coding skills

Problem πŸ€•

I want to build an extensive product, but don't know how to code. A good proof of concept for which I don't have to invest a huge amount of money.

Solution πŸ•΅οΈ

No-code tools like Webflow, Bubble, Adalo combined with automation tools such as Zapier or Integromat can create super-powerful products. Add Airtable to it, you can build almost anything.

Why and when to worry about this? ⏱️

a. Rationale

Just a few years back, aspiring entrepreneurs would reach out to software agencies to build a product. Not anymore.

Building it yourself gives you full control over it. You understand it entirely, can fix the bugs, and also involve other non-tech people in handling the product. Of course, saving money is a huge bonus.

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b. Timing

Avoid starting with this till you validate your idea or build a good audience. Building with no-code is empowering, but still unnecessary till you can actually sell the product.

Tools πŸ‘

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Implementation πŸ”¨

a. Realistic expectation

No-code is powerful, but it does come with limitations. However, in the beginning, having constraints is good, as it forces you to keep your product simple. Find workarounds and get your work done.

Finally, no-code doesn't need you to know to code. But it still does need you to understand the basic of websites. Don't get intimidated, instead put some work to learn new concepts.

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b. Process

We focus this report on building with Webflow. Bubble is more powerful but also has a steeper learning curve.

We don't discuss the exact steps to make a product. Instead, we talk about the broad path you would need to take to build a product and the roles played by each tool you need to use.

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  • The popular "no-code stack" comprises:
  • ~Webflow
  • ~Memberstack
  • ~Airtable
  • ~Zapier

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  • Webflow‍
  • ~You will start here and build the entire website's interface
  • ~~Basically, everything you visually want on your website will have to be set up here
  • ~As a prerequisite, you should understand basics of HTML/CSS (honestly, super easy)
  • ~~Here's a quick video for you to understand these basics
  • ~Webflow's own videos are really good and quite hilarious
  • ~~Spend a couple of hours watching those videos while also trying those concepts on Webflow‍
  • ~Pro-tip: Avoid starting pages from scratch. Use pre-made templates‍
  • ~~Flowbase makes really beautiful templates. You can also search webflow's "Showcase" section
  • ~~Webflow's ecosystem is becoming increasingly strong. So, functionality like filters, sorts, etc. are created by helpful libraries like Finsweet and Jetboost

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  • Memberstack‍
  • ~Next, using this, you can restrict access to certain parts of your Webflow website:
  • ~~By giving a signup/login functionality
  • ~~Adding various membership pricing tiers‍
  • ~Mackenzie Child's video on its integration with Webflow is the best‍
  • ~Pro-tip: Even Memberstack has standard Webflow templates that you can use to build a membership/subscription website

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  • Airtable‍
  • ~Airtable in a nutshell is a sophisticated GoogleSheets/ Excel
  • ~Now, after the Memberstack integration, you have a website that restricts access to certain pages until users sign-up
  • ~Airtable acts a database where you can store all user data
  • ~~Memberstack & Webflow's CMS also have the ability to store data
  • ~~However, Airtable has very powerful functionalities that allow you to manipulate data and add logic on top of it
  • ~If you take the pro plan, the support you get from Airtable is quite incredible

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  • Zapier‍
  • ~Zapier is the glue connecting all the above tools
  • ~So, when a particular event occurs in one of the tools and we want it to impact another tool, Zapier helps us execute that
  • ~Each Zapier operation (or Zap), starts with a "trigger" event in one tool which then allows you to take "actions" on other tools (see below picture)
image.png
  • ~Even Zapier's support is quite helpful in debugging any problem you are stuck in‍

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  • Summary, through the below diagram
image.png

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  • As you can understand, using these tools you can build a product that:
  • ~Has a good interface (using Webflow)
  • ~Restricts access to certain pages to paid users (using Memberstack)
  • ~Can implement complex logic on top of data (using Airtable)
  • ~Work seamlessly (using Zapier to connect all the above)

Related posts to read πŸ“ͺ

If you liked this report, would be great if you could share the below thread on Twitter πŸ˜ƒ.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How to build a complex product with No Code?<br><br>I cover this in Wk #5 = No-VC Report #5.<br><br>Using the most popular no-code stack you can build almost anything:<br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/webflow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@webflow</a><br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/MemberstackApp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MemberstackApp</a><br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/airtable?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@airtable</a> and<br>- <a href="https://twitter.com/zapier?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@zapier</a><br><br>Report link: <a href="https://t.co/xOsEw6b18h">https://t.co/xOsEw6b18h</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoCode?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NoCode</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/startups?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#startups</a><br><br>Thread πŸ‘‡πŸ½</p>&mdash; Karthik Sridharan (@KarthikS2206) <a href="https://twitter.com/KarthikS2206/status/1308751453322752000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 23, 2020</a></blockquote>
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