In its early days, many entrepreneurs and the public, in general, shied away from no-code. For most developers, no-code was seen as a shortcut for people with no coding skills to build applications. And for the most part, they were right. In the early days of the no-code movement, these platforms were very ‘weak’, only capable of building the most basic applications.
Today, however, no-code is a lot better and more powerful. With a few clicks of a mouse, one can drag and drop features into place and build a pretty decent application. Today, more and more people are leaning into no-code for their businesses and applications.
As a matter of fact, startup entrepreneurs, who at first rolled their eyes at the thought of using no-code for their products, are embracing no-code platforms. While no-code may not be particularly suited to building complex applications that scale, it can certainly be used to build mockups or ‘lighter’ versions of these applications. The so-called minimum viable products.
With these features, a number of entrepreneurs are finding that low/no–code fits the lean-startup concept to a tee. They have two key advantages:
Using no-code is faster. When launching a new product whether as a startup or as an established company, speed is key. It is the one advantage startups have over bigger competitors. Normally custom coding applications, even if they are just mockups can take months or years. With no-code you can do it in a matter of a few weeks.
Moreover, with an MVP one has to bear in mind that complexity is the last thing that matters. All you need is an application that does the most basic functions of the problem you are trying to solve, hence the ‘minimum’ part. An MVP’s objective is to validate your assumptions about the market. Whether or not there is a market for your product. No-code enables founders to create the simplest version of a solution in the fastest time possible and ship it for validation.
The second most obvious advantage of using no-code is its cost-effectiveness. There is simply no comparing the cost of building a mock-up with no-code and hiring a full-time developer. In a startup, these savings can mean the difference between life and death. Savings in both time and money can be re-directed towards sales and marketing.
More importantly for seed startup founders, funding is hard to come by. Most seed startups are funded from pocket or from friends and family. As such you want to ensure the most efficient use of each coin.
No-code can give you that. When it comes to SaaS startups it is one of the most efficient ways to get the most bang for your buck.
However, a number of entrepreneurs are still shying away from no-code. This is largely due to the fact that if the idea is validated, the code will have to be built again entirely from scratch. For most startups that aim for large userbases, the founder realizes that he/she will eventually outgrow no-code. Rebuilding these applications even with their core concept validated might be hard and costly.
Entrepreneurs can however choose to look at it another way. Rebuilding the code from scratch can be a chance to ‘do it right.’ Whether you use no-code or custom code to build a prototype, one can never be certain if it’s ever going to achieve product-market fitness. It is the biggest challenge in product development. One that many startups never achieve.
But what if you could do that at a fraction of the cost? More importantly, what if you can test in the market enough times to know exactly what the market wants?
With no-code you can do both, at a fraction of the cost and time it takes to ship out a custom-coded prototype. Once you get ‘product-market’, then and only then do you invest heavily to build a ‘real’ scalable product.
But this doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It may take longer than you want it and even cost more than you predicted but I bet you custom coded would cost a lot more and be a lot harder to release.
With no-code entrepreneurs can have much less on the line should the product prove to be a failure. And if the market likes it? Well, now you know for sure and can go build it with assurance.