10 Lessons from a Day With No Coders

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This is your weekly deep dive, the second format of this publication.

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We’ve got a lot to cover today, so let’s get to it.

10 Lessons from a Day With No Coders

Last week, I attended the inaugural No Code UK conference.

The conference, orchestrated by the incredible Kieran, James and Ash, brought together some of the brightest minds in No Code and AI from across the globe.

What struck me was the diversity of experience, backgrounds, and skills among the attendees.

This made for hugely insightful conversations and sparked a bucketload of ideas.

More than once, I found myself scribbling down every point of the speaker’s talk. The content was that good.

In that vein, here are the 10 biggest lessons from a day with No Coders...

1. Less Billionaires; More Millionaires

My first point is controversial since we live in an age where the net worth of the richest people on Earth can increase by $8 billion in a single day.

Credit to Chad Sakonchick, who coined this phrase in his talk.

He’s the founder of BetterLegal, and after five years of building the company on custom code, he migrated the entire thing to No Code in 2022.

No Code, coupled with the proliferation of AI tools, is the great equaliser. It’s never been easier to build and sell software as a solopreneur than today.

You don’t have to get VC funding, hire 1,000 people and “blitzscale.”

There are AIs that are as good as any cofounder and tools available that allow us to build products faster and cheaper.

Less Billionaires; More Millionaires.

2. This is not a cute trend

No Code and AI are the highest levels of abstraction for how humans interface with machines.

Computers only understand ones and zeroes, so coding/programming was invented as a “simple” way for humans to speak to computers.

Over the past twenty years, that has become even simpler—we can now all speak in English, and ChatGPT understands exactly what we want.

No Code and AI are levelling the playing field for the average Joe.

This is not a cute trend or a bubble.

A real example of No Code infiltrating the frontier of AI companies is from Julián Valentín, who’s worked for an AI startup built entirely on Bubble.

There may be a lot of hype, but the substance is very real. And the revolution is happening whether we like it or not.

3. Execution isn’t Everything

A controversial mental model for the future I’ve been mulling over from Charlie Ward:

Ideas will become more important, not less.

The old adage goes that ideas don’t matter. It’s all about execution.

Well, if every Tom, Dick and Harry can build software, then good ideas are part of the execution.

4. Frameworks for figuring out what to build

  • Find products in competitive markets and build it better or cheaper.

  • Find products that work in one market and launch in another.

  • Use SEO tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to find keywords with low difficulty and build products targeting them.

  • Create indie versions of popular SaaS applications like Salesforce.

  • Find a product built on code and build it with No Code.

  • Build your product with fewer features and a lower price.

    • Or build it with the exact features at a higher price and position the product as a premium offering.

  • Find out what people are complaining about on X/Twitter and build something to solve their problem.

  • Got a workflow you use every day with ChatGPT? Wrap an interface around it and sell it using something like Chipp.

  • Similarly, if you’ve automated a manual task with Zapier or Make, wrap it with an interface and sell it to people with the same problem.

Most people get overwhelmed with deciding on what to build. Using one or more of these simple frameworks will disarm the ideation process entirely.

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something."

— Steve Jobs

5. The 80/20 Rule but for Software

The Pareto Principle states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.

A variation of this rule for software is that 80% of users need roughly 20% of the features.

This is empowering for us builders:

Find the one feature users care about the most and build that into your product. Delete everything else.

"Then, try very hard to delete a part or process. This is actually very important. If you're not occasionally adding things back in, you're not deleting enough."

— Elon Musk

This also means that when you charge for your product (the goal is to make money, right?), the fact that 100% of the users will have to pay 100% of the price won’t be so upsetting.

6. Find Mentors

We are all in the same boat.

The learning curve is steep for newcomers. There are tonnes of No Code tools and even more AI tools, which can be overwhelming.

That’s why we all need someone to guide us as we push through the inevitable challenges.

So, find your mentor.

Luckily, the No Code community is filled with people who’ll take the time and effort to help you out.

7. Invert how you spend your time

As I’ve said, if No Code and AI reduce the barriers to building software to zero, the playing field is level.

The key differentiator then becomes your ability to sell and market your product.

An actionable framework for this concept is to split your time as follows:

  • Build 30% of the time and

  • Sell for the remaining 70%.

8. Yesterday’s Founders are Tomorrow’s Creators

The first founder I encountered who sold directly to their audience was Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase. He regularly appears on top crypto podcasts, where the rabid crypto crowd spends their time.

The trend of founders going direct is not new. However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that this is not merely an underpriced way to acquire customers but is a prerequisite for any founder.

Even Zuck now makes his biggest AI announcements from his home couch via Instagram reels, gold chains and all.

If you become a founder, the smartest thing you can do is to build an audience at the same time.

9. Start Building Legitimate Companies

Controversial take: But the era of VC-funded hypergrowth startups could be waning with the wave of No-Code and AI tools empowering builders.

The future looks more like one filled with small agile teams and high-cash-flow companies than the traditional YC-funded Silicon Valley startup.

That’s not to say there won’t be any more heavily VC-backed startups. Certain problems justify those means.

All I’m saying is that that won’t be your only option to start your startup.

10. The Simplest Solutions Win

If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know I’m a sucker for simplicity.

A line that was wringing through my head the entire day was:

“Keep it simple, stupid.”

This is truly the ethos of No Code, summarised.

From your website design to database architecture, there is no reason to complicate things.

Unless you’re trying to build the next frontier LLM, simplicity will always win.

BONUS: The Power of Community

This is so underrated.

Whether it’s a community built around your product or a network for idea-sharing—communities drive behaviour.

I’ve been a part of many other communities, but none have inspired me as much as the No Code community.

Everyone is so down to Earth but endlessly hungry to change it.

There is a principle about finding the rooms where you belong. I feel that this room is one where I know I belong.

I mean, just look at the energy here:

If you ask me, there’s no better place to get your start in tech—whether you’re a designer, engineer or non-technical entrepreneur.

We’re So Early

There is a coming wave of No Code and AI innovation, where the myth of the one-person-billion-dollar company may finally be realised.

The fact that this is the first official No Code conference in the UK is a testament to how early we are.

No Code UK, I’ll see you next year. Hopefully, this piece has persuaded you not to miss it either.

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I’ll be back in your inbox on Sunday.

— Luca

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