No-Code: Breaking down barriers and revolutionising the startup landscape
The startup world is no stranger to fleeting fads. We’ve seen an influx of monthly subscription boxes, e-commerce savings communities, and even a rise in nostalgic games like Pokemon Go. While those were all fun and games while they lasted, users eventually lost interest and moved onto the next shiny thing.
But No-Code… No-Code is buying real estate, moving in, and revolutionising the startup community while it unpacks
Investment into No-Code platforms in 2020 has become incredibly strong. Nigel Sussman explained to his TechCrunch audience that, “no-code startups [are] on pace to raise at least $500 million at the very least in 2020. The real number is larger, and can swell sharply depending on how expansive your definition of the space is.”
No-Code is so successful because of the barriers it is breaking down
One growing No-Code Platform, Bubble.io, was founded in 2012 in response to the founders, Emmanuel Straschnov and Josh Haas, noting how outdated coding had become. While Big Tech companies like Microsoft and Apple were making innovative computing advancements over the past 50 years, coding sat at a standstill. In reflecting on this half-century and looking forward to the next, the Bubble team realised, “The future is a world where programming is self-explanatory; where people talk to computers to build software. To get there, programming tools first need to begin using our language.”
The sustained investment into No-Code tools means that No-Code is maturing and delivering on the long-standing promise that anyone will be able to develop software without any coding skills. You no longer have to be a technically trained coder or developer to become a digital innovator.
Prior to the emergence of No-Code, startup founders had no choice but to either invest their time into learning code or their money towards hiring a developer to create their platform and take their product to market. On average, between taking coding course upon course, or flipping through the portfolios of developers to find the perfect fit, the average Minimum Viable Product (or MVP) cost about $75,000 to build and 18 weeks to take to market.
After spending that much time and money on a project, if your startup failed, it failed slowly, painfully, and at a huge loss.
With the help of No-Code technology, time and financial investments have been slashed. The average cost to build a No-Code MVP is less than $10,000 and it can go to market within mere weeks.
Would you rather work for years on your Next Big Idea, gaining momentum and confidence, just to have it fail once it is released - or utilise No-Code to quickly build an MVP, and find out it needs tweaking, pivoting, or a complete redesign within the same season? The decision is quite simple.
This is a pivotal democratisation of the digital startup space
Matured No-Code platforms have created a boom in startups following the lean-startup methodology: fail fast through building MVP. This boom has been catalysed by COVID-19 as furloughed middle managers have thrown themselves into new business ventures and opportunities. Where there used to be one No-Code founder, there are now 100.
This democratisation that No-Code has provided is global. Remote working has now made it possible for an American founder to work with a British agency, in order to deliver services into Africa, Russia, and China. As goes the digital world, we are now truly more connected than ever before, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
But, as costs fall and the learning curve flattens, founders are eschewing good practice in a race to push their products to the same-sized audiences as before. Consumers simply can’t keep up with the influx of startups that are inundating the market, resulting in higher failure rates and zombie applications.
Nonetheless, the percentage of failures should not detract from the positive outcomes of No-Code. As most founders have the opportunity to build a successful startup firm, they are creating jobs and economic growth.
In fact, this might be just what our mid-COVID world needs to get back on its feet
So what does this mean for the immediate future? Of course, some adjustments will need to be made among current stakeholders in the coding and technological world.
For developers, the likely impact of No-Code will be downward pressure on price due to the significant increase in competition. To quote Zubair, one of our Million Labs founders, “Every failed founder becomes a freelancer.” Luckily, No-Code platforms will still require developers to code from the back-end to make the No-Code process seamless for users.
Pre-Seed, Seed, and Angel Investors will be presented with a high-volume flow of low-quality opportunities. They will need to design new processes in response to this. Just as user groups will act as gatekeepers to the influx of new apps and products, these investors cannot accept every single Next Big Idea that walks through their doors.
At the rate No-Code is taking off, we will begin to see our first No-Code Unicorns by 2022. Through the decreased development, time, and financial barriers, these startups will have achieved this status twice as quickly as their ‘coded’ predecessors.
One thing is for certain - the startup landscape is about to blossom with the creativity and innovation of founders who couldn’t quite find their voices prior.