No-code isn't about build time. Well, it is about build time, but speed alone isn't the point. We're always building. Literally forever. Whether it's fast or slow, the actual building is never done.
No-code is about shipping.
And shipping is easier when you build faster.
The reason for this post, and the purpose of exploring this concept, is that everyone from individual makers to Fortune 500 businesses can benefit from no-code and the feedback loops that shipping fast enables... but the build time itself is just a vanity metric.
Here are three reasons to build with no-code that are more compelling than completing an entire web app in 15 minutes 😉.
It's surprisingly common to build things no one wants. We hear about it all the time. Experienced entrepreneurs urge you to talk to customers as early as possible, do various kinds of market research, and "scratch your own itch."
But the ideal way to know if people want your product is to build it and see who pays for it.
When validation is the goal, the faster that product is real and in the market, the faster it's validated- or more likely, invalidated. (But don't give up!)
This is just as critical for a solo maker with bills as it is for a big company allocating their research budget.
No-code is the fastest way to validate an idea, market, or pain point, even if the no-code version gets replaced with code eventually. Validation has to be the first step, because we don't want to waste time on the wrong thing.
I love the idea that a novice should start with cheap/simple tools and work up. Three years ago, I started mountain biking. Instead of a tempting $2,500 - $10,000 bike, I bought one off of Craigslist that was a decade old. Instead of REI for gear, I bought my helmet, water pack, gloves, glasses, and butt-padded shorts on Amazon, for cheap.
As it turns out, mountain biking is the love hobby I never knew I had, and I've since upgraded almost everything- and spent decent money in the process- but I didn't waste a single dime.
Building faster also increases the sheer amount of building one can do. Beyond building additional features (which could be a trap!), speed enables more refined features, more iteration, more trial and failure, more ideas, and more accessibility.
Creating a product is about the feedback loop. No-code's speed creates a faster loop!
Focusing on the rest of the business
For both solo entrepreneurs and teams inside larger companies, there is more to do than just product. Marketing, community, customer service, and maintenance require large amounts of time and headspace that compete with building the product itself.
No-code frees up time for everything else that's required to get your message out and earn paying customers.
Speed in early products is just critical. Just not speed for the sake of speed. No-code is speed for the sake of everything else that goes into building, growing, and running a product. This speed gives entrepreneurs a real chance to build as a side project or while living off of savings. It allows internal teams at bigger companies to show true progress and hopefully traction to stakeholders and budget-controllers.
Most importantly, though, this type of speed is quickly becoming a requirement rather than a differentiator.
There's a place for crafting an amazingly detailed and original product and workflow, but that place isn't in the trenches and intense competition of brand new products and services.
Those trenches, however, are where no-code thrives.