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Jan 19, 2022 • Issue #72 by Aron Korenblit

Data, Logic, UI and (a bit of) code—the future of no-code

I can't help but look back over the last year. Clearly, 2021 will be remember as the year no-code went mainstream. Webflow kicked off the year raising north of a 2B+ valuation, Airtable ended the year at a cool 11B+. Zapier in between made it to astronomical valuations as well.

Now it's not just that last year brought its fair share of fundraises, it was also the year where it became clear what the future of no-code is—and what the battlegrounds between the players are.

Every app is composed broadly of three layers: data, logic and UI. If no-code's goal is to democratize software creation—like it is for both Webflow and Airtable—then tools must fill every aspect of that stack. Case in point, Webflow started with UI (its designer), added Data (its CMS) 6 years ago and announced logic at no-code conference.

Airtable started with Data, added Logic (Automations) in 2020 and UI (Interface Designer) in late 2021.

Even though Webflow and Airtable have diametrically opposite audiences (Webflow for external use cases while Airtable for internal workflows), they've ended up with similar primitives because ultimately that is what software is. It's data, logic and UI.

The future of no-code is pretty simple: every tool either needs to go deeper into its area of expertise or attack an adjacent primitive. In the case of Zapier, that's do more logic, or tackle data. Sacra released this great piece on Zapier, aptly titled Zapier: The $7B Netflix of Productivity

Zapier’s problem, however, is that it lacks a data store: Airtable owns the data layer of no-code. A Zapier data store would go a long way towards removing the main constraint on Zapier’s utility today, which is the lack of deep utility.

That space in the middle with tools offering a compelling Logic, Data and UI layers is not going to have many players. But that doesn't mean that there are few winners in no-code, this is a massive space.

Why launch code meets no-code?

Code meets no-code is a community for low-code enthusiasts. In addition to the community forum, we've recorded content to help you getting started with the basics of low-code, how to sync Webflow and Airtable and an upcoming series on Stripe payment links.

The short of why I love this project is that I hate waiting for features to be available. I want to automate everything now with as few tools as possible which isn't possible using current functionality (duh)!

Luckily, no-code on top of code! That means I have the ultimate primitive. I can create my own features with a few lines of code. Some examples: Airtable doesn't connect to directly to your favorite tool (like Webflow)? No problem, that tool probably has an API you can connect to using scripts.

Want to display live data on your Webflow website from other tools without syncing CMS'? Good thing front-end APIs exist to retrieve that data on page load.

Instead of waiting for tools to duke it out for that golden intersection, low-code allows me to make any tool an automation machine. Integromat, Webflow, Airtable, Zapier and many others offer the ability to add code natively!

Whether you're just getting started with low-code or you're a seasoned veteran, we hope you'll join us in code meets no-code! Use code FIRST100 at codemeetsnocode.com to get our launch discount.

Until next week, keep building!

Aron

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