Automate all the things
How to monetize your no-code skills (if you're an entrepreneur)
Two weeks ago, I wrote that entrepreneurship is not the only route to monetizing your no-code skills. Building software as a service with no-code tools feels feasible and easy but I have yet to see many success stories out there.
That said, if you're the entrepreneurial type, I think there's a huge opportunity in no-code! Instead of trying to build software out of software, why not build something simple on top of no-code that helps out a part of its userbase?
Build vertical not horizontal
Webflow, Airtable, Monday.com, sheets and other no-code tools, all cater to a horizontal user base. Marketers, recruiters, sales people use these tools to generate their own software. They go most of the way for most of these use cases. However, there's a point at which primitives don't suffice. Say you're a recruitment team and you need a robust referral tracking system. Is there a way to build a robust referral tracking system in Airtable? Absolutely (here's referral marketing). Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it easy to build? Not really. Will the no-code platform offer out of the box referral tracking system? Again, no (reminder: I have no visibility or influence on Airtable's roadmap).
There isn't enough incentive or internal knowledge to build a robust solution for what is ultimately a niche part of its userbase. However, if you have deep vertical experience in recruitment and an entrepreneurial spirit, you can build it! Now everyone's got an incentive to play: you want to pay your rent, recruiters on the no-code tool want a more robust solution that's easy to spin up and the no-code platform wants you to be successful to attract more recruiters.
I use recruiters as an example because I can relate to them. A more apt target may be accountants, lawyers, architects or any other profession with very specific ways of working.
You don't have to go full-on with an app from the start. You can start small by providing templates/walkthroughs that guide them to solving their issues with existing primitives. As you find kinks in their workflows, create apps that solve them! You can monetize every step of the way.
Here's an example: Jac (@nocodejac), who runs a recruitment firm, is creating a walkthrough on how to use Airtable as an Application Tracking System (ATS). He's already built a few apps as well.
Another is Sara (@saranosocks), podcast host, is offering to streamline your podcast operations with Airtable/Webflow/Zapier. Could a podcast app that auto-syncs your podcast, creates your website for you and gates your content be useful? Probably. Is it easier for the creator than creating a webflow site? Probably as well!
I'm personally tempted to create a mini course on streamlining content operations for small youtubers/content creators through Airtable (if you're interested in giving me feedback on that, reply to this email!). Would I pay 15-30$ a month for an Airtable app that streamlines all of this? Hell yeah I would!
With all of that said, I, unfortunately, do not know how to code to build these apps or have vertical knowledge around a specific industry. So I'll just keep sharing these ideas with y'all until either of those change and hopefully y'all will build this stuff for me :)
New Gantt view
What is a view? What should be a view? When you think about it, a view is simply a different way to, well, view your information. Convenient ways to visualize your information (and update it) include Grid, Calendar and Kanban. But there's no reason that there can't be other ways of viewing your information.
One popular way to view information is through a Gantt chart. A Gantt chart shows your projects (or events or whatever) as horizontal stacked bars based on a start and due date. You can see dependencies and critical paths.
As of last Tuesday, you can now create a Gantt view (!). Whereas before, it was considered an App, it's been given a promotion to the view sidebar!
Now that Gantt is a view, does that mean Matrix is next? Again, no insight into the roadmap at Airtable but I gotta say, I love Gantt as a view! It's so much more convenient and feels so natural amongst the other views. I showed off the new Gantt view on the stream last week.
Give it a try!