Buildd. Get Feedback. Learn. Iterate — is the HOLY GRAIL of building startups.
Startups today are mostly online businesses or have some presence in the form of a website or an application. In such a scenario, you need an expert developer to buildd your product.
Programmers are magicians who give wings to entrepreneurs' dreams. And, so they have become an irreplaceable part of any startup.
But what if I told you that you could buildd a digital product without writing a single line of code?
Well, a berlin-based head-hunter built a recruitment startup entirely using NoCode tools:
- in 2.5 months
- scaled it to €100K+ revenue
- and, 30K organic traffic
- on a €500/month NoCode tech stack!
Today, we'll be covering his entrepreneurship journey and how NoCode powered it!
What is FiveTeams? And, how did it come to be?
FiveTeams is a Berlin-based passive job-hunting marketplace.
Essentially, it connects highly skilled talent with firms that need them. But, not any talent. FiveTeams specifically focuses on people who are presently working at an international tech company. Someone who's not exactly looking for a job actively but might consider switching to a different role if a better job or a higher salary is offered.
So, new startups or up-and-coming companies can get the best talent in the industry and the talent can get a higher salary in the process!
FiveTeams Origin Story
Alessandro, one of the founders of FiveTeams, worked as a headhunter for a consulting and recruiting firm back when he was in school. Through that experience, he understood how recruiting dynamics work.
More importantly, he got a sense of how hard it truly is to find talent open to switching jobs. The process is more nuanced than simply connecting employers and prospective employees.
He liked the idea of understanding an individual's career drivers and what could possibly motivate them to switch roles. Since he understood the process, he thought why not digitize the whole thing and turn it into a "passive job-hunting marketplace".
But, what problems did they face?
So, Alessandro and their founding team had a solid workable idea. But, in the very beginning, before they could work on their MVP, there was a major hiccup.
They only had one technical person in the team who was supposed to buildd the MVP. But, the person left after FiveTeams received their initial funding.
It was up to the existing team now to buildd an MVP. And, none of them knew how to code a product from scratch!
How did NoCode help?
During one such session of learning to buildd a multi-step form in 6 hours, Alessandro found the solution to all his problems. The top comment under that video read: "Why not build it on Bubble in 5 minutes?".
He quickly started learning more about Bubble and the NoCode/LowCode movement. He asked his co-founder for a month to figure out if it was possible to buildd their MVP using Bubble.
Very surprisingly, he started learning Bubble in Feb and their MVP was ready to launch in April!
NoCode was essentially magic!
- Learning the tools is easy, thanks to helpful tutorials.
- The speed of development is insane.
- It offers flexibility in terms of iterations and testing.
- It allows for a quick buildd-measure-learn cycle.
And, most importantly, the builder can be a product owner, product manager & developer all in one.
FiveTeam's NoCode Tech Stack!
Here's how FiveTeams works:
- Users enter their expected salary along with other career drivers.
- Recruiters enter what compensation they are willing to offer along with the other expectations for the role.
- Based on this information, the talent is matched with a recruiter and a full-time offer.
- Companies can also directly reach out to a candidate based on the information under their profile.
With NoCode, Alessandro is able to automate the entire matching process, so the tool can function independently. Here's their detailed NoCode tech stack!
Use Case ⇒ The entire platform/marketplace frontend and backend was built on Bubble. That's including pages for
- Sign-up Process
- Login Mask
- Candidate Dashboard
- Recruiter Dashboard
- Recruiter settings page
- Candidate settings page
- Account deactivation/deletion process for both sides
- Job application feature for candidates
- Job creation process for recruiters.
- You can buildd varied applications using their workflows and database
- It's quite self-sufficient and removes the dependency on other tools.
- But, its responsive design is not the best.
Alternatives ⇒ Adalo, Glide (mobile apps)
Use Case ⇒ Webflow handles their entire content management.
- It performs well in terms of responsive web design, page speed and core web vitals.
- You can create fully customizable, static pages with nice designs.
- If your main traffic channel is SEO, you can use Webflow's CMS to create pages and manage your content.
Alternatives ⇒ Bubble (it is not as good as Webflow in terms of customization and design)
Use Case ⇒ Twilio is essentially used to send SMS to users and clients. They proactively notify their client base when a recruiter reaches out or if the user has a new offer. It offers data-driven customer engagement at scale.
Use Case ⇒ This is used to send transactional emails.
- You can combine Postmark with Figma (design tool) plugin and create awesome email templates.
- Postmark doesn't use shared IPs. Meaning your emails are sent from a dedicated IP that is unique and exclusive to you. This makes their email deliverability much better.
Alternatives ⇒ Sendgrid (uses shared IPs - shared between you and other senders).
Use Case ⇒ This is used for data indexing and search. It performs well for complex searches of large datasets.
Use Case ⇒ This is used to automate all tasks across different tools.
- You can automate recurring manual tasks.
- Store data in CRM, send automated emails, integrate two or more tools and create workflows.
- Zapier is very intuitive to use. But, it is somewhat expensive. So, the team decided to implement all the Zapier automations directly on Bubble
Alternatives ⇒ Make (Integromat) has a steeper learning curve but handles complex cases, Parabola, Automate.
Use Case ⇒ Stripe was used to handle all payments and transactions on the platform. Although, now as their ticket size has increased, they have moved away from using the app entirely. Instead, they send invoices manually now.
The Impact of using NoCode!
The experience of working with NoCode can be described as: faster, cheaper and the most customer-centric form of product development that ultimately leads to a better product.
This means founders can
- Market the product faster
- Collect feedback faster
- And, reach product-market fit much faster iteratively
A functioning product can be monetized quickly. That means less dependency on external funding. And, since NoCode tools are inexpensive, you can spend the saved money elsewhere.
Now, all these points sound pretty good in theory. But, to really understand the impact of NoCode, we must look at some numbers:
- Their tech-related burn rate in the initial days was very low, so they broke even within a few months. They quickly reached to 6-figure revenue in their first year and are fully profitable.
- It took them only 2.5 months from learning to use NoCode to launching the MVP
- The current cost of their tech stack is approximately €500 per month.
- If they would have taken the traditional route to buildd the platform their cost would be between €800K to over one million. Their overall production cost is only 5-10% of that!
- And, they have reached 30K organic monthly traffic through SEO!
- Finally, their product built on Bubble also works quite efficiently. Their average time to first application is under 6 minutes!
The downside of using NoCode (but there's also a silver lining!)
The main shortcoming of using a NoCode tool like Bubble is the fact that the user interface or UI doesn't look as great on mobile as on desktop. So the team had to buildd 2 versions. One for mobile and one for desktop both connected to the same database.
It's also quite hard to find great Bubble developers compared to finding web developers.
But, the silver lining is that most NoCode tools are at a very nascent stage. Some are less than a few years old. Since the space is super new, it will only get better as time passes. For example, the first problem is remedied by Bubble's new responsive engine.
More importantly, NoCode is amazing because it democratizes product development. If you choose to invest several months learning a NoCode tool, you'll be able to bring your ideas to life.
The independence of buildd-ing is the true gift!