7 types of NoCode tools - launch your startup's MVP without Code!

Having experienced the power of NoCode tools and built the stack at Flexiple, I wanted to share how you can leverage it to build almost every aspect of your startup's requirements.

24th November 2021
4 min read

In the past couple of decades, a majority of startups are on the internet. Inevitably they need tech to run or support them. That's not going to change in the future - if anything, it is only going to increase.

This has made us see developers as magicians. They are the messiahs who can make our entrepreneurial dream a reality. Well, not anymore (not for everything anyway). Enter No-code - the ability to build products and power processes without writing code.

This movement has been in the works for a few years now. I also caught onto this a bit late and ended up building complex tech with code when we had all but ZERO dollars in revenue. Not smart.

$3 million revenue runs on a $60/month NoCode stack

Then we started powering our startup, Flexiple, with NoCode. Our annual revenue has crossed $3 million and our stack is still fully NoCode that costs us $60/month:

  1. Marketing website: Unicorn Platform ($10)
  2. Product: Airtable ($0 - on credits) & Bubble ($25)
  3. Scale & side projects: Webflow ($25)

Building tech has not only become more easy and accessible, it isn't astronomically costly anymore!

7 types of NoCode tools for all your startup needs

Having experienced the power of NoCode tools and built the stack at Flexiple, I wanted to share how you can leverage it to build almost every aspect of your startup's requirements.

So, in this article I cover 7 types of NoCode tools along with:
A. Names of tools
B. Specific use case each solves
C. Real implementation examples
D. Alternatives

1. Marketing websites

A) Tools: Unicorn platform, Umso

B) Use cases

  • You can simply drag & drop elements onto a page
  • Build a marketing website in less than 60 mins
  • Easily edit your marketing copy & communication to customers

C) Example

  • We built our entire website of http://flexiple.com containing over 100+ pages on Unicorn platform

D) Alternatives

2. Database storage and information websites

A) Tool: Airtable

B) Use cases

  • Advanced and more UI-friendly excel
  • Easily collect data using an intuitive form
  • Neatly present the data on your website in intuitive layouts

C) Example

D) Alternatives

  • Tools like Sheet2site, Table2site work well with Airtable to make quick websites

3. Beautiful info & e-commerce websites

A) Tool: Webflow, Softr

B) Use cases

  • Build beautiful custom layouts without Code
  • Leverage its "CMS" to make numerous automated pages
  • Use particularly if you are a designer and want to implement custom design to pixel perfection

C) Examples

D) Alternative

  • Bubble: However, if the focus is pixel perfect design, Webflow is much better.

4. Automate workflows

A) Tools: Zapier, Integromat

B) Use cases

  • Automate recurring manual effort
  • Store data in CRM, send automated mails, integrate tools, etc.
  • Zapier is more intuitive but costly, Integromat has a steeper learning curve but handles complex cases

C) Example

  • Almost all our dynamic flows were handled by Zapier or Integromat. User signup -> storing their data in our db -> sending them a mail
nocode tools

D) Alternatives:

5. Login & membership systems

A) Tools: Memberstack, MemberSpace

B) Use cases

  • To convert your static website to have signups/logins and to also manage SAAS memberships
  • Restrict content or pages to only paid users

C) Example

  • We built a dashboard for new projects viewing, sharing invoices, etc. using the above set of tools:

D) Alternative:

  • Bubble offers an in-built authentication system but doesn't manage subscriptions

6. Any complex web-based product

A) Tool: Bubble

B) Use cases

  • Job-boards, marketplaces, internal tools => build varied applications using its "workflows" & database
  • Quite self-sufficient and removes the need to depend on other tools
  • Responsive design is not the best

C) Example

  • Our internal tool is entirely built on top of Bubble and saves ~160 human hours per month (has sensitive data, so can't share video)

D) Alternatives:

  • Adalo, Glide: More suited for mobile apps (discussed next)

7. Mobile apps

A) Tools: Glide, Adalo

B) Use cases

  • Build complex mobile apps with a simple drag & drop functionality
  • Automate user actions with in-built workflows
  • Use their own DB or even GoogleSheets to store data

C) Example

  • Not used these products myself, but a really cool example is of the apps made to help organize & share COVID resources with people: covidresource.glideapp.io

D) Alternatives

  • No credible alternatives that I know of

Unless it solves a business bottleneck, DON'T buildd it.

NoCode has made building a startup more accessible

Is NoCode going to replace code? My bet - definitely not. Even if the extremely unlikely event happens, it is surely a couple of decades away.

However, the days of making costly MVPs are over for a majority of industries. So, here’s your broad 7-step playbook to launch your startup:

  1. Choose an idea or space
  2. Make a landing page on a NoCode builder
  3. Start writing about it - as a blog and on social media (background process)
  4. Build a MVP on NoCode
  5. Make money - only focus
  6. Earn enough to hire a developer to take the product to the next level
  7. Make more money

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1. The characters involved
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2. Potential customer searches Google
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3. Google has to show search results
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Which parameters?

4. Google ranks results using a first set of parameters
The first set of parameters helps the 👩‍🦰librarian understand if a book is relevant to the topic being searched. She'll evaluate
- Does "photosynthesis" appear in the title of the 📘book?
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5. Google shares final results using a final set of parameters The final set of parameters help the 👩‍🦰librarian gauge the reputation of a book.
- How many other 📚books cited this 📘book as reference?
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- How credible are those other 📚books?

6. Google finally shows the results
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How did No-code platform Webflow go from bankruptcy to a $4B valuation on their 4th try?

Webflow is a wildly popular NoCode tool!
But its CEO, Vlad Magdalin:
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- had $60,000 debt
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On his 4th try, he built his startup into a $4B company!

Bit of Backstory:
Webflow founders Vlad and Sergie Magdalin are both refugees from Russia. They came to the US during the Soviet Union's collapse. They didn't know any English & their parents didn't have any real marketable skills. So, from the beginning, they had to learn to survive and eventually buildd a good life.

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His brother Sergie and colleague Bryant Chou joined him. But, at that time Vlad was sitting on 3 months of income. So they were desperate for funding. And, their only hope was getting into YC!

After failing once, they finally got into YC the second time! Good nice after 8 years of trying!

After raising a small round of funding, they decided to bootstrap the company to profitability and only later take funding to scale further!

In 2019, they raised $72M, followed by another $140M in 2021 and $120M in 2022. Today, Webflow is worth $4B & generates revenue of $100M!