Trends #0055 — Low-Code

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“Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”

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Why It Matters

Low-code lets us focus on unique problems. Leading to leverage and specialization. The same forces behind million-dollar, one-person businesses

🔍 Problem

Reinventing the wheel wastes time.

💡 Solution

Use low-code tools to solve non-unique problems. 
Focus on what you do best. Let WordPress, Stripe, Shopify, AWS and others do the same. 

🏁 Players

Platforms

Tools

  • Retool • Build internal tools
  • TextRetailer • Shop by text
  • Bildr • Build full-stack web applications
  • Kelp • Build interactive, data-driven apps
  • MavenCart • Host ecommerce stores

APIs

Frameworks

Libraries

🔮 Predictions

  • “Full-code” is here to stay. Low-code tools allow developers to work on new problems. We can build brain-computer interfaces instead of CRUD apps.
  • Lawyers, accountants and other professionals will be impacted by low-code-like phenomena. Low-law (Termly), low-accounting (TurboTax) and low-podcast-editing (Descript) are on the rise. This is a low-pro movement.
  • DeFi will embrace low-code. Token standards (ERC20ERC721) “ensure” security. Billions of dollars staked in standards are implied, uncaptured bug bounties. 

☁️ Opportunities

  • Build the first version of your app with no/low-code tools. Shoutout started on Bubble.
  • Equip non-engineering teams (marketers, product managers and customer support) with low-code tools to reduce internal dependencies. Tara Reed did this at Google. 
  • Use low-code tools to help businesses. See Clutch Software and Anything as a Service (XaaS).
  • Democratize new form factors. Wine Text sends daily deals via SMSTextRetailer gives anyone the ability to run daily deals.

🔑 Key Lessons

  • Focus on what you do best. Don’t rebuild AWS, Twilio or Stripe. Use them. Innovate on another front.
  • There’s a tradeoff between customization and abstraction. Low-code is “opinionated.”

😠 Haters

“You can’t build everything with low-code.”
Sure. That which can be. Should be. Work on unique problems. 


“This isn’t customizable.”
It’s all relative. Abstraction isn’t free. Nothing is. 

“This will take developer jobs.”
Developers will work on unique problems. See creative destruction.


“Functions, libraries, frameworks and APIs are not low-code.”
Each is an abstraction. i.e. Low(er)-code

🔗 Links

  1. Trends #0033 — No-Code • Low-code tools are less abstract versions of no-code tools. 
  2. Trends #0027 — Million-Dollar, One-Person Businesses • On the power of leverage
  3. Creative Destruction • The net-positive process that prevents stagnation.


Thanks to Curtis Cummings (Shoutout), Ben Church (Pull Checklist), Nile Frater (Concrete Capital), Tyler King (Less Annoying CRM), Mark Magnuson (Bildr), Andrew Swiler (Clutch Software), Joshua Schultz (Clutch Software), Drew Thomas (Bildr), Pravin Kumar (Mavencart), Gene Maryushenko (Swipe), Rick Lindquist (LegUpHealth), Jeremy Abraham (Spiffy), Emmett ArmstrongStewart Townsend (Channel as a Service) and Ivan Zografski. We had a great time jamming on this report. 


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What you’ll get:

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  • 21 Tools (320% More)
  • 10 APIs (233% More)
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  • 9 Opportunities (125% More)
  • 4 Key Lessons (100% More)
  • 10 Links (233% More)

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