The Lean Startup <> No Code

If I were building a startup - I wouldn’t code a thing.

“A rising tide lifts all the boats.”

— John F. Kennedy

Today’s Thought: The Lean Startup <> No Code

What got me thinking:

  1. 📚 Eric Ries | The Lean Startup (Complete)

  2. 📚 James Clear | Atomic Habits (Complete)

It’s too easy to get caught up in a false sense of progress. We obsess over perfect plans rather than taking action. Or we wait to perfect a product before releasing it. Most ideas and resolutions fold before making any real headway.

It’s like studying how to lift weights without ever putting in the reps.

Preparation can gradually become a form of procrastination.

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Eric Ries argues the best way to learn is by doing. More specifically, by leveraging the “Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop”, which is “at the core of the Lean Startup model”. The idea is that:

  1. Build - to test assumptions.

  2. Measure - the results.

  3. Learn - whether the assumptions were valid.

  4. Return to step 1.

The faster this process, the faster we learn and improve upon our product.

This is why data, iteration speeds and R&D matter.

One investor told me over lunch:

“The impressive companies are not great because of how much they accomplish, but how fast they accomplish it.”

As a founder in the trenches, I understood it partially. But in hindsight, I appreciate it much more. Many traits make a great startup, but:

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” — Eric Ries.

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Effortless habits are easier to form. Conversely, friction prevents progress.

Likewise, No-Code solutions make product development faster and simpler. These platforms let you build websites, blogs, forums, stores, job boards, social media platforms, even newsletters 👀, without any programming.

If I were to build another product, I probably wouldn’t code.

Some of the benefits are:

  1. Easier initial MVP build;

  2. Faster iteration speeds;

  3. Easier maintenance via:

    • Reduced points of failure;

    • White label support;

    • Reduced product complexity;

No-code solutions are empowering a new generation of makers.

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Final thoughts

If you have an idea in mind, before consulting a developer, try an build it yourself. Whether you use it in production or you use it as a blueprint for developers, it’s crucial to understand how much power this gives you.

I’ve created a quick set of products and resources to get you started here:


(I’ll continuously update this - but also feel free to make suggestions)

Do you see what I see? 🗞👀

🐦 No Code tools extend beyond startups

The adoption is becoming inevitable at every level. Creators have built several companies worth millions on No-Code platforms. Democratising development will shift the emphasis from coding to innovation.

💰 Sequoia Returns >8x the investment on 3 funds

Amidst the turbulence of 2020, Sequoia’s LPs are still laughing to the bank. Their 2010 fund is expecting to return circa 11x the initial investments thanks to the Airbnb and Doordash IPOs. Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and GGV Capital are also looking forward to a good number of IPOs this year.

📚 Are you running out of book recommendations? Look no further.

I’ve read some, and I’m going to read others. Maybe I’ll make my reading list, highlights and notes more visible in the new year.

📈 Palantir wins $44 million FDA contract | Shares up over 21%

“Palantir Technologies Inc was awarded a $44.4 million contract by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a Palantir spokeswoman said, sending its shares up around 21%.”

🎙 Elad Gil speaks on NFX | The Unusual Signs of a Billion Dollar Company

Elad’s portfolio includes Airbnb, Airtable, Anduril, Brex, Checkr, Coinbase, Flexport, Gitlab, Gusto, Instacart, Opendoor, PagerDuty, Pinterest, Samsara, Square, Stripe, and Wish. I’ll be listening to this within the next couple of days!

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