By David Adkin | Co-founder of Adalo
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When did you get into no-code and what made you want to start your company?

I think about six or seven years ago, just before I joined Product Hunt, I was trying to build stuff and trying to look for ways to build that without having to learn to code. And I was doing it a little bit with no-code tools. What I didn't realize was the thing that people were actually interested in wasn't the actual ideas I had, because they all sucked. It was actually the ability to build it really quickly, and make it feel like software. And it was all built without code. Everyone was asking how did you build these things without code? So I thought, okay, I'll just show you how to do it.

What’s your definition of no-code?

I don't even like the term, no-code. Because you’re still copying and pasting snippets of code sometimes. You’re just not writing the whole thing with code. I think no-code is about making stuff that previously required people with technical chops, that now you longer need those skills.

When did we start calling it no-code and who started that?

I think last year when Webflow had their huge no-code conference where they started bringing in the term on their stuff and on their actual landing page that we all officially adopted the term.

Can we settle this subconscious debate… is it No Code or No-Code?

There's no debate. And there's only one answer. It’s the dash. It's not like there's not no code involved so it has to be the dash.

What does this mean for startups, small businesses, & enterprises?

For entrepreneurs, I think it allows you to move fast and get really far for a lot less money. And you can get to a validation point. So I think we'll see way more startups launch. At the same time If you build something in a couple of hours, the emotional attachment might not be as strong so it's easier to let go. So I think we'll see lots of more lots of experimentation and lots more creativity.

As far as the other two groups, most businesses have some component of a booking system or something like that that can be automated. No-code will enable a lot more quicker things so you don’t have to spend time on the repetitive stuff. There's so much time wasted with companies like copying data from this spreadsheet to this spreadsheet. No-code just replaces the boring parts of people's jobs so that they can be creative on the bigger, better parts of their job and strategy and everything else.

What does this mean for developers, designers, & PMs?

For the developers, I think it’s a great thing for them. They won’t be wasting their time on projects that don’t work. People should have more conviction around the thing they're trying to build before they speak to the developer. Also 25% of our community are developers who see no-code as a way to quickly launch & validate their own ideas.

For designers, they can actually build things rather than just saying how it should look. They don’t have to convince developers to build things anymore.

What does this mean for dev shops, freelancers, & consultants?

Yeah, I think that dev shops, rightly so, should have a bit of a shakeup. They can't charge $100,000 to build an app like they do today. Hopefully these prices normalize a bit so people aren’t spending their life savings on something that may or may not work.

For freelancers, now we can offer automation services, or we can now, like, not just design your website, but we can build a functional website with Webflow and whatever else.

In the consulting world, it's going to be another skill that people add to their roster and use that to their advantage. So it'd be interesting to see how we educate people as well as these companies because it's so easy that you can do it yourself. So yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see how that plays out.

What does this mean for our personal lives, our kids, & economic disparity?

I'm obviously optimistic about this topic. I think that automation in general is not going to replace people. It’s just going to make people not have to spend time going through emails, putting things into spreadsheets, and doing repetitive things in their personal lives.

With kids, I've seen it firsthand. We had a workshop recently. And there was a middle school teacher and we were just watching her teach the kids how to build a mobile app. Just knowing that these kids are learning these tools early on is amazing.

I think it’s positive for everything, economic disparity included. You can automatically build things to help charities and automations to help manage these things, those things and all that sort of stuff. So, yeah, I'm obviously very excited about how it will positively affect everyone.

When is it going to be as common to make an app as it is a slide deck?

5 years.

When will most colleges & grade schools start offering no-code classes?

12 months.

When will there be more products built with no code than coding?

12 to 18 months, we might be getting close already.

When will no-code meet up with low code in terms of functionality?

So I think they'll never catch up. Low code will just always be 12 months ahead.

When will we see a product at the level of popularity of a TurboTax built with no-code?

I'll say a few months, I'll be optimistic.

When will the first product built with no-code IPO?

I'd say probably five to 10 years, 10 years probably.

When will there be more agencies & dev shops that use no code tools that don’t?

As soon as one or two start talking about it, everyone else is just going to do the same exact thing. So soon.

When will global leaders (i.e. presidents, politicians) start talking about no code?

Probably follow the schools and colleges. So maybe two years. I like that.

What’s the best story of something you’ve seen built because of the no code revolution?

I've seen so many stories that It's difficult to pick one or two. Like there’s a product designer who works at an up and coming startup in San Francisco, who literally like tweeted at me four weeks ago, and then joined the Makerpad community, then all of a sudden goes from zero no code knowledge to now building stuff with the web hooks Zapier and Airtable. And then he's built this whole, like Stack Overflow for no-code that launched today, actually. So just seeing the progress of people in the amount of time that they've had to go from like zero knowledge to a functioning app that works and it's like, quite a complex thing.

And there was a woman Melissa who lives in Australia, who joined Makerpad, and had never done anything with no-code before but just started building away. She even built an app on Adalo and then we hired her. It's just crazy to see the trajectory of these people come out and be able to do stuff.

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Sergio Villaseñor
Founder & CEO of Elliot
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About The Interviewer
About The Interviewer
David Adkin
Co-founder of Adalo | I love design, dogs, & basketball.
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