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?

In terms of getting started with no code, when it comes to design, back in the day Dreamweaver was my earliest experience with no-code.

I guess my excitement in the no-code space was sort of reinvigorated just more recently, obviously, as 8020, came to life. I got an opportunity to officially join and kind of steer the ship. Obviously getting back to scratching that itch from a design perspective has been great, but then also just kind of more broadly to start to help, along with everybody else, figure out a lot of what this means, is kind of the exciting part.

What’s your definition of no-code?

I kind of think of it more as what can be done without the need for code and go from there. AJ the creator of Carrd, has to quot, something to the extent of "the best thing about no -code isn't so much the 'no-code,' but rather just the idea that it dismantles the notion of making serious stuff is only reserved for those serious developers." So I like that angle because it's really more so kind of focused on the building aspect.

Building is not solely reserved for a certain type of person, but this broader idea of no-code, essentially opening up all these brand new doors that previously didn't seem like they were there and people realizing that they can build something bigger or smaller or do some task with a set of tools or services with fairly minimal effort really when it comes down to it.

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

We're big fans of Webflow. I feel like they've done a really good job of really trying to push the branding of no-code, specifically with creating the no-code conf and really trying to push that angle. And it's not even necessarily a selfish thing, I feel like they're doing a pretty good job of just more broadly carrying all the other tools and services and agencies and everybody that kind of touches the space, in whatever capacity, along with them.

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

I feel like lately I've actually been going capital N capital C, all one word: NoCode.

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

For entrepreneurs, this broader idea of new doors being opened, because of certain tools, just leads to a lot of new ideas. But probably more specifically the fact that the of building those ideas is so much easier that I feel like there's gonna be a lot of folks kind of taking some of those risks on new ideas or new projects or new companies just strictly because the potential is there. For a number of years, a lot of folks have kind of a side business of something that they sort of do for fun, or for money, or for both, it just seems like more of those "side" businesses are going to turn into small, interesting, profitable businesses that could theoretically just be their sole gig.

I think just the broader idea of them not having to worry so much about — if you wanted to build something internal — by nature of being so big, unfortunately, they move slowly, and have maybe some rounds of approvals and just a lot of bureaucracy to deal with internally. But hopefully some of the no-code tools or just the idea of building with no-code tools lets them, pretty quickly, try to experiment with something. Even as compared to the small guys,no-code is giving them a chance to take a risk on something without feeling like they're risking time, which ultimately ends up being money because usually you can build, design and build in no-code in afraction of the time.

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

The PM that obviously needs something from the dev or the designer might be able to check off a number of the to-dos on their own. Any of the folks that aren't technically supposed to be doing those changes could be doing those changes.

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

The freelancers are definitely going to probably benefit the most, in some capacity. I mean really, from their standpoint, once they learn these tools and they have access to find clients that need help, the potential is limitless there. The only thing really holding them back is just, yes, finding the clients, but then also just like, literal time in a day.

The broader idea is all of a sudden they have a new set of services that they can tout on their website that they offer. I feel like a lot of agencies, not not every agency, but a lot of agencies — again, they just want to help clients with whatever so — they'll probably take on most any project and then say, if they don't do something in-house, they'll farm it out and get somebody that does. I feel like, because of no-code, those non-dev consultants do have, you know, some new muscle to flex now they can do so without talking like, they're just making things up but ultimately gonna have to farm it out completely, because they don't know what's going on.

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

I use Notion for a number of things in my personal life to keep tabs on things I want to watch, or eat, or purchase or this or that and you know, it's not like I'm automating my entire life. I think that's sort of a misnomer sometimes with no-code is things that are built have to be some crazy complex thing. Like it could just be the way that I use Notion, it's just mapping some tables together and doing some things that make my life, my personal life, easier. So I see a lot of that becoming more of a thing.

Kind of a joke, but kind of serious, like the idea of maybe I should start getting my daughter to learn coding, you know, as quick as possible. But I would argue that today getting the younger generation or those folks that don't understand code to go the no-code route as well, just because it's just as important from the standpoint of problem solving and ultimately kind of putting puzzle pieces together that they wouldn't normally probably have an opportunity to do so with other projects.

Now, the disparity between, like, here in Iowa and the Bay Area is quite obvious but the more that these tools start to be the norm, the more that things that are designed and built from Iowa being roughly the same as things that are designed and built from California — they could more or less be the same and you wouldn't know otherwise just again, by proxy of being able to have access to these tools and all these new doors being open.

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

I'm fairly bullish on this, I would say two to three years.

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

The current climate that we're in, makes me think it's gonna be sooner. But I mean, I would even say I'm pretty bullish on this as well. I would say within the next six to 12 months.

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

It's hard to say because coding apps isn't just gonna shut down tomorrow. So my guess is this is probably like much further out — say like, five plus years, maybe five to 10 even.

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

It's probably like within two to three years. I would say for most things you could probably get anything fully accomplished with no-code tools in that visual development angle without even having to touch any low code.

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

I keep using the two the two to three years, but I think that's like a good timeframe.

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

This is probably more of a five to 10 year range for me.

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

I feel like the freelancers, especially, are gonna carry a lot of the numbers here. I could see a case where, again, in the next couple years that the tides have turned quite a bit and then more dev shops and more like traditional agencies have to catch up. I mean, probably sooner than we think to be honest.

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

In the next two to three years again, that kind of timeframe.

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

There was a project called Scholarship Junkies, that was built not so long ago, which is a way to apply to college and win scholarships. It was just the broader idea of figuring out a solution to tie this massive database of information to something that was realistic and feasible for most normal common folks to use. The sheer impact of knowing how much college costs and schools costs, and the idea that folks that never even knew money existed or where to find it could find it fairly easily is pretty cool use case.

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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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