There’s an organization called News Story charity. They started five years ago. They were primarily designers and they went to Haiti after a huge disaster and saw that so many people were newly homeless, right, and they saw a huge need. And they wanted to provide a solution, a crowdfunding site, where they wanted to fund families and fund very affordable homes. But they weren't developers, right? So they were able to use Webflow. They were able to fund one family, then 10 families, then 100 families, then they started to augment that with more kind of behind the scenes operations and now, they've raised like 10s of millions of dollars and They're 3d printing homes!
Getting the power of programming into vastly more hands and getting that barrier to entry much lower, it means much faster better solutions. It’s like electricity, right? Like when we invented it, it wasn't good enough until we brought into a lot more hands and a lot more people could benefit from it. And I think no-code really accelerates that. So to me that's the magic of no-code. That's why I think no-code is needed and why I'm so inspired to keep working on it and making it better.
We have a lot of customers that are part of the physical economy, I'll call it where, you know, the restaurant owners, they’re storefront owners or something like that, that predominantly do their business that way. And we had a customer, in Wisconsin, called 'The Ruby Tap', that had a wine bar. And basically overnight they had to close up shop, but that night that they built an online curbside pickup order style app that allowed people to drive by and pick up wine. They did it overnight and then started making money the next day, I think the next day, they'd said, “Hey, we have made like 50 bucks over Stripe in the first day,” or something like that.
And, to me, that kind of agility and innovation that no code provides to these types of small business owners is game changing. These are folks that had these tools not existed, they really, truly would have been dead in the water, like it's just no choice, just nothing, no option, other than to close up shop. But because tools like Adalo and Zapier exist, they have a fighting chance. They can use their own creativity, they can use their own intuition to try and keep their business afloat. To me, that's where I've seen a lot of creativity recently that has been uplifting for me.
I'm most excited about seeing entrepreneurs that are making money for themselves, and like really starting new careers for themselves or revitalizing their careers. So I can think of like two, for example, I've just worked with an entrepreneur who's building an app for farmers, and has this whole community that are using his app. It's really fun and totally not something I would think of as a use case, but like, great to see it expanding outside of just like our tech industry bubble.
And also there's another person who's gone through my bootcamp program, who built an app to help manufacturing plants become more efficient. So I get really excited about seeing folks who are taking their apps to organizations and white labeling them or to people who are creating real income for themselves.
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.
It touches on a lot of the themes that we talked about with regards to enabling entrepreneurship in third world countries and providing tools to creators of products that didn't have access to that just even maybe last year.
I think for me, that's the most inspiring thing because now the software, it's not just a platform, it's providing hope and opportunity. And both of those things are priceless. So when platforms, specifically no-code, can do that, I believe that's the real magic and secret sauce.
I think what never fails to surprise me is just the amount of different types of things that people build with no-code. One of the benefits of no-code is that it lets people who actually have the problem solve the problem. And so I, as an engineer, I'm not the one gating this and saying, like, that's a bad idea. I don't think you should do that. You get to make your own decision and build whatever you want. And so I think that the number of different things is really the most exciting.
I don't know that I have any one particular story that stands out — I think we're in the early days. We have a Draftbit user who's a young kid and he's just figuring out how to build stuff, but he's not a software engineer. Those are the types of people that we love, because they're trying to build and they're trying to make progress. And our platforms are early and incomplete and don't always work and they keep trying also we love them for their passion.
What really keeps me motivated is hearing a lot of stories of people who felt stuck in their current jobs or were waiting for that opportunity to transition into a PM or a technical role for years at a company and then discovered one of these tools and started to build these things. And actually, were able to make the move where they were able to support themselves full time and even build a team around no-code tools.
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.
[Ben] It's those stories where people are really changing their stars. Their career was headed one direction, and then they found no code and built this and now they run a software company or they an agency.
Or they're doing really impactful work and it's changing their economic situation, or they're using the tools to help people and to make an impact in their community. It's those things that really hit me the most.