No Code Base


No Code Base is a community for talking about building software, side projects and prototypes with 'no code' tools. Join us to share your projects, tips, and learn from other makers!

AMAs


At No Code Base we host a series of "Ask Me Anythings" (AMAs), with various developers, entrepreneurs and other members of the no code world. These AMAs give the community the chance learn from others.

Want to participate in a future AMA? Join us on Discord!

Upcoming AMAs

No AMAs currently scheduled. Reach out on Twitter if you'd like to participate or have a suggestion!

Past AMAs

Click on an AMA to view the questions from each one!

Ben Tossell - May 8th, 2PM EST

Competitions


No Code Base is currently hosting the "Process Competition", where participants are challenged to build a product without writing any code, while also documenting their process from idea to completion. Join us on Discord to participate in this competition and future ones. There are prizes!

Ben Tossell AMA

Ben Tossell is the creator of Makerpad and one half of Earnest Capital.

Below are all the questions that the No Code Base community had for Ben, along with his awesome responses.

Ben, what got you started with no code? Was there a conscious moment when you realized there was huge potential, or did it sort of just happen over time?

Ben: The no code movement has just sort of caught up with my love for it... I always wanted to build a thing (like Airbnb for whatever) but I never wanted to spend 6/9 months learning to code to make that thing because it could easily not work out. I didnt want to waste my time so I just found tools that could help me get to 80% of that idea by sticking things together. I was working at Product Hunt seeing lots of things launch which meant I wanted to launch things too and I could see tools that I could use.

Now there's so much around no code it feels like right place right time but I've been doing it for years

I have seen your work but have not had the chance to look up your philosophy, so to get started, when we are discussing no code, is there a basic understanding of html, css, javascript or is this a purist 'no code necessary' movement? Does some code knowledge help, etc?

Ben: There really is no code necessary as far as I see it. I know extremely basic html and css but I couldnt build you a website with it. I sometimes copy/paste embed codes into sites. It's nice to understand how sites work with building data structures, the front end etc but I don't know how much it helps with the actual building of things. All the tools I use are really no-code... I don't class using spreadsheet formulas as code either.

I'm curious about your background before starting #NoCode. What did you do, and did it require coding (if yes, in what form)?

Ben: I was a social media manager for big brands while working at an agency. I then got a job at Product Hunt running the community. I helped with launches and managed the homepage.

Hi Ben! Big fan of the work you’re doing! Thanks for doing this. Do you think someone can create a viable business with #NoCode or it is good for just prototyping and building out an MVP? How do you scale your no code apps?

Ben: I have just hit $30k in monthly revenue (with probably around $100/mo running costs) for makerpad.co so I definitely think its a viable business option. If you're building Uber then of course you're likely to have issues on just no-code. If you're an indie maker and want to get 300k/year or a small team then you can definitely still do it all without code I'd say. Theres always cases for when it wont work out but a lot of the time you can definitely get started and make some money without code!

Hey Ben, I'm building a landing page builder focusing on the maker/SaaS niche to start with, I know you have used Carrd extensively is there anything you wish could be added or made easier for yourself or the no code movement?

Ben: Carrd really is such an easy website builder that the only things that could be added are extra features to already existing components... Its difficult really because adding too much customisability makes it a bigger thing to build and a bigger thing to use.

Theres quite a few people in this community who are interested in building tools to enable others to build without code. It feels like a new no code tool is launched almost daily on Product Hunt, but what’s the one no code tool/platform that you wish existed?

Ben: An easy way to build a marketplace app... there are tools like sharetribe but they are expensive. If someone could build a way to have a marketplace style app with the backend being super simple or even run on Google Sheets/Airtable plus enabling user login/signups etc would be killer

Hey Ben, thanks again for doing this. I've been on the fringe of no-code but one thing that I haven't heard much about is the user login/signups with a no code tool. That has always seemed like something the requires a bit more work - have you successfully been able to implement that now a days?

Ben: Yeah I have a login/signup system on makerpad.co now which is powered by MemberStack. There is also Memberspace which does it too. I'm working with boundlesslabs.com to produce some tutorials that will show a fiver clone (including signup/login) and also tools like bubble.is enable this to happen. Most of these are quite new tools so its a problem thats increasing becoming less of a problem - its an obvious one thats needing to be solved so luckily lots of smart people are working on solutions!

Where you draw the line between coding being a definite requirement, and not being necessary at all, for a given project? I find myself thinking about the tradeoffs of nocode tools (lower customizability + associated subscription costs) VS the benefits (faster shipping time, no programming knowledge required) all the time.

Ben: I'm at the point now where I can sort of tell what I can and cant do without some tools and how long it may take...I try and just do the 80% of what is needed.

Ben, how do you manage your time outside and inside of work? What does your typical schedule look like?

Ben: Makerpad is just a side project. I built it to work however many members I received, not having to double my input every time I grew 100%. Its something I could put only a few hours in per week if I wanted. I build things without code for fun all the time and love sharing what I did to get there so its something I would do (and did do) just for fun even before I started making money. I work for Earnestcapital.com as my 'real' job and I never feel like I'm out of time or anything. I built makerpad with that in mind. What did I want to build and how did I want it to run

Have you had any no code apply for Earnest Capital? If not do you think it will be possible to build a company that can scale to that level?

Ben: Well we've had hundreds of applciations so not sure if we already have yet! But If I had 3k-5k MRR then its definitely something Earnest would look at so having a 30k month as a no code tool, it could definitely look interesting.

What tool/platform(s) do you recommend for building more advanced no code websites? I've used Carrd, and while I love it, it does get limiting for anything beyond basic landing page content.

Ben: I use webflow. that is what makerpad is built on.

Have you learned to code at all throughout your NoCode journey or have you had to pick up some programming to get things to work better?

Ben: I've tried to code many times, all unsucessfully - I just always get to a barrier that I find too difficult to get around. Without code, whatever barriers I come across, I seem to mostly get around myself! I've not picked up anything to get anything to work better. I understand how code works and is structured though