Launching a startup to success, without having to write a line of code

Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director at Studio Graphene showcases the power of low/no-code development platforms by explaining how you can launch a successful business without needing to code.

It has been said in recent years that ‘the future of coding is no code at all’. Although some might scoff at this proposition and insist that all startups require at least one technical co-founder to develop an MVP, it isn’t as far from the truth as one might think.

Indeed, with the arrival of low/no-code development platforms (NCDPs), many founders have found themselves able to quickly build and launch their own software with little to no coding experience. With the rise of tools like Amazon Honeycode and Webflow, NCPDs are opening up doors that were once barred shut for many entrepreneurs with bright ideas, but without the technical backgrounds.

And even for those with experience, whether your business is a multinational corporation, or just a five-person basement operation, it is inevitable there will come a time when founders encounter a problem that just can’t be solved by using ‘off-the-shelf software’.

With all this in mind, startup founders in particular might be wondering what possibilities these platforms might hold for their business.

What are low/no-code platforms?

Historically, startup accelerators and incubators have been tentative when it comes to accepting companies without a technical lead or a ready built MVP. As a result, many fledgling startups who had yet to secure substantial financial backing might have struggled to afford the technical support they needed to grow their business.

This is where NCDPs come in. You might have already heard some buzz about these platforms before, and although the terms ‘no-code’ and ‘low-code’ are often conflated, there are some fundamental differences that set apart the design and use cases for each type of platform.

In particular, no-code platforms have been ground-breaking for non-technical co-founders, whereas low-code offerings are most useful for developers who already have substantial experience with coding languages under their belt, but are looking for a sounding board to test their ideas more quickly.

Rather than embarking on long coding projects without knowing that a new feature or tweak will add legitimate value to a product, developers can quickly test the merit of their concept by enlisting the help of the latter. Although prior experience is necessary, and creators will need to know how to work within the constraints of low-code platforms and streamline the development process, such software can massively improve output and reduce the time spent working with prototypes.

However, with no-code platforms, founders with no little to no knowledge of coding languages can get to grips with creating innovative applications. By utilising graphical interfaces and point-and-click configuration tools, startups can create customised back office, web and mobile interfaces effortlessly, and without having to write a single line of code.

Consequently, NCDPs are encouraging faster-paced digital transformation and challenging the notion that it is only skilled developers who have the ability to take novel and innovative applications to market, and this can only be a good thing.

Why should startup founders look to NCDPs?

Put simply, NCPDs allow businesses, whether they have secured technical backing or not, to test risky ideas and the strength of their MVP without spending too much of their budget. For startups in particular where funding can often be scant in the early stages of a project, this is a game-changer: founders can develop their MVP without hiring a developer or burning through all of their much-needed funds.

This also allows founders to become self-sufficient programmers in their own right and have more input into the development process; they also have the ability to manage, curate and update their application on an ad-hoc basis. If an entrepreneur thinks that an entirely new feature could improve their offering, they will be able to quickly build and test this feature themselves. With such rapid prototyping, founders can solve even the thorniest issues with their application in only a matter of days once they get to grips with NCDPs – perhaps just hours.

As a result, founders will become more knowledgeable than ever before, with granular insights into the inner workings of their offering. It follows naturally that this insight can lend itself to embracing more agile software development in the future, and even convincing investors of the market potential of an application.

While ultimately, it is still a good idea for non-technical founders to dip their toes into the world of coding, I believe that NCDPs can provide valuable tools to businesses of all sizes, and not just startups, when it comes to testing and implementing pioneering new ideas at pace. And with the movement becoming more mainstream, it is inevitable that these platforms will usher in a whole new cohort of inventive non-technical entrepreneurs in the years to come.

Ritam Gandhi

Ritam worked as a consultant for a decade for the likes of Accenture and Bank of America Merrill Lynch before, in 2014, going on to found Studio Graphene – a firm that specialises in developing amazing blank canvas tech products.

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