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Episode #26 – Max Lind – 8020 Agency
August 4, 2020
Podcast

Episode #26 – Max Lind – 8020 Agency

Max Lind is the GM of 8020. 8020 is a new agency focused on helping great companies move faster, without code.

In this episode, Ben and Max discuss...

  • Using a wide variety of tools for your build and their tradeoffs
  • Transparency in building as an Agency
  • How 8020 works with Tiny Capital



Max Lind - 8020 - Spotlight Podcast

Tue, 7/28 2:05PM • 51:26


SUMMARY KEYWORDS

projects, build, code, work, people, folks, tools, piece, agency, agencies, client, big, point, workflows, exists, matchmaking, terms, bit, pitch, thinking


SPEAKERS

Max Lind, Ben Tossell


Ben Tossell  00:00

Everybody, Stan here, founder of make fat, a platform teaching individuals and companies how to build custom software workflows and tools without writing code. This show explores the people behind the no code tools and the stories of folks using them to automate work and launch companies. Okay, today we have max who is the general manager at 8020. publisher max. Hey, how's it going? Good. How are you doing? Don't just give us a quick a quick intro about who you are and what 8020 is slash does. Yeah, yeah. So


Max Lind  00:35

like you said, I'm maximum at 20. I actually live in work from remotely from Iowa. In at 20. We know pretty simply, we describe ourselves as a global no code agency who helps great companies move faster without code. That can obviously mean a lot of things. But we try to keep that pretty simple, just simply by this by for the fact of you know, kind of Really in the clients in in terms of like what we could potentially do.


Ben Tossell  01:04

And yeah, and so Andrew Wilkinson who is invested in in maker pad is known for buying lots of businesses or buying majority shares and then spinning them up and letting them run and things like that. And it seems like 8020 was very much born in that way. Like it was created from the tiny team and brought you in is that I getting that right will happen. Yeah,


Max Lind  01:27

yeah, exactly. Um, you know, I so, and I should have actually kind of noted this too. I've actually worked for Andrew and a couple other of his tiny properties in the past and manage the community designer news for a while and worked at dribble for a while. Just over the years, he's obviously been a big fan of sort of like the no code movement in visual development and, you know, especially using tools like web flow to build projects so he had always kind of talked about starting another Agencies solely focused on, you know, projects where, you know, you're where they're using those those those tools of specifically. So just, you know, more recently, really just had a bigger push to make it happen. And yeah, to your point he, you know, kind of casually sent me a text and said, Hey, I'm starting this thing would you be interested in that kind of led to further conversations and kind of Here we are. So yeah, you know, it's interesting too, because obviously, from their perspective, to your point, Chinese got a, you know, a number of companies, you know, under the under the tiny umbrella with some overlapping services so it's really interesting from our perspective to that, despite being an agency that you know, is really focused on like the smaller to medium sized businesses you know, we do a lot of you know, cross collaboration work with other with other companies within the tiny umbrella of working you know, with sometimes on, you know, bigger projects with with Metalab for instance, who's like a well round agent See who works on very, very big project. So it's, it's, yeah, it's interesting to say the least the kind of, you know, crossover collaboration that actually does even happen under the tiny umbrella.


Ben Tossell  03:10

Yeah, for sure is that how many people are at the at 20 side of things now.


Max Lind  03:17

So we're essentially at five now. And then five on our home team quote unquote, and then we have a number of folks that we work with, in our away team, I like to call them so you know, contractors that have have worked with us on a number of projects and projects and worked with me on a number of projects that really kind of help us in this obvious kind of get gets a little bit more to more into, you know, who we are as an aging agency, but a number of folks on the awaking that really helped us build projects in a wider variety of tools to you know, obviously you you're certainly no it's certainly no secret on your end to understand the the wide variety have tools that exist no code world. So yeah, we're small and nimble team but at the same time, we you know, have a pretty broad reach just by, you know, kind of the combination of our Home and Away teams.


Ben Tossell  04:12

Okay, cool. So, um, yeah, it's interesting. So I've always been interested in like the agency model and how how people deal with I did a small, no good agency before mega pad was born, if you can call it that, I guess it was, like, we'll just get people in and then we design stuff and build stuff in bubble for them. But it's more just like client base stuff. And I was not like, that wasn't an enjoyable experience for me and I, I must, I feel like I just that was because that was like a, it was a I needed to do it. I needed like, just have clients to get me through and pay the bills and stuff. But I feel like if there must be something I'm missing and on the agency side around why people start agencies How people run them. So I find interesting you say about the home away team, I am assuming without you saying anything is the home team sort of manages what comes in what's right how the fit is and then says, okay, right, here's the three or four away players who will tackle this for you, and then you manage the project, I assume.


Max Lind  05:20

Yeah, that's a, that's a good way to kind of put it especially knowing, you know, I think at the end of the day, a lot of times we'll have potential projects come our way or clients come our way where, you know, it sounds kind of silly to say, but they just want to be able to trust somebody to get something done. And obviously, that's kind of the point of agencies in general it's like, you know, you would go to an agency because it'd be they can do everything from design to build to copywriting work to marketing growth work to you name it. So yes, I, I feel like and maybe this is also something that we kind of need to really, you know, nail down internally in terms of how we pitch this, but Part of our extreme value to the to the client is a matchmaking service of sorts, you know, to your point, you know, we're able to find exactly who you need for the job to make to make it work, you know, you know, no discredit to any existing agencies that kind of use the traditional model. But, you know, when you think about it, there's a lot of times where, you know, a project might come in, maybe the maybe a traditional agency has 10 people that could work on that project, well, maybe say seven of them, seven of them are currently booked with projects, so there's only three left And out of those three, maybe they don't have the specialty needed for that project that just came in, but they're the only ones available. So it's, it's kind of a and that obviously that's a very specific use case, but I feel like again, this sort of like matchmaking and I'm just best way to put it but matchmaking skill set is sort of one of our you know, kind of, not not well. Broadcast skills. sets that we actually provide. But at the end of the day, again, it's just like clients won't come to us because they trust that we'll make it happen. And we'll make it happen quick. And hopefully for, you know, far smaller budget than then what would happen if they went to a traditional agency?


Ben Tossell  07:16

Yeah, so I think, like you said, matchmaking, it's not something you really talk about. And you said, it's best to, I think, for me, it seems like the matchmaking term is almost like, undervalued from anyone, because you would think of traditional thing of like Tinder, you swipe, swipe, swipe, and then you get matched if you're lucky. And then so that's like, the simplest version of a matchmaking thing, right? where someone has similar interests or something. And it's like, oh, that's really easy. So that's not a valuable thing. But actually, you then see it with companies, even companies like triplebyte, for example, where they, they vet people in their own way, and that's the value is that they tell you, you know, these are the people that we've said At this level, so the match Yeah, I think matchmaking does sort of undersell it, I guess where it's like, No, we've like, picked from the best. And we made sure that this is the right thing. And it's like, that's a professional service in my mind.


Max Lind  08:15

Yeah, yeah, I, you know, I am I personally what I just talked about on Twitter, really thinking that, you know, manually curated directories are like highly undervalued. You know, just, that could be a lot of things, you know, like, the one that always comes to mind at that, I think it's like, like a, like a wire cutter. You know, if I want to buy a vacuum, I was like, there's a million vacuums, I just want to know, like, what's the best or the most reasonably priced or whatever. So, kind of doing that same thing to your point in in our world. A lot of a lot of folks, you know, that come our way. They like because again, they trust us and part of our pitch too, is like, trying to try to work backwards. So right from the get go. We'll talk about like, you know, just timeline and budget and those things that like might get pushed off, you know, down the road a little bit with with other agencies because what we try to do is say, Okay, let's try to, we're not trying to see how much money we can make, we're just trying to frame you into a, you know, like a good better or best scenario meaning, you know, there's, there's a large number of tools that we could probably use to build your thing now trying to understand like, how much you know what, what your budget is, what your requirements are, those sorts of like, high level questions can hopefully kind of, you know, lead us down a path to pretty quickly get an understanding of what we what we could use to build your thing. And that kind of sat like for some folks that aren't too familiar with the no code world that might sound kind of weird or scary, but it's, you know, the reality is like, you could go 100 different ways it's you know, I not to go down a little bit of a rabbit hole, but i i don't know if i Read this somewhere just randomly came up with it. But like this idea of, you know, thinking of no code like, like pizza, you know, the everybody has their own take or preference or like, there's geographical recipes, whatever. But like, at the end of the day, we still call it pizza. So figuring out how to build something, using no code tools, it's just it's kind of depends on the year, your preference and your ingredients and your take on on pizza. And that, that sounds really silly. But I think it's like a good analogy to get people to understand like, at the end of the day ended end of the day, you're still building the thing. Yeah. You know, for a lot of folks like what is happening behind the scenes doesn't matter as much as long as it's looks great. And it's easy to use and functions as it should.


Ben Tossell  10:42

Yeah, and with that, there's like, there's all the small pieces that it's like, okay, we can build this version of this thing that you're doing in this way. And that'll be like the good enough sort of peace. Yeah, good. Go down a different route, which will take us another two weeks that actually incorporates all these other things, but it's a bit bigger, a bit heavier to maintain. There's a bit more things going on. But it's like maybe the ultimate No, but maybe you start with that like, and yeah, there's so many tools that package together in different ways and do different things. So yeah, it's just nice to think. So as so many people want to know, like you said, the wife has an example of what's the best thing or like you tell me. And I think this is why there's a there was a tweet going around recently about why do people tweet a question where they could just google it? I think the point isn't that, because I don't trust Google to give me the best answer anymore. Right. I think that I assume my followers, people in my circle, they're the ones who are going to tell me Oh, yeah, this is like, I'm similar interests to you. I think similarly to you. And this is what I found was the best version of this thing. So I'm like, okay, I trust that over the 15th Google Adams gonna pass so


Max Lind  12:00

Yeah, exactly. And, you know, back to the point of, you know, relying some folks in our away team, there's, you know, there's a large community of really talented folks that want to just get into the designing in the building of these things. And like, I call them dabblers folks. I just like wanted to try all the tools to kind of figure out what they liked the best and how they could use things. And obviously, over time, this is, you know, some tools might get weeded out, or might there might be some consolidation. But, you know, to your point, I totally agree that that's why I think, you know, US relying on this on our waiting to some extent, makes a lot of sense, because it's also like, you know, when it comes down to it, learning all these tools and understanding how they could work to their fullest potential is, is like, a full time job in of itself for a lot of people. I mean, again, I'm totally preaching to the choir here, but it's so to that extent, I yeah, I totally agree. You know, being able to lean on the community more so and then in our case, being able to provide some Some folks in our way team with some hopefully really cool, really interesting projects in, you know, some, you know, great value, you know, budget wise back, you know, back in their pocket is hopefully, you know, really a big, big part of people wanting to work with us on, you know, the the consultant side of the equation, you know, as compared to the client side of the equation.


Ben Tossell  13:22

Yeah, for sure. A lot of people just don't want to have to deal with that. And I think, yeah, it's a valuable piece in itself. Yeah, and there are so many tools. I mean, I, again mentioned on Twitter recently that the community probably can build stuff, no code better than I can, whether that's because they know different tools or because I only know like, I'm this good at this many tools, but there's so many new ones coming up every day. So it's not even it's more than full time job you definitely can't keep up with all right, we try and that's why we have the community doing that for us as well. So that helps with with all of that stuff to do Use within like, in running an agency with all these other moving parts and other people. Do you have like, a bunch of no code workflows internally that you say like, this is how we run our agency. And it's like, automated to 80%. Whatever.


Max Lind  14:19

Yeah, we we do. I do I say it that way, because I also kind of caveat as like, we could always, you know, make things run smoother. We actually, just personally and at the agency, we're big fans of notion for a variety of reasons. So we actually, we rely on notion for a whole host of things both like, behind the scenes and client facing. notion obviously doesn't quite have an API ready to, you know, kind of connect the dots. This is maybe a subtle plug to, hopefully that'll be soon but so a lot of our things currently are still a little manual. Now that sounds kind of strange, obviously, for what you know what we're preaching, but really A lot of a lot of what we're also doing is not getting to set in stone with like how our workflow is happening behind the scenes, you know it with a small team, it's easy enough to pivot as needed. I feel like we have kind of pivoted a little bit a couple times already. But yeah, you know, we do rely. So again, we rely on notion for a whole host of things just to operate the agency specifically. But then I think even just the ability, like, like, as a quick example, like, you know, once the project gets signed, we'll, we'll quickly spin up a notion page that that had from a template that we already have created that exists to share with the client right away that talks about like, okay, here's the deliverables, here's the timelines, here's like, where things will be, you know, just kind of creating like a project wiki of sorts like a single source of truth, just as things go along. I would argue like that in of itself, to be able to quickly turn that page to public and then share it with the client and then have them be able to edit it. You know, is, is, is pretty powerful in of itself just because, you know, prior to that, you know, you're exchanging hundreds of emails back and forth and things are getting lost. And obviously everybody has their own kind of system. But I think, you know, the route that we're going is also part of our pitch in terms of, we're going to try to make things simpler for you both in terms of like, what we're building and designing, but also just in terms of like, how this process goes along, you know, like part of part of, I would say, part of probably most agencies, issues with projects, taking a long time or hurdles that they run into is just, you know, a lot of things come down to like communication to like remembering what the requirements actually were or weird, you know, projects going over scope or or just questions been unanswered because they're not organized correctly. So, you know, despite us not having a lot of automated workflows happening behind the scenes, I feel like we have a pretty good sense of organized workflows. Guess if that makes sense. So really on our end, you know, automating a lot of these things is sort of like step two for us.


Ben Tossell  17:06

Yeah. Make sense? And yeah, I think we're all waiting for that notion API. So D does the actual home team, and they did some of the ones that talk to the clients and then do a loop back with a team and have that as the mode of communication is that one person or two people?


Max Lind  17:24

Um, it's a little bit of both, you know, to be honest, you know, I say away team, as if, you know, they're not truly part of the 8020 team, but really, you know, I would say the majority of our projects, after we get things going, we really want to pretty quickly, like, let the client and the consultant, you know, talk directly I, you know, we're involved with, you know, project management and quality control and ensuring the requirements are set and like, you know, from from the consultants perspective, we're trying to make their lives easier by just like letting them jump in and do the thing that they're they're great at. And then from the clients perspective, we're just trying to make sure like, hey, yep, we're gonna make sure that, you know, you get what you what you paid for what you asked for. So, you know, I, you know, again, I think there's a lot of agencies that kind of like to hide behind that curtain and say like, yep, like this is all less and if you pulled it back, you'd realize there's all kinds of other things going on, and other people involved. I, you know, I would say we're pretty transparent and pretty clear about like, how we function and how we work which, you know, from, from my standpoint, I think is really important, and I think will be like, a bigger piece of, you know, how agencies evolve and how the, the broader no code movement plays a part in, you know, in terms of like, folks realizing that, you know, having this big community and being open about folks we work with is actually, you know, much more important for the for the movement, I guess if that if that makes sense.


Ben Tossell  18:55

Yeah, no, it does make sense. How do you think Like a traditional agency versus a nobody. I mean, there's so many questions around salt piece that I guess first would be a we see those people come in for business tears and say I want to build this project. And it could be anything from, okay, I've got a budget of $100 $250,000. And that's not what our business here is about. But we always have people saying about this those things. Do you think that it's too as a challenge in trying to teach people what no code is and what it's for and like, what the right scenarios are? And is this more for building projects? Or is it for more established teams to spin up something new or what do you see on on your side?


Max Lind  19:55

It's an interesting question because we we've we've definitely seen a little bit of both you No, we've had some big high profile clients come in, like we, you know, we, we took the Metalab website and, you know, migrated that over to web flow. We abstract abstract comm we just, we took their WordPress website and migrated over to web flow in partnership with with fin suite on that one, that there's like, there's some cases where folks just want to, you know, migrate to something like web flow because of ease of use, or a whole host of other reasons now, like, is that our sweet sweet spot, quote, unquote, for, you know, in the 8020 project, maybe you know, it's a lot of work. There's a lot of moving parts and a lot of things going on. I, I feel like we're probably better off with, you know, folks that, you know, maybe have tried, tried a first stab at something on their own, or like they have something that exists but it's not quite right and they're like, it's have like the skateboard bike car kind of analogy of growing a product like folks that are maybe in between the skateboard and bike phase, you know, it's like, they know they want something better. They're not exactly sure how to get there, they probably have gotten to the point where they realize they gotta lean on somebody else to make it happen. Because, you know, like, in a lot of cases, time is money. And what they need to be working on is the product or service itself as compared to the website or the app that like, you know, makes the thing happen. So yeah, it's interesting for us, I would, I would say, at least right now, most of our target clients or target projects are those that are kind of like the, again, like in between the the skateboard and the bike in terms of size, you know, it's folks that also want to like, get that first thing out there or that that not maybe not first thing, but that the first thing from us out there and then iterate on it over time. So rather than spending for six months, on the entire project, let's like, let's get the first kind of few pages of the website up and running. And then like over time, let's add additional components and iterate on it. Which, again, I guess from my perspective is probably part of the benefit of going to no code route, because then you're, you're not so worried about like thinking through every single scenario up front and how it gets built, but you can kind of like, start and then test it out and see what happens, see how people react to it. And then if you need to backtrack a little bit, that's okay. Like, there's, you know, you have the ability to do so but then at least you're kind of like, building momentum. I, I feel like that's probably one of the biggest things that people kind of take for granted in the no code VS code or, you know, whatever, which is kind of silly in and of itself, but just the idea of like, nothing else, at least kind of going the no code route, whatever that means to you. You're able to kind of build momentum and make the thing happen, you know?


Ben Tossell  22:56

Yeah. So do you think that you have to you have to do find something I'm going to teach people the benefits of no code and do not pitch piece first, rather than say that they come, knowing what no code is, and just saying, Yeah, can you build this thing? For me? It's, it's probably


Max Lind  23:11

like 5050. I, you know, there, there are some folks that I've heard her name or for her heard us on a podcast, or whatever, and they hear, you know, no code fraction of time, less expensive. And they think, Oh, awesome. So I can build like, you know, the next whatever, Airbnb for $1,000. It's like, Well, not exactly, but then we have to kind of talk, you know, talking through those options and the good, better, best kind of philosophy. And then I would say that, you know, the other 50% of the audience definitely knows enough to be dangerous about like, what could what no code is to some extent or the tools and the in the options. I said, in either scenario, there's still a lot of kind of consulting or coaching going got involved in terms of just trying to sort of backtrack to get to get Both our team and their team to understand like, what what do they truly kind of get out of this? You know, they might say, I need a new website. I was like, well, there's great, but like, what else? Is there? Like? Do you know that? Is it? Is it a matter of like, you know, you want more leads Do you want, you know, you're trying to make something else happen behind the scenes that you're that you think the website isn't fulfilling, but you realize it's not the website at all. It's, you know, how the form works or something? So? Yeah, it's, it's interesting, too, because I would say, which maybe is, maybe it's the way for most agencies, but from, from our perspective, it's never a dull moment in terms of like, the types of requests that we get, because again, like we just say, help companies move fast without code, which could mean we could be working on websites or web apps or mobile apps or dashboards or just behind the scenes, you know, workflow pieces, using you know, you know, those two those like, kind of like automation workflow tools, but yeah, it it's It's definitely in never a dull moment. Around here, you think that, like,


Ben Tossell  25:08

for those that sort of know about the no code piece you mentioned about, oh, I've heard that it's cheaper to do this thing. I don't have to hire developers. It's perfect. I can, I can say go This was what what's the thing, they just come in assuming a 10th of the price a 10th of the time. Like, why is this gonna cost me $10,000 versus $100? Or whatever it is?


Max Lind  25:32

Yeah. There's definitely a there's definitely some folks again, that that sort of just assume that it's like the bare bones costs. So we'll have to kind of just get them to be realistic about expectations. I feel like as part of our pitch to it, along with you and talking about like timeline and pricing up front, sort of sort of help work backwards to figure out whether you know what they could build. We also try to talk right away about like, potential tools. They could use, which, you know, again, maybe some agents, agencies don't go that route because they want to have like, they want to get the project signed and then like start building and then, you know, go that route because they maybe they maybe they're worried that the client would just, if I said, Oh, you could build this in web flow, and here's how the client might just run away and do it. Well, what we're trying to do is obviously, you know, build trust with the client to say, hey, like, here's the, here's what you could build for that price and that timeline, and we would probably use these tools. And then, you know, at the end of the day, they obviously want to just lean on us, you know, because of our their trust and our expertise and all that good stuff. But


26:38

yeah, the


Max Lind  26:42

you know, it I guess in terms of thinking about like the, just on a quick side tangent like thinking about the tools themselves. We try pretty hard to like, going back to this good, better, best analogy like we tried pretty hard to on our end Sort of template ties some of the scenarios that people could, you know, that people could come to us with. Which isn't like we're not, you know, we're not saying like, Oh, you fit in this one specifically, and it cost $10,000. But it's, you know, it's us trying to at least keep the ball rolling. And like, you know, not trying to think of every single project is something, we have to re scope and take, you know, two hours to dig through, like all the finer details and requirements. But, again, I think the benefit there to the client then is like, we've already thought about, you know, we'll have a lot of conversations where it's somebody will ask about x, and they'll say, Oh, actually, we like literally just did this project, or we just did one that's really similar. And we're pitching it now. And here's, like, here's the costs and all that good stuff. So the nice thing there is, you know, in a lot of those cases, if we've already done it, and we've already gone through through the project once we already know, the good, bad and otherwise, and hopefully in some cases, we're able to say Oh, actually, yeah, we can. We can be a little bit more cost effective here too, because we found a better way to build it. You know, as compared to the first time around?


Ben Tossell  28:01

Yeah. Do you think people also are? It was one question I tweeted earlier and said, people have questions for you, or should I ask you and I'm not gonna ask anything horrible. But one of them was, yeah, what what are some projects you've had to say no to because no good wasn't the right stack or like, I mean, we see this a lot, where even building matepad internally, it's like, you do hit limits. And I'm not pretending that no code does everything. And that's not the point. That's not the point of this whole movement, quote, unquote, right? Yes. It's like the other side, which we can go down later. But yeah, I think it's, it's important to say that Yeah, not everything is no good. But I wonder what you've seen and had to say, like you Yeah, this this scope is a bit too unrealistic here.


Max Lind  28:53

Yeah. You know, again, there's some that obviously, just like maybe great ideas But the budget isn't quite right. Yeah. And that's just simply just, you know, it's things take time to we have we've we have had some that probably cleaner clients come to us with a with a great idea. You know, maybe it's like a CRM for some very specific niche. And then, you know, as we get into it, they have enough requests and things that, you know, kind of our add ons to their CRM idea that you we kind of get to the point where it's like, well, I guess what do you what are you missing out of like, the whole host of CRM that currently exists that you're not getting enough to say, like, we, you know, we wouldn't do some of those projects, but just, you know, we there are some times where, where we realize like, hey, like, you know, what, what you're trying to build, again, for maybe the budget you have, but what what you're trying to build probably exists to some extent already. You know, is it possible for us to like, or is it possible for you to use this third party CRM, but For some of those other add on features that you're asking about that the CRM doesn't have, can we, you know, can we build, again, those behind the scenes workflow automations, or some of those things. So like, there have been a couple projects where, you know, we don't want we don't want the client to recreate the wheel, so to speak, if the project is almost like an identical representation of something that already exists. Now that that sounds kind of weird, because that's part of the premise of noco, too, is like, well, you can just build your own hyper local version of Airbnb. But if you're doing that, then you then you're probably doing this, you know, you're probably doing it much simpler with maybe some slightly different features and some slightly different, you know, setup of scenario for the for the talk, you know, the the target audience at the end of the day, but, yeah, I feel like most of the project projects that we have passed on or we just have lost out on or either, you know, the budget wasn't quite right, or, again, they're there. They're trying to build something that's way too identical to something that already exists. That does


Ben Tossell  31:01

doesn't it's not a rethinking of that existing service? And yes, it is that is that use is that usually like a piece of software, like you said about CRM. So what I'm trying to build my own piece of software to do this thing, rather than someone like Airbnb, the mechanics are basically quite straightforward when you break it down into like a marketplace, views and stuff. But then if it's like, I'm trying to build a software system from me, people of people who would like me to maybe yes, like, Well, you could use copper or air table and just add these pieces on that would get you there. So we focus on that piece.


Max Lind  31:40

Yeah, that I that, on that note, specifically, I feel like that's, you know, amongst other things that we're currently like kind of challenged with, I feel like that's probably one of the biggest challenges is when folks do come come to us with some of these ideas. And again, we're trying to work backwards to figure out how it fits with our Their requirements and budget and all that good stuff, but also trying to get really to the crux of the problem itself. Like, why do they want to build that that thing? You know, if it is a software, you know, or, or software as a service or whatever it might be, is it like, they just want to build the thing to make money? Or is it they're trying to build a thing to like help their own company internally, you know, have a better workflows or is it something else entirely because I think then we might approach a project, you know, completely different to you know, it's like we just helped launch a project that's essentially it's called commish it's basically just like, you know, like, a marketplace to buy commissioned work. So to your point, like, like, you know, Fiverr or a marketplace like that already exists, but what they're trying to accomplish is trying to do is be like, hyper focused on a very specific subset of a market. So it's folks that, you know, maybe maybe I want like a new Twitter avatar, and I want to find somebody to, you know, do a digital watercolor version of it or something like, I would go to commission for that, again, that sounds like very specific, as compared to I could probably go to Fiverr and do the same request, but hopefully because Commission's, you know, their target audience is much smaller, and the pitches like much tighter, even though it's like, more or less the same ideas as a fiver or the like, that was a very interesting project, because they're, they are trying to get so hyper, hyper targeted and hyper focus. So it's interesting, maybe I've kind of talked myself in a circle a little bit with some of our challenges and some of our solutions. But, you know, to, you know, to be honest, I think that's also, you know, kind of part of the part of the challenge for everybody in terms of trying to figure out what makes the most sense, you know, going to no code route.


Ben Tossell  33:51

Yes. I mean, it's not rigid. It's not black and white. It's not a sort of yes or no thing every single time. And there's always like a subtle things that you think Oh, we just want user profiles that do this, that the other you like, let's say it sounds like a reasonable request, but actually that that adds a lot of complexity. So if you're building it with a certain tool, you're not going to get very far with this user profile piece. So you'd have to remap everything or re figure that out. But do you find it difficult? Then you almost almost like the startup guru in that scenario where people are coming to you with Okay, this is my project, this is what I want to build. You could be like, oh, that totally exists with this thing. So it's really tough scenario to try and navigate and like, crush anyone's dreams are saying, just to be realistic, bro, do you think that's, that's probably something that not a lot of agencies pride themselves on is, hey, look, we can actually get you to your goal. That's our goal is like to get you to your success point. And it's not about you spending the most amount of money to rebuild this whole thing which is actually there, but We could probably help you get this really a lot quicker or easier, a lot cheaper. But that's a good selling point.


35:08

Yeah, I,


Max Lind  35:10

on that point, specifically, I feel like a lot of the problem that, you know, most agencies are trying to solve is like the what, like, what, what are you trying to build? And then, you know, we can we can design and build it, but we're trying to really push this off the why, like, why are you trying to build this thing in the first place? Again, to work backwards and then hopefully figure out can we actually build that thing? Or, you know, is there some other tangential project or or idea that we need to actually help push on because to your point, you know, I, I certainly wouldn't consider ourselves like consultants by any means, but there are there is definitely a lot of coaching that goes involved to to your point with like, you know, folks come to us with an idea and then we can either have to help them you know, make that a reality or not crush their dreams, but just kind of get them to realize that like, hey, maybe, maybe you just need to like reposition yourself. A little bit here, which again, like, from our perspective, in terms of taking on those projects is a fun, interesting challenge too. Because, you know, a lot of times there's because of the projects that we have worked on, and the tools and realizing like the potential to some extent of the broader no code,


36:19

you know, set up tools and services,


Max Lind  36:22

which certainly like, like you and your team, you have some insights in terms of like what could be done, which is almost just as exciting as like, what you literally build. So that's also why a lot of times, we're just again, we pitched this, we have the pitch of opening cup, helping companies move faster without code, because it's like, what that means exactly. It's sort of like, that gray area that you talked about, but that's also the exciting part for us.


Ben Tossell  36:47

Yeah, that's kind of the point is like you actually can do almost anything you think of probably in there.


36:53

So right.


Ben Tossell  36:55

Yeah, I didn't mean to talk so much about the agency business, but I found like, just the way you think About the projects and how to build, how to think about building and hopefully that's helpful for people listening to when they're thinking of building their own projects or coming to you and, and trying to get that built. It's, it's quite a helpful framework, I think. And I think when you start building without code, you almost developed that framework yourself and realize, okay, it's easier than writing functions in a terminal. But it's not like, okay, you can just use literally just copy, paste, launch. It's not that easy. It's not nice to see that point of view. What is legend some of the challenges they're thinking about what are some of the other challenges that you're facing as an agency and maybe like, we can talk then about the wider no code movement and where we see that going, and maybe where that presents more opportunities more challenges for everyone?


Max Lind  37:57

Sir, yeah, that you know, on the He said of things. The, I would say our biggest challenge currently is the which is probably like most it's like, how do you I hate to use the word scale, but you know, how do you grow the business so that it makes sense, you know, for taking on more projects and you know, finding more folks for the home team and the away team, like, the founders dilemma, or you know, that everybody runs into this problem. Obviously, the benefit for us is hopefully, by, you know, using a lot of these these noco tools that, you know, like were able to kind of take things that were typically much harder in the past and make them a lot easier because of behind the scenes workflows, and automations, and all that, all that good stuff. So I would say at least right now, that's probably our, you know, kind of biggest hurdle. And on top of that, you know, with you know, we've gotten a large number of inbound requests. You know, for folks that want projects to be done in you know, less any age. Didn't see what deli or any Freelancer would tell you like, a big piece of the pie is obviously like scoping the project and getting to realize like how much time it might take and understand your requirements. Like, that stuff just takes time. Like, there's not like a, an easy way, quote, unquote, to automate that, too. So I think for us trying to try to sort of work backwards, and, you know, like it, which is, which is kind of interesting, too. So trying to work backwards and sort of like match to our name at 20. The name, you know, it comes up is the idea of obviously, getting you 80% of the way there for 20% of the effort. So there's probably something there too, about some of the questions that we asked early on, or some of the things that we kind of get from the client to pretty quickly realize if it's something we can or can't do. And basically, hopefully, just, you know, kind of refining that. That initial scoping phase over time to really help both us and the client grow.


Ben Tossell  39:56

Yeah, and what about gold in the wider No code world, the just businesses and professionals, everyone in general, I think, for us, it's there's a lot of trying to teach people what's possible. And they don't know what they don't know, until it's put in front of their face to say, look, even if you work in sales, and you've got sales processes, these are things you can do. It doesn't have to be an MTV clone. It doesn't have to be like a new, like an entrepreneur, you can you can be creative or have that sort of maker mindset, to an extent, but it doesn't need to be this, that process necessarily every time. And that's one thing I'm thinking of. We see lots of we I mean, we've got 1500 members, and megapath is almost like a credentialing system for us know, coders when they get to a certain point. I think in no code in general, you sort of graduate where you know how to build stuff with your little tool stack and you figure out these ways There's always this question of an expert marketplace or like us doing a matchmaking system or something on that piece produced. Do you think that the market needs to be there before? That? I mean, I think I'd see a lot of agencies or people saying there are no good agency or having and people, everyone seems to be busy. So I don't know whether it's like, is it through? Like, just the way they market themselves or get it out there? Or is it that the market is listening? And like it could be the right time for these expert marketplaces to be up and running and people be there for


41:42

yet the


Max Lind  41:45

you know, I would say, been pretty darn humble about our situation. You know, being attached to the tiny family Andrew and we were at 20 is obviously in a position that we're able to get some really interesting products. ASICs come in the door because of being attached to those things. Obviously on top of that, you know, just pitching ourselves as a no code agency is just hopefully not trying to say like, we're the first to do it, but it's really just trying to say hey, like we're, we're another one that is part of this community that's really kind of pushed us along. You know, it's the whole rising tide lifts all boats kind of kind of analogy. So yeah, obviously, what you're doing really benefits us so yeah, keep keep doing what you're doing. Because, you know, we want to find the next the next wave of folks to join the art team, the home team and the away team and all that good stuff. Um, you know, I do feel like just more generally speaking, the The interesting thing about you know, folks that want like an abstract that came to us and you know, wants to wants to, you know, migrate from WordPress to a web flow. Obviously, they're a much bigger client. They're obviously have a lot of changes. That they're trying to face. You know, I think for for a lot of folks in you know, smaller folks and somebody's like abstract, you know, a lot of it right might just come down to like, once this thing is live, whatever that means Can I tinker with it, you know, like the idea of like being able to play in the sandbox second, nobody wants the feeling of you built this thing. And then now, you know, it's essentially just a black box that you know, only one person with one key can, you know, can actually use So, I, out of everything that's happening with the movement and projects that we're working on. I, you know, we're we're pretty adamant about saying, like, you know, whatever your current situation is, you might be frustrated and things are expensive, or projects take time or whatever, like, we want you to walk away with something that's really well designed, like we definitely have a quality bar that we kind of set for ourselves internally. But then like, we want to get have deliver a project or a product. You can tweak and maintain yourself over time and like, kind of become your own expert. Like, we'll definitely be here if you know if you need help, and you need to kind of upgrade, but like, I feel like a huge part of, you know, just making the no code movement or whatever, you know, whatever it turns out to be, you know, maybe maybe in a few years, that's not necessarily no code, but there's some other term that's used, but like this movement of putting the power back in the hands of the people that are using the product. I've, I'm pretty sure that makeup had said something about this as well. But


44:34

I really like


Max Lind  44:37

AJ at card, the way that he sort of describes like, the best thing about no code. I'll kind of paraphrase the quote a little bit, but you know, it's not like, not so much about like, the no code piece of it, but rather like just dismantling the, you know, the BS notion that making stuff is actively reserved for only very serious developers. We totally believe it's just like, if you give everybody the the tools and the training and whatever to play in the sandbox, and then over time build really cool, interesting things and then give them you know, the power, whatever that means that could be really big projects, or it could be just something really small that use on a personal level, but like, giving them the ability and the tools to, you know, make those things happen. I think that's the exciting thing from my perspective, you know, I'm, I'm like a staunch advocate net and fan of everything, apple, and they're huge, obviously, they're really big on, you know, everybody can code and, you know, getting kids involved early on, like, that's, that's, that's awesome. I also think there's probably a huge piece of that, that coding, you know, it again, like in two to three years, it's really just probably more so building and building is, is no, no code, you know, movement. So it's like, there's a lot of a bigger gray area of ambiguity happening there, which again, from my perspective is really exciting because it's not Way more about, like, what you can do with playing in that sandbox, then, you know, to your point, you know, typing commands in functions in a terminal. Yeah, I


Ben Tossell  46:10

totally think it's almost like someone's like different levels of the symbol. I want to build stuff to another off, whatever that is. But then if I push this user user profile, it's, again, like so bits to touch, copy and paste come off a bit, like for ticket or just even request, do some things, shaping this. It's been finger norcom does, how things like touch it to pieces that actually just happen. According to Paul, were building far more than they ever could do. If I was just learning these commands, functions and stuff like it's an enable enable software development. So it just depends on us. The title for the newly technical software development. So I've got this frozen code, hopefully changes, or something happens here. And people keep asking me to come up with something, but we can't quite put my finger on it because I don't know certainly what it feels like software development is, is that but it's Yes. on technical side.


Max Lind  47:22

Yeah, there's a I love analogies there's, there's probably a better analogy, but I've been thinking about this too lately. It's like,


47:30

you know, folks that


Max Lind  47:32

there's like folks that drink beer, which is a huge pool of people, and there's folks that make beer and then like this kind of like this in between, like folks that sort of dabble into it, do it on their own and, you know, in their garage or whatever. But then just by proxy of being a beer drinker, you might really appreciate it over time and get very, very in tune with like, wanting to understand the behind the scenes so like, the, you know, there's all these like smaller micro breweries, you know, not you know, popping up Do really interesting things. And the cool thing they're related to the no code world is like those micro breweries, despite them being much smaller and maybe have a smaller distribution scale and all that are still doing really cool, interesting things. And maybe, you know, the the brewery here in Iowa that I really like singlespeed if anybody's wondering singlespeed brewing, you know, is, is slowly growing over time, and, you know, like growing their distribution, but also just, you know, kind of started on the smaller scale. But it was, it was mainly just because they weren't interested in making beer, because prior to that, they were just interested in drinking beer. So there's probably a lot of, like, similarities there that again, I I think is really interesting about the broader, no code movement, and you know, kind of like this team that it's picking up because it's just it's, it's way more about just dabbling and playing in the sandbox and figuring out what you can build or can do, whatever, whatever that thing actually is.


Ben Tossell  48:56

Yeah, I think that's as good as it was yesterday. And the thing I'm using We're sitting on cooking and eating food on the top of the remake here being a different level of chef or something I can't quite remember hang on we've got to be able to time station so yeah Vichy


Max Lind  49:21

that sir well so you can find at 20 online at at 20 dot Inc. or on Twitter We are at 20 you know or so definitely feel free to reach out to us if you have any project big or small or you just want to talk talk no code or anything definitely reach out to us I'm also on Twitter at maxlend same thing feel free to reach out to me I'm you know I'll leave you with this I you know, my background is in design I've obviously had a number of roles in sales and marketing and kind of all over the place. I'm I thought I talked to my I described myself as a generalist, kind of a connector of dots sort of person. I'm a really big advocate of just just send that email, meaning, if you have a question, you have an idea you have whatever, like, regardless to who the, the, you know, the person that you're sending it to just just send it, you know, a long time ago, I sent an email to Andrew Wilkinson about, you know, congratulating him for purchasing designer news and said, Keep up the good work. I love the community. Here's the number of ideas I've been thinking about as a member of the community. You know, kudos, well, that turned into him randomly following up and saying, hey, do you want to try to execute on these things and make it a reality? So I'm, I just say that as in, you know, definitely reach out to me, you know, on Twitter or us on Twitter or on the website. And yeah, just Just don't be afraid to reach out because the worst thing that's gonna happen is you're not gonna hear back or it could turn into, you know, a project or a job. Or a friendship or whatever it might be.


Ben Tossell  51:02

sofa very fitted. Yeah, back to much. Yeah. Great. That's a new one. Hopefully we'll do it again soon. Sounds great. Thanks so much for listening. You can find us online at maker pad.co or on Twitter at make that we'd love to hear if you enjoyed this episode and what we should do next.



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