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Episode #6 - David Siegel - Perfecting the user experience with Glide.
July 15, 2020
Podcast

Episode #6 - David Siegel - Perfecting the user experience with Glide.

Glide

David Siegel is the co-founder and CEO of Glide.

He previously worked at Microsoft. He also held positions at Xamarin, Futureproof, and X1 Technologies. David holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and computer science engineering and has been dreaming up the future of visual programming and mixing code & nocode

Glide turns spreadsheets into beautiful, easy-to-use apps, without code. Pick a spreadsheet or start with a template, customize your app, then share it instantly. Glide was in the Y Combinator Winter 2019 class

David was working with his co-founders Jason Smith, Mark Probst and Antonio Garcia Aprea at Xamarin, a cross-platform mobile development company that Microsoft acquired for $500 million in 2016. There, they witnessed first-hand the difficulty that companies were having building mobile apps so the four founders decided to build a startup to solve the problem.

Ben and David dig into all things glide & building real solutions, fast.

David - Glide - Spotlight Podcast-MP3 for Audio Podcasting

Sun, 4/26 5:33PM • 48:32


SUMMARY KEYWORDS

glide, spreadsheets, app, people, user, code, build, feature, release, app store, add, web, ship, user profiles, column, apple, masks, software, create, software development


SPEAKERS

David - Glide, Ben Tossell


Ben Tossell  00:00



David - Glide  00:23

Hi, I'm David, as Ben said, Absolutely correctly, my name is David. And I am in fact CEO of glide. That's app glide apps on Twitter. Sometimes we even go by go glide apps, because that's our our builder domain name, but we're called glide. And I hope you're familiar with us from material that maker hat maker pads put out event spots on there for a while. And what we're one of the eager participants in no code phenomenon. And we let you build a polished mobile app from a Google Sheet instantly That you can customize. And you can share immediately with a link with anyone. And as your spreadsheet updates your Apple appstate update within seconds to minutes, depending on what you update and how. And if you update the app, your spreadsheet will update right away and other instances of your app will update as well. And the very basic example we give of an app you can build with glide is an employee directory. So so many businesses run on spreadsheets, I'm sure most do. And many businesses have a list of their workers. And usually this list is maintained by someone in HR, and hopefully more than that person have access to it. But usually not everyone has access to this list. And you might have to email someone to get some information and they might look it up in the spreadsheet. But with glide, you can create an app right away that will show that Just like the Contacts app on your phone, it will have a beautiful list of employees their name and their, their title and their photo, if you put that in spreadsheet, and search, and you can tap on their email address to send them an email, tap on their phone number to call them. That's something a spreadsheet can do, for example, it's not really deeply interactive in that way. So yeah, that's glide. And I'm really excited to be here and talk to you about


Ben Tossell  02:27

it. Awesome. Okay. Um, so when people think of mobile apps, I mean, everyone. Everyone I know who's out of here, those in tech, in some sense, and Oh, cool. So you build websites and apps and stuff, as well. Yeah, you're technical. That's all I've ever seen assumption. Yeah. I mean, it's not.


David - Glide  02:50

I mean, I prefer that. I prefer that because usually, I mean, I remember 10 years ago, when I told people I was in tech, they would ask me, like, set up the printer. So I'd like that's big step up.


Ben Tossell  03:02

Yeah. And I mean, it is technically true. So it's my own fault, right? Um, so with glide, you publish them like straightaway. What? Where's the, like, the app component of it, like being in an app store? How does that work?


David - Glide  03:22

Does that work? Um, so right now, the way glide works were really inspired by spreadsheets. So there's no publish out in a spreadsheet. And no one's ever asked for that. Maybe I misspoke. There's no published that in a spreadsheet. You don't add features to your spreadsheet and then go through a release process to get it into the hands of your collaborators, for example. You just edit the spreadsheet and it changes as you edit it. That's a benefit of spreadsheets. And traditionally, with software development. There's a pretty, pretty big gap between Engineers building a feature and users experiencing that feature. If it's only weeks, that's probably pretty good. If it's days, you are like a company that really has their stuff together like Facebook, for example. Some of the big players who have teams of release engineers can really ensure that sort of quick transfer from the build stage to the release stage. But luckily, spreadsheets never had to deal with that. So that's one of the many properties of spreadsheets that glide is inspired by so in glide. If your users say, Hey, we could really use a button that when we tap it, lets us give some feedback or makes a phone call. So you just add a button, and you set up a an action. So it does what user is asked. And as soon as you put that in the app and like builder, it is released to your users. So we view that as a little bit of a It's a bit of a risky decision. And but we wanted to err on the side of sort of innovative spreadsheet inspired workflow. And so far it's been, people love the way that they love the way the cloud works. We have a lot of engineers who use glide, and this gives them some concern. You're like, Where's my staging and production environments? And we understand that that's a legitimate thing to ask. So we'll we will, we will introduce at some point some better controls over release pipelines. You could have like a beta version that doesn't go live right away. But the second part of your question, how do we get glide apps in the app stores?


05:43

Again,


David - Glide  05:45

we decided not to start in the app stores. There are a lot of app builders out there that only target App Store distribution. But the glide team, the founding team, we've worked in mobile for almost a year. A decade


Ben Tossell  06:01

and


David - Glide  06:02

getting your app into an app store is one of the most tedious and mind numbing parts of creating an app. It doesn't have any of the creative joy of designing or programming it, it doesn't have the sensation around marketing your app and getting feedback from your users. It's just this tedious step where you have to like check a bunch of boxes and cut a bunch of icons of your app at different sizes, then you have to wait for someone to approve it in the case of the iOS store. So we just thought that was an impediment to our users own release velocity and our own velocity at learning what people are going to want from glide. So we started with web distribution only. But we have it it's one of our most requested features, releasing the App Store. So it is something that we're going to do. We just want to start with this much faster paced iteration. properties of web apps. So just to be clear, I say that glide makes mobile apps. They are web apps, they are websites, but they use a mobile look and feel. So when it's running on your Android phone, you can run it fullscreen and Android supports adding light apps right to your homescreen, where they get saved. And they open like normal apps. And they look and they look exactly like this sort of app, they might come with your phone. Yeah. And that's our goal. And then on iOS, if you open the app in Safari, you can also add it to your homescreen or you get an icon as a launch screen. It runs fullscreen. So you get this app look and feel. But it's built on the web. And, but we're not we're not religious about that. That's just a starting point for glide. We view the platform, we're just getting whatever benefits we can from the web platform, we're not we're not dogmatic about no character. Web exclusively. But yeah, we want to go where our customers are a lot of them expect apps go into app stores, because that's for their own customers want them. So we will do that.


Ben Tossell  08:09

Yeah, I mean, I think maybe part of it is just how traditionally we've assumed that anything that's on your phone has to be an app. Like, everyone just thinks anything you do on your phone. is there's an app for that you look on the App Store and do that and stuff. But then actually, isn't it? There's been over the last few years there was just the average person demos are less than one app. A quarter or something crazy, that like nothing at all.


David - Glide  08:38

Yeah, I mean, did. Anyone who believes that can just take a look at your phone keeps a log of which apps you use most and your browser will be in their top three, like, I mean, maybe if you're heavy sort of multimedia, you may have heard like Tick Tock Instagram, Facebook native app exclusive. We're not trying to compete with those types of apps. The web is Obviously, there's a lot happening with the web. And our goal is just to be, we want to be synonymous with software creation for everyone. And whether you're making an app or a mobile app or a tablet app or a desktop app, or a website, either for public distribution in an app store or within your own company. Those are all the problems we want to tackle applied. And, yeah, so if you want your your software to be like an app in the App Store, we're definitely going to let you do that. But you want it to distribute like a website and sort of be private to your company. Apply. It's going to do that as well.


Ben Tossell  09:41

Awesome. So actually, you're looking at the web app type stuff, too.


David - Glide  09:48

Yeah. So yeah, blog glide is just about letting anyone create software in a way that is easy and fun. Those are our core values and We're just interested in the problem solving power of software. And we've, we can go on to talk more about this. But we've really seen this proven in the last few weeks of this crisis, where we've seen non technical people who have never built an app or a website, who would never say they're in tech, have a problem in their community, and create software to address the problem. So it's, that's one of the most poignant things for me about glide is it's given me new eyes to see what software is when you let non technical people create it. It's just a whole different phenomenon. And you see that the promise is so much bigger than what we've seen so far has been relegated and controlled by such a small group of people.


Ben Tossell  10:53

Yeah, I think it's interesting. Like I tweeted yesterday that I had four podcasts like almost Back to back today. And I was just speaking with AJ from card, which is like, it was meant to be a almost like a business portfolio on the on the web. It's just like a one page site. And then people including me started pushing it to do further and further things, to start adding features and seeing that, wait, these people are pushing and pulling this thing into something I didn't know. Like, it could be useful. And that happens often like you see that web flows, see people build stuff on web flow that he's like, holy shit, how do you do that? Like how how is that possible? Not almost realizing the power of that. And I think this is what the whole no code movement is to me is enabling that and unlocking the fact that these the 99% of people can use their experiences their creativity to then do similar things by creating software in different ways you can all these different tools.


David - Glide  12:03

Yeah, I mean, we anticipated that a little bit just because we're so inspired by spreadsheets. And you can see that a spreadsheet doesn't give you a lot of hints about how to use it. It's kind of this inert substrate. And people use it for planning their vacation planning a multi billion dollar business, planning their future, cataloguing their past indulging all their different hobbies, hobbies and proclivities. It's a sort of a universal medium. So that was something we always were excited about and looked for and wanted to encourage was people just a using glide and hacking it to do whatever they thought was important. Yeah, and we just try to learn from that. I mean, that that is what's so magical about software is it can be reconfigured in ways you can't anticipate. So, one of the most exciting aspects about Work on glide?


13:01

Yeah, sure.


Ben Tossell  13:03

What is what's the deal with the big love for scratches? Then what's, what inspired them? Or is it like you said, because people do so many different things on this one this way interface, which is rows and cells, rows, columns and rows.


David - Glide  13:19

Yeah.


Ben Tossell  13:21

Yeah, I'm interested. So


David - Glide  13:27

to take a step back from spreadsheets, my founders and I, Mark Jason Antonio, me. We just thought that the app creation process that we'd spent almost a decade working on was just so frustratingly horrible. In every aspect, writing code is actually one of the more delightful parts about building an app, you'll A lot more control in the sort of pure realm writing code, but there was designing it, distributing it iterating it. There's this whole software development, lifecycle analytics, feedback from your users crash reporting. We've worked on all those aspects and it was so intimidating, different, so difficult to even programming teams don't like building mobile apps, for example. And we just wanted to make that process a delight. We wanted to make it more approachable to people. We wanted to make it more gratifying and engaging just for us personally, we'd all made apps for fun on the side and just were beaten down by the whole process. So we were asking ourselves, like, how can we make software development just fundamentally


14:52

better?


David - Glide  14:54

and spreadsheets was just a source of inspiration for us because of the It's longevity. It's decades old. And it's ubiquitous. It's everywhere in the world. And if you talk to people who use spreadsheets, they have this fervor. They're evangelical about their spreadsheets. They it's part of their identity that I'm a spreadsheet nerd. Yeah. And I think spreadsheets and email are the two sort of ancient technologies that everyone's familiar with. And everyone has tried to supplant with new, new technologies, and they just never go away. They're so sticky. And people find new uses for spreadsheets every day. So we said, okay, a billion US a billion people roughly have figured out how to use spreadsheets every day. They make things that are more or less like apps in them. Some people even designed their spreadsheets. So it looks like a


16:00

Sort of a


David - Glide  16:01

high fidelity user interface with colors and embedded images and stuff. There's a computational aspect here. That's very interesting. It has broad reach. And it's just tractable for people who don't know how to write code can be productive using spreadsheets. So we said there's a lot of properties in spreadsheets that we really like. spreadsheets also give you instant feedback. That's, that was always a dream when we were building Developer Tools before we did glide, it's like, okay, like when the developer makes a change, how do we let them see it right away. spreadsheets have always been that way you update data, or you update formulas, your spreadsheet, just instantly update, you know, press a button that says Apply Changes to spreadsheet, wait for 30 seconds, and then the numbers show. spreadsheets have always just been rapid. So I wasn't a spreadsheet aficionados for starting glide, but I appreciated how successful they are and that they out some Some deep properties that were worth paying attention to. So light is not the same as a spreadsheet. We're not trying to be a better spreadsheet. We just benefits from spreadsheets and we're trying to learn what they can teach us.


Ben Tossell  17:18

Yeah, and really like, all the points you made, I totally agree with and didn't really, I haven't been on the spreadsheet, whole images you have, but like, it all makes sense. And yeah, it is one of those things that's very personal to someone someone's like crowd have their own spreadsheet, and they really like take like that. And like, if you say and pass this off to someone else, they'd be like, No, no, you won't understand my spreadsheet, because I'm the one who created it and all this sort of stuff.


David - Glide  17:46

Yeah, I mean, before starting glide. I think I'd made five spreadsheets, probably fewer w count on one hand. And I was I've been a programmer for 20 years now. So I would hear people say spreadsheets are amazing. Yeah, I'll just write a Haskell program to parse a giant CSV answer. And I would do the harder alternative. I would like write code to do the same thing people spreadsheets do. And that was pretty cool. In the early days of flight, oh, like, man, I would have spent a day solving this problem before because I would have opened Xcode or something. And like, wow, the spreadsheets, there's really, really easy for some specific problems


Ben Tossell  18:25

that they knew then being involved in glide. To realize that right?


David - Glide  18:32

Yeah. And now I've made like 2000 spreadsheets, it's crazy.


Ben Tossell  18:38

I mean, clothes being talked about on Twitter a lot, especially recently. I mean, I think it's no surprise that people who heard about glide, can see how much you guys chip and how quickly you ship stuff. And it seems to be coming quicker and quicker and quicker and more things and like you are small features as we see them as users, I suppose. How is that changing over time? Is it hiring a bunch or just like figuring out the right roadmap and


David - Glide  19:12

not when I've been hiring a bunch? We sort of assembled a critical mass, the team that crystallized about five months ago. So our headcount has changed in terms of our engineering design capacity, but we do have a shipping culture. And we we ship every Tuesday and Thursday. And we're also just, I mean, we're a new company and we're a new team. So we're experimenting with different cadences and different processes. Sometimes we slow down our shipping to focus on quality. Sometimes we want to do experimental features and get them out faster. But we have been pretty consistently shipping, some Very large features over the last few weeks. Today is Thursday. And on Tuesday, we shipped two enormous features that we haven't even announced yet. So we tend, we usually release a feature a few weeks before we make a video and the documentation, we let people on our forums discover it ask us questions. It's sort of like baking in a stealth mode. And then when we think it's ready for the megaphone, then we try to make people aware of it. So on Tuesday, we ship user profiles, which lets you specify a sheet in your spreadsheet as the thing that contains the information about your users. And right now it can contain the user name, email and photo and we use that photo of the users in the chat or if they're posting comments, we also use their name. And that feature will get more powerful over time because you'll be able to Do computations and do user interfaces based on information that's being pulled from the user's profile. And we also shipped a highly experimental feature. Conceptually experimental, it's I think it's pretty stable from a technology standpoint, called per user columns. That might not be the final brand name. But this lets you say, like, maybe you have a, a sheet of products in your store. And the first column you have the product name, and the second column, you have the product photo, and the third column, you have the product price, and then the fourth column, maybe you have something called the review. It's a column of text and someone can leave a review of the product. Now, traditionally, the way spreadsheets work, if you have 1000 visitors to your shop, all leaving reviews, they're going to be like editing each other's reviews. This reminds me in the early days of Facebook, were you early Facebook user in like 2004 or five, the Facebook wall was one text box that everyone could edit. So you could like delete someone's wall. So this is the way spreadsheets work still. So, or a similar analogy is you make a conference app and you have like session notes for each session at the conference. We've seen a lot of people build conference apps with glide. And and I might be in the same session, and you really hate the speaker and you write this guy's not doesn't know he's talking about, and I totally agree with him. And I write I agree 100%. We might like overwrite each other's review. With this new feature, user specific columns. The person building the apple to say this notes column is going to be different depending on who's using it. So you could write your session notes and I write mine and they both sort of exist together in the self for that same session, but We have them exclusively. So I see my notes and you see yours. And it's very, it's gonna let people do some very sophisticated operations and sophisticated app. use cases. But we think that the idea is like kind of fundamental and easy to grasp immediately. And it's sort of in the spreadsheet language of rows and columns. But it adds this, we call it an extra dimension of identity. So spreadsheets have have columns, and they have rows, and now we're adding


Ben Tossell  23:33

identity.


David - Glide  23:35

So we're interested to see, do people understand this? Can they put it to good use? Is it going to what kind of apps is it going to enable?


Ben Tossell  23:43

Yeah, awesome. How like, from you explain it in that way. It's almost like both of our comments will be in that same cell. Kind of, but then obviously, visually sort of sad. It's like same number of things just got going backwards three dimensional thing. So how, how many if I had 10,000 people all do the same thing is still just going to work exactly the same way and it's going to be fine. Well,


David - Glide  24:13

yeah, but not 10,001, no 10,005 to 10,001, even 10,003, we will scale up, that's fine. Um, and on that note, that information is not stored in the spreadsheet, because the spreadsheet can't do it. So we don't like encode all the session feedback into some blob and actually stick it in the cell, you wouldn't be able to make sense of it in the Google Sheet that would not scale as you point out. Yeah. So we store that as data inside of glide that are correlated to your rows. And we plan to do a lot of features like that. They're going to add a lot of power on top of your data set on top of your spreadsheet. Especially as we went through Pulling other data sources besides Google Sheets, we're going to let you add information on top of those data sources. So for example, let's say you pull in your product inventory from square, for example, we don't have plans to do a square integration. But this is just an example of something you could do with our technology. So your app shows your product inventory, and then you add ratings and reviews. So anyone in your shop app can give a star rating. We will store that in a per user column that is correlated to your product inventory from square in a way that everything stays in sync. But we don't have to ask where to add a field in our database where we're putting in these stories. For example, we just keep that side by side


Ben Tossell  25:47

with them. Yeah, I mean, yeah, see all the stuff you ship and just every new thing is like you said, not they're not small things and even those two are just like, Okay, this means way more function. To user profiles, including, yeah, views for things. So that already opens up like a million people's ideas and thinking we have all this stuff.


David - Glide  26:11

We've seen people build, you can go pretty basic, but very user friendly calculators in glide. So you can make a page that I think in, we have in our template store, it's like an apple price calculator. So you put the number of apples and the price for Apple. And then a label says what tools before user specific columns, every user of your app was editing the same entries. So our apple orders are going to go all jumbled together. But now we can see Ben has his own Apple quantity. David has his own apples, separate prices. So that's, that's another example of kind of a common thing you could do in glide that was didn't really make sense because it was the same information for every user. And now when we add this extra dimension of identity entity in a way that we hope is easy for people to grasp who aren't technical, it's you just, you just just make the choice at the column level. It's just one checkbox. This column is user specific. We have videos and documentation. And the idea is that will empower non technical people to build really sophisticated apps that they want. Without sort of complex query reasoning that you might have done, if you were building this in a database, you can have like a user's table. And then you're going to have a table that represents like the cross between the users and the products for so that you can have like a ratings table and you're going to need to affiliate the ratings with the products and the sort of convoluted way We hope this makes it just a lot simpler.


Ben Tossell  27:51

Yeah, I mean, yeah, we got some stuff to to do, how do you with all these big features, how Is it like every week you say, right, here's the 300. Other big features. We all thought, that's nice in the cycle, like how, because they're all, they are all big one enables an extra. So


David - Glide  28:16

it's a little bit like that. Yeah. Try not to be like that. So the way we work is every six months, the whole team gets together at an off site, which unfortunately will be remote. We're having our next one in a few weeks. They're called glide always. And the last time we got a cabin, and there are 10 of us, fewer than that actually last time. And we talked about the major themes for the next six months. And I think we picked 10 large features or 10, large objectives and, and sort of three big themes to explore. So this one This user specific columns, excuse me, and user profiles that was decided in October that we were going to do that. And it was a couple months of design and technical foundations before we released that feature. So sometimes we release features that we've actually been working on for months. And it kind of look like it just materialize. So how is it like, magic show for everyone?


Ben Tossell  29:27

Yeah, that's like, okay, we ship there some Thursday, right? It's Tuesdays and excellent. That's just like having this happen.


David - Glide  29:34

Every two weeks, every two weeks, we do like a cycle. So every two weeks on a Monday we have like a one to two hour call, where we look at our six month plan. And we say okay, we haven't you know, this is in jeopardy of not chipping, haven't started this yet. We need to get some work on this, or this is almost at the finish line. We just need to write some documentation and we can push it out the door and we're always getting better at sort of coordinating the long term with our short term goals. And the short term goals are the things we hear from users. So we never expected to hear this, but five of our customers have asked for it. And there's 15 posts on the forum. People are confused by this. People really want to be able to do this. We think it will just take six hours. Let's get that in this. We could ship it next week. So yeah, that's how it works. Awesome.


Ben Tossell  30:24

Yeah, I mean, it's always interesting just to hear people who ship like that quickly and in that pace. So when we came another thing


David - Glide  30:33

is like we all came not, not all of us. There's a couple people that glide for whom this is their first job, but some of us were at really large companies before glide, where I think a feature I started working on like three years ago shipped at Microsoft like while I was at glide so it can be yours. Before you see something of yours. Go Live and This, this will not always be the case as glide grows, and we get more critical customers who need more stability, we're gonna have to like create a bit of a protected release process where there's, you know, different gates, you know, we expose some people to the, the experimental feature and not everyone. But in this early stage where we're learning and iterating really quickly, I think we all just wanted that to be part of our everyday experience at work, which is we could come up with an idea sometimes on a Wednesday, and then Monday morning, it's it's live. And here's like the really special thing about glide will release a feature. And within 15 minutes, people will have added it to their apps. This is like just mind blowing to us like a new we have this new table component which is kind of like a dense data oriented table that you can put in your app. I think a good use of it. If you have like a trading cards app, maybe a baseball players you can have like all their steps. lines, nice condensed audio. We released it at like 10am. And by 1030 people were tweeting screenshots like, look at my new app, and like, there's the thing we just shipped. And then they shipped it.


Ben Tossell  32:14

It's crazy. Yeah, it's crazy. It's Yeah, I mean, speed is everything with this whole new code, like, not interrupt code, movement. It's just, it's crazy. How quickly can we do things like glide is one of the things in our, one of the tools that we use and teaching our boot camps, I just, it's overwhelmingly glide is the final project people end up shipped, like, you have four projects of different things, and then you get to do whatever you want for the final project. Yeah, it's almost always a glide app. Like that's great people think of random stuff or just like I just like wet like, Where's that can come from his Oh, this is how I can check on my plate. And how much I've fed them. When I feed them, when's the next time to feed them? So?


David - Glide  33:04

Yeah, we, I think that when technical people create no code tools, they can get focused on the power, or, like the relative simplicity compared to programming. But we don't use how hard programming is, as the thing that defines whether or not glide is successful. We use how satisfied our users are. So we are building lied to make you love using it. Not to do something different from programming per se. I mean, that's important too. But we want glide to be like the tool that you choose to use and want to go back again. And people tell us all the time, no, like, I'm actually looking for new problems. I can solve it. Yeah, because I enjoyed creating so much. I just like went into my office. I was like, all right. what's broken here? Like what is a slow process? Like, Oh, can be an app? I'm going to build it. So we love when we can inspire people to think that way.


Ben Tossell  34:08

Yeah, I mean, the the feedback loop of signing up to glide connecting a Google Sheet and having enough you can already do stuff with is that's less than five minutes, right? It's crazy to know how


David - Glide  34:22

he got lucky because we like try to guess by default, we look at the sheet, run some heuristics. And like, if your sheet is your problem, simple, your data is just right. Like, I can get it right away. That's not usually the case. But that is a special thing when that happens.


Ben Tossell  34:38

only seeing people news, as mentioned in and we talked a lot of feature releases and stuff, but how have you seen, like, glide be used for good in this whole, like COVID-19 places, I've seen tons of people build stuff. I mean, I've built a few things to put out there to help and I think there's just been lots of And awareness around glide as a tool to go to.


David - Glide  35:05

So we've seen so much use of glide in this crisis that we've coined kind of a boring term, we call them emergency apps. So glide is so quick to iterate and so quick to market. Meaning that you can go from idea to app and your users hands and an hour to not even trying to rush it. That people are building apps in response to the crisis, an emergency will happen, and they will like solve it with an app. And with traditional coding, like if you can go from idea to app in the app store in three months, that would be a remarkable pace. Even Apple released, they built an app with Coronavirus information. And that probably took them two weeks that's apple. So we have non technical people in two hours achieving absolutely More to apples. Apple app has a lot of sophistication, we're gonna see a lot more from them. It's really commendable what they're doing. I'm not saying they're not good at what they're doing. But I'm just comparing the traditional pace of software development and app development and distribution was just glacial compared to what glide can do. So we've seen people, one of the one that sticks in my mind is this app called army of masks. Someone made a it's kind of a social network of volunteers who want to make masks at home, to hope to donate them. And the app has a map of the United States of all the hospitals, elder care facilities, individuals, people who are in need of masks, and they this community just looks at their app every day. And they go Okay, lady, 25 masks in Raleigh. We're going to organize our members who are close to it. You do five you do five, I'll do five by lunch. We'll have them done and then someone brings the masks silly. That's incredible. Yeah, we saw apps just to facilitate donations. We we did a small case study on this one on our website. There was a federation of three women and children's shelters that were going into lockdown in the UK. And they have additional security requirements to protect the people staying in those shelters that make preparing for a lockdown even more difficult. So one of their volunteers made this app just to solicit food donations, and this person is not a programmer, I think she is maybe a marketer. Just built this out these the foods we need, threw it on Facebook, the app got distributed, people marked what they could contribute and they stocked up these three shelters with food donations. Within like two days. I made a video going through nine different examples we've seen. We see a lot of like hyperlocal apps, coordinating food pickups. So someone lives in Albuquerque. And they make an app that lists the 25 downtown restaurants that are doing takeout and delivery, letting restaurants update their, their information. So people can just look at this index and do a quick call. You can think of it as like, it's Yelp, but just for your community and focus most on the service that you would eat at a time like this. We've seen hundreds of those. Yeah. Let me see one other good example. Yeah, just in general, information apps full of like real time, statistics and guidance from authorities and scientists, so people can just get the latest information about what's happening in the region.


Ben Tossell  38:49

It's been, we've seen a lot of that. Yeah, it's been awesome to see and yeah, we have so many people reach out about some of the stuff we did with glide and pointing People there, it's been very easy. And I think it's a testament to like how easy the product is to use. And also like the you talked about the documentation and the videos and stuff you're put out. And all of that is just like, incredible in like, such a small team. And we know jack who does, like videos and stuff. So like so, so well done and so clear and concise and stuff. I think that really helps in this ever growing complexity of the note code space of things get more and more when I was talking to someone else on a podcast earlier about just because some people get to a new code. Like me, for example, with mega pad, there's a lot of complex things that happen with zaps and web flow and things go back and forth. And sometimes you forget the fact that the 99% of the people who were trying to ask teach about stuff. Don't think about it with no code. Don't think about anything complex like that. They just want to see the simplest thing. And like, the basics is enough for most people. It's just like extending that basic piece you've seen. That's therefore. I mean, we don't.


David - Glide  40:20

We have benefited enormously from the no code phenomenon that's happening right now. We think it's very interesting. We're very happy to be a part of it. But it's not how we think about glide. And it's not how we communicate about it. We're trying to be sort of at a more fundamental level, kind of like you what you said something a little bit more simple, self contained. And that, to my dismay, when we started seeing people accumulate expertise about using glide, and at first I was alarmed. I was like, Oh, no, we were trying to make something simple that anyone can use and now we have experts and people are paying them to build glide apps like oh, we can Yeah, but I think I mean, no code. There's lots of room for nuance and design and putting these systems together, you can accumulate a lot of special knowledge about building code. So it's something we're trying to be careful about. We are launching a template store, I believe next week where people can sell glide apps for others to copy and use as a starting point for their own apps. Or you can share them for free if you're big hearted. But that's one of our requirements for submitting your template is that it has to be self sufficient. So someone should be able to copy it. And then you should not have to send them documentation about how to sign up for another service that integrates it connected to the other thing a little bit too much. But we are paying attention to like what is confusing about those integrations? Can we simplify them in the future? Can we build a product that's integrated with glide to make this common pattern, much simpler?


Ben Tossell  42:01

Yeah, well, I think the experts piece. I mean, there's so many conversations I've had with people that's like here, here's how you do something like I put together a tutorial, spend 10 hours thinking about it, plan that out. And here's like a 10 minute video. It's exactly what you need that like, I didn't give a shit. just build the thing for me. Yes, you'll always have that


David - Glide  42:23

whatever. Some people just need an app, and they're focused on other things in their life and they are not interested in building it, even if it is very easy and fun. And that's fine that those are their priorities.


Ben Tossell  42:36

Okay, yeah. You said you're not sort of not actively participating. Well, maybe participation is long word but not actively like putting yourself out into the no code. space, even though I'd argue that everyone's pulled you there regardless, like you definitely there as one of the tools.


David - Glide  42:55

Well, I wouldn't say no, no, I just it's just not it's not quite how we think about what light is. We're definitely participating. And we love it, we release to Xavier integration, you and I have gone to some new code meetups together. We love it. But we're very careful to not let it change how we think about what glide is and who it's for. I think no code is definitely moving everything in the correct direction. But it also can become a little bit clicky as any group of people who have a new secret or new knowledge that they're really excited about. I don't mean clicky and kind of like the primary school way, I just mean we're just we're nervous about, you know, creating any impediments to people enjoying being productive with glide, so we're just careful about it. I know. I'm sort of talking in a confusing way.


43:47

I don't know.


Ben Tossell  43:50

I completely agree with you. And it's like, I'd probably have said it poorly in the past on other podcasts, to the makeup podcast to where There's almost like, there's no code for no code sake, we're building something that's like, complex. This is just for the fact that there's no code and you've done this thing. And I think this is actually like, a cycle of if you had an idea before, and you can never build it now all of a sudden, someone's giving you the power to like, build whatever you want to build. So you start building things that you genuinely think, like, this is the idea I had, and it's gonna work, and then sometimes doesn't work. And it's just like, Oh, well, where's my, my audience is already in the no code space. Maybe I'll just sort of have something for them. And then you're like, it's, I think it's okay for that. But I think people need to, I mean, we, we definitely we will hurtling down the path of no code for no code sake. Like, here's how you do the multi ref stuff. There's actually really like difficult things. But the whole point and I ever started making that or anything Do with no code was just like, do you know you don't have to be technical to like build something?


David - Glide  45:04

Yeah, I'm an analogy is so glide is built on a technology called pw a or progressive web application. It's a set of standards that Google is. One of the big proponents of Apple is reluctantly it seems, building some features that are to their platform as well. pw a or progressive web apps, the technologies that lead a website act more like an app when you add it to your phone, your desktop. And that's what glide apps are right now. But we don't ever say pw a we don't say glide is a platform for AWS. We never talked about it. We just call them apps. So I think that's kind of that's similar to how we sort of keep no code a little bit of an arm's distance while we're still figuring out what glide is what we're building is very new and we're learning so quickly. Yeah.


Ben Tossell  45:59

Well, it's mean like, amazing to watch, like grown from when I found it. I think he came up with the mosquitoes it.


David - Glide  46:08

Yeah, there's a video that's only like a year and a half old and like the first recorded screencasts I did a glide. And it looks so different. It was different. It was basically a different idea. But it seems fast us too.


Ben Tossell  46:24

Yeah. I mean, I remember when I was doing when glide came upon or doing a tutorial for glide back when I didn't even do back when I did the tutorials which were screenshots or like or no boys or anything. And see that it's also changed a bit but yeah, you like, yeah, they've done the tutorial, but actually, the whole UI is changing like on Tuesday. So do you want to just do that again? So like,


David - Glide  46:52

I actually forewarn you I said, hey, it's your fault for ignoring me.


Ben Tossell  46:59

Yeah, me But, yeah,


David - Glide  47:01

I mean, we do agree that it can be disruptive. We've even had people who teach glide say, Hey, you know, I was in the middle of my lesson and you guys changed this whole feature, or you introduced a feature that made my half of my lesson obsolete, because you've got rid of all the steps. We say sorry. It doesn't just rubbish. The experience of your end users, though, we're very careful about that. So we introduced a ton of new features. And we're always trying to level up the kind of apps you can build and glide. But we're not changing things out from under your own user. So if you build an app with glide, it should be stable, dependable, it's not going to change from under them.


Ben Tossell  47:49

Awesome. Well, yeah, really appreciate you coming on. When you folks where to find you win fun glide,


David - Glide  47:58

because go to glide apps calm That's our website or Google glide to the top result now. And we're also at glide apps on Twitter. And you'll probably just see me retweeting stuff from it. So just focus on glide.


Ben Tossell  48:16

Like what's going on. Thanks so much for listening. You can find us online at maker pad.co or on Twitter app, make that we'd love to hear if you enjoyed this episode, and what we should do next.

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