How a digital nomad built an enterprise grade no-code product studio
No-code has presented some pretty unique opportunities for people: from starting a fun side-project, to learning a new skill, to – in some cases – setting up a whole new business!
We love all kinds of no-code stories, but we were particularly interested in knowing how Erik Goins, a digital nomad, set up Flywheel Studio to help businesses build no-code software solutions.
Here’s his story.
Hi, my name's Erik Goins. I'm the founder of Flywheel Studio. We build enterprise grade web and mobile apps using no-code tools. Essentially, we're a product studio, so we have clients around the world, and we also build our own products/services.
My partner and I are "digital nomads" and split our time between the US, Asia, and Europe. When we're home in the US, we like to spend time with family, or on the investment properties that we own.
Starting a no-code agency by accident
It’s a funny story, but I more or less accidentally started a no-code agency. Almost two years ago I resigned from my consulting job in Hong Kong to take a travel sabbatical. Between resigning and actually leaving Hong Kong, COVID-19 hit and the entire world shut down. So much for my travel plans!
I started helping friends and colleagues with some technical work, but I wasn't a developer, so I used no-code tools instead! I mainly worked on Adalo, Webflow, and Bubble.
Unlike most people that stumbled across no-code tools and built something, we didn't necessarily set out to solve any specific problem. There's so much demand for new no-code projects that we got practically pulled into building an agency to support the client requests we get.
My partner and I soon became Adalo Experts, and I guess the rest is history.
Building over 30 no-code apps
We call ourselves Flywheel Studio, and since our launch, we've worked on +30 apps, several full builds, and have clients all over the world. We also run a popular YouTube channel for Adalo content, and have proudly built some of the largest apps on the platform.
It's been an amazing time. Completely unexpected, but entirely welcomed.
No-code software as a service
We've always focused on being top of the market in terms of design, functionality, and integrations. That's only accelerated growth as clients have seen the rise of no-code to meet their increasingly complex requirements.
We're technically tool agnostic, but we tend to stick to a few tools that usually work best for our use cases.
First, is definitely Adalo. We've built dozens of apps on the platform and really love using it.
For the backend, we use Supabase. We love SQL and finally having an alternative to Firebase has been awesome. There's so much that we can do on the platform that we haven't been able to do in the past.
We're currently using Draftbit for some of our more technically complex projects that require custom code. It's great for flexibility and extensibility.
The same is true for Bildr. It’s absolutely fantastic to work on a tool where we know we’ll never hit a limitation. We use it for our most complex products and use cases where clients expect true custom code, which Bildr never fails to deliver.
Sometimes we use Airtable and Carrd and some other platforms, when the project calls for it.
Being a no-code agency + educator
There are many things to juggle when you're in a client-facing business. We're always balancing the limitations of no-code tools with client expectations and their budget.
As time goes on and people grow more aware of no-code, I think our clients are getting better at understanding what to expect when working with us. For every project we undertake, part of our job is to be an educator and prepare prospective clients on what to expect.
The no-code market is enormous, and there is SO much opportunity. Sometimes it's hard to see it, but my advice is to pick a niche and specialize. Pick a product, use case, or process and be the best there is for it.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Erik! You can follow Flywheel Studio and Erik’s journey on Twitter! Check out their YouTube channel for some handy videos.