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Member Spotlight: Hari Balasubramanian
December 22, 2020
Blog post

Member Spotlight: Hari Balasubramanian

We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before. 

At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses. 

Each week we’ll be highlighting a member from our community and sharing their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.

This week we are chatting to Hari Balasubramanian from Kolkata, India

Hari is an Angel Investor, Mentor and Advisor to startups. 

 

Hey Hari, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?

I don’t have a background in no-code as such, my main introduction to no-code was that I led an investment in a no-code startup in Feb 2020. Having led this investment, I then started diving deeper into the no-code space and came across Makerpad and the wider no-code community.

From that point on I signed up for Carrd, Airtable, Zapier, bubble and Webflow.com. I started using these various tools and platforms to keep learning by doing. I draw a lot of energy and support from the no-code community both within Makerpad and outside of it too.

It is now nearly 10 months since I have started on this journey, which really gathered steam and got interesting once the lockdown happened. It gave me the time to fully explore these new tools and ideas. 

Finding that community and getting support with learning & projects is an important part of the motivation to keep exploring the topic! Can you take us through some of the no-code projects have you built in the past and what tools did you use for them?

The tools that I have learned to use in the last few months are Carrd, Adalo, Glide, Airtable, Zapier, Rows (formerly dashdash), Parabola, Notion and Stackby, however I’m sure there are others I have tried too!

I have recently built a video and tweet content curation system using several of those tools. The system can mine videos and tweets on any topic, store them, perform some partial analysis on them. It creates a framework for better content curation. It helps me to analyse which videos are doing well along with studying the trends in viewer interest and engagement. 

Video content, in particular YouTube has become the first port of call for millions of users and there is a thriving eco-system of viewers, publishers, developers and marketers in the YouTube world.

Whatever l learn, I deploy it to Notion Videos. It’s a database of Notion videos and it’s updated daily. The project is still in its early days with lots of possibilities. When I first started with no-code, my objective was to build a tool to quickly evaluate startups for their funding readiness. While building that out, I dabbled with many form tools to find easy to use forms with additional reporting capabilities. 

Having tried many pieces of software that can create forms, I found that natively Airtable was the best tool to take forward. I completed the build of that tool and I called it Investment Readiness Score, it allows you to rapidly assess the type of funding that a startup would qualify for and output an Angel Score. 

This is based on my own experience of trying to understand why some founders get funding while many others struggle for several months to get their ideas funded, both in the for-profit space and with social startups too.


That’s quite the list of tools that you have tried, learned & implemented projects in! You’ve built up a wide knowledge in a short amount of time! So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?

I have a functional prototype of the curation framework used on Notion Videos which is now getting extended to other topics of my interest. The basic objective is to automate the process of adding and classifying videos as they get published and discover multiple ways to consume video content rapidly and effectively. This framework should allow you to retrieve key highlights of video content which will resonate with you.

It is an interesting project and has its own challenges and opportunities given the fact that YouTube videos are available in volume and consumed in many different languages. I have everything ready to start multiple topic channels - I have one each for AirTable, Roam Research and of course the Notion channel which is now growing quite rapidly. However since all of them come with their own time commitments, I am holding them back since my core area of interest is in spirituality. So all that I have learned during 2020 I am building a system to facilitate my spiritual growth, knowledge and understanding.

Technology can really help people with a serious interest in spirituality to accelerate their learning and practice.

I think the no-code tools and platforms available today have all the features and functionality to help and facilitate people in pursuing their own goals, whatever they may be! Thanks to the Internet, today we have a vast ocean of knowledge and freely available content. Putting all of those valuable resources to practical use and to make it transformational too requires practice which in turn requires tools and metrics.



I am now working to build such a system to improve the quality of your meditation - which will have silence as an important part of it combined along with video, audio, written word too. Covering all kinds of other digital media. For this project Notion is the most suitable platform I have found so far. However it will have to be aided by a plethora of no-code tools and social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, Google, Facebook and of course YouTube.Since I am building these solutions for my own use at first, I am not directly looking for any external validation or revenue. I know that if it works for me, It would work for many others. 

I also keep my Notion About Me page up to date with all of the things I am working on. I also regularly write articles where I collect together recent insights about knowledge management and Notion. I turn those insights into a regular newsletter. 

Technology should definitely assist with your core interests & goals and make learning easier and enjoyable too! Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come? 

Within my own projects I am looking forward to the continued growth of Notion Videos. It now has around 700 publishers and nearly 2000 videos published in 2020 by the Notion community. 

As part of the wider no-code space I hope to see a disruption amongst many areas and industries that have remained unchanged for years. This will require the destruction of old ways of working and the re-construction of a new digital world.


Finally, do you have a favourite no-code tool? What’s the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?

Honestly I have three favorite tools. In India we call it the holy trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. For me within no-code those three tools are Airtable, Notion and Rows. I am looking forward to trying out GPT-3 based nocode tools soon.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Hari. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon! 

Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!


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