6 tools for building quick MVPs

Here are the 6 things I use in pretty much everything I build:

Landing pages

Every project needs a landing page. If I need something super quick and more basic, I go with Carrd. Otherwise I go with Webflow. I try to not let landing pages take up too much time because they can always feel like they are never finished. Get something up and get it out there. You just need people to visit your site, understand your product/service and convert on your call to action button. Carrd allows you to add payment widgets super easily (Gumroad, PayPal, Stripe) and it’s integrations with Airtable, ConvertKit and Zapier make it that much easier to build a mini-startup in minutes.

Disclaimer: I have a course on ‘built with card’ coming soon


Databases

Airtable is part spreadsheet, part database. I love the flexibility it provides and the different features it offers. Google Sheets may be quicker to do more basic spreadsheet-stuff but Airtable feels a lot nicer from a UI perspective and offers a bunch of extras that make it worth while. The PRO version has access to Blocks which allows you to create app-like functionality. Plus there are a ton of templates built by industry experts to give you a leg up. I love the different types of fields you can assign (attachments, URL, link to record, dates etc) but the one thing I will say is that I wish I was quicker in moving around and doing things - whether that’s from my side or functionality.


Forms

You often need form software for collecting data from users (email, address, name etc) and my go-to was always Typeform. What I love is the ability to integrate Stripe for accepting payments and the logic jumps - if user does X then direct them to question Z and skip Y. This makes a form pretty powerful in what information it can collect and display. The UI in building and completing the forms is pretty slick too and they can be embedded to make it feel integrated to your site. Again, there are a bunch of templates to get you started too. In my apps I tend to either connect Typeform to Airtable using Zapier OR if it’s a simpler form then I use the Airtable form view and skip the need for Zapier OR Google-ify everything and use Google Forms and Google Sheets with a Zap.


Automating workflows

There are apps that really take your no-code setup to another level, Zapier is that for me (there are others, like IFTTT). You set up workflows from a trigger in an app, then use Zaps to complete actions automatically. There’s over 1000 apps on Zapier you can connect and lots of them are ones you’ll recognise. There are lots of already made Zaps which you can set up easily or your can build custom ones yourself. Some examples of using Zapier: Automatically contacting a user via email who signed up to your form, send yourself an SMS when you get a new sign up or create tasks in Trello for your contractor to work through.


Payments

My go-to is Stripe, always. You don’t store credit card numbers, easy to implement, easy to add products/subscriptions, refund customers and a ton more! Stripe Checkout is a super simple popup form for processing payments but requires copy/pasting of code so in the interest of this audience this is what I do… Use Carrd. Carrd’s Stripe widget automatically produces the Stripe Checkout form for you to make it super simple. Stripe keep adding more to allow more people globally to take payments but are still limited to some countries, PayPal is available in more but I don’t like their UI as much and the fees are higher. You may need to offer a combination to your users but accounting may be more difficult.


Email provider

To host email subs and send emails (like this one) requires a tool. There are tons. I only recently switched from SendGrid to ConvertKit because of their Zapier integrations and custom automations. But since changing I really like how ConvertKit works. It’s intuitive although a little pricey. All of these platforms rack up bigger bills the more you have on your list though so find one that works for you and you like to use as you’re likely going to spend a lot of time using them. It’s probably one of the best expenses to invest in. Many swear by Mailchimp too of course. Carrd has an easy way to integrate a number of these email providers in the form elements (and if not, use Zapier to do it!).