Hi, I’m Salama, the founder of the no-code agency I2B. We’ve been building web applications using bubble (a no-code framework) to develop rapid custom prototypes and MVPs for non-technical founders.
Three years ago I had an idea for an app, and I was looking for someone to help develop an MVP so I could validate the concept and test the market potential. I started reaching out to technical people and I got quotes in the ballpark of $10k-$35k, which was way beyond my budget. I had no programming experience, so I started searching for tools to help me build the app. After a lot of research I found bubble, which I used to build a crowd-shipping platform in 7 days without any code.
Later on I decided to offer my skills to help other non-technical founders develop iterate faster and validate their ideas in a short amount of time.
"The next generation of founders won’t have to be programmers; they’ll be more focused on business and user experience"
What tools do you use, and what did each do in your context?Bubble - to develop UI, database, workflow, and API integrations with no-codeUpwork - to offer bubble development services to foundersTrello - to manage project tasksHubspot - for customer service and support
How long it took you to set up/how did you have the time?It took me three months to understand how bubble works and six months to become more advanced. I used to spend three hours a day trying new features and developing apps for testing.
How did you figure out which tools to use?I kept looking for no-code tools to build custom apps, but most of the tools I found were template apps, spreadsheet integrators with limited UI, CMSs, and website builders with limited workflows.
After trying some of these tools and figuring out the limitations of each, I found bubble to be superior. It has a lot more flexibility, community, and a marketplace to help you develop your app without code.
We are getting over 100 organic visitors a month to our website and round 40 visitors a month on our Upwork profile.
After testing the market we found that founders are willing to pay $25-$90 per hour up to 20hrs per week for a bubble developer (based on location & experience) or pay $1,000 to $10,000 for a customized no-code MVP.
The costs for this business model are* Upwork account $20/month * Bubble agency account $70/month * Domain $12-$40/year* Website $5-$25 /month"
I see major potential for the no-code movement. The next generation of founders won’t have to be programmers; they’ll be more focused on business and user experience. What’s more, they’ll be able to develop new features and test new markets faster.
Holding no-code events like an annual conference or meetups could be a way for those of us in the no-code movement to share our visions and best practices. Doing so may help the movement reach the maturity phase quickly and get more support from fast-growing startups and enterprises.
Some of the limitations I have experienced are:- App UI is limited to the tool you are using. These tools should have cutting-edge technology on their back-end and front-end, with more abilities to integrate with external libraries.- Starting stand-alone service/server/cloud without relying on the framework/tool infrastructure - View of styling classes for custom code integrations is not intuitive- Limited ability to download and modify code- Lack of advanced responsive features - Limited native mobile app features
"After trying some of these tools and figuring out the limitations of each, I found bubble to be superior. It has a lot more flexibility, community, and a marketplace to help you develop your app without code."