One of the biggest advantages of no-code is that it lets you test and build ideas that you might have otherwise considered ‘not worth it’ because of the cost, effort, and time involved in building it.
No-code has allowed people to build tools that might never have been brought to life if it wasn’t for the lower barriers involved. Here’s how a developer opted to use no-code tools to build a business around a special practice: Sending online greeting cards!
Hi! My name is Praveen! I have a day job where I work on building and designing products and solving complex issues through automation and robotics for a leading international bank.
When I’m not working, I spend most of my time with my family. My two-and-a-half year old son ensures I do that.
Jumping to the interesting part, the third part of my life happens mostly in the graveyard shift. I’m in the process of launching the first project (http://seesame.app). The MVP will hit the market this year. This is based on code and is built the conventional way. However my second project is based on no-code (http://kiitos.app)
Building my first no-code greeting card business
My next product came from my discovery of no-code, and since I came from a development background, this was a must-try. That’s how the Kiitos came to be.
We live in a virtual world. Work with global teams. Even families and friends are far away and we’ve become more comfortable with this arrangement of living and working. The situation is not going to change as technology advances.
At the same time, a scrapbook or a greeting card is old school, but still nostalgic. We all love to see what our friends and family think of us, and read about it. This practice has somehow gotten lost in the world of social networking apps.
We have tried to blend these both points and to come up with Kiitos (meaning "Thank You" in Finnish). Kiitos is an online digital greetings/postcards collaboration platform where you can store your special moments forever.
You can create a card and share it with many people, you can also add pictures and messages. The current MVP involves farewell and birthday cards. Everyone gets a FREE card to try out and UNLIMITED vouchers
We aren’t stopping there; I’m considering the idea of future roadmaps such as integrating to Web3 or converting these cards to NFTs.
My motivation behind a greeting card business
I wanted something simple to wish people on special occasions, we have many social platforms to do this but off late, there has been so much noise. Makes it much harder to find what we need.
For companies, social media platforms may not be the best way to go about greeting people. For teams, it’s helpful to have a separate space for greeting people, sending thoughtful messages, or wishing people.
Here are two WIP updates that I’m planning for future versions:
- Gift an online voucher based on country (e.g. the ability to gift a friend a voucher they can use in the US from Germany)
- Convert a digital greeting card with all messages to an NFT which is a permanent digital footprint
Using Bubble to build Kiitos
We tried to explore native coding processes. I realized it’s not only about coding. Because after that comes the maintenance, which is entirely a different topic altogether! And we aren’t even talking about storage yet.
Even if we tried to get all this in order, the business clearly doesn’t cover all these costs as the use case is to help people save memories and no one wants to spend too much on a greeting.
So we needed cheap , low/no maintenance, quick delivery, and if possible no-code solutions.
Bubble turned out to be the real star of the show, the potential the tool has is enormous! This was our first project with no-code, and all the steps were challenging.
- How to allow everyone to write a message and keep it framewise , like multiple page navigation within a single page
- Preview the message
- Mix and match of layout within a single page (e.g. column, rows and parent alignment)
- Make it mobile compatible
- Convert all the message and images to a pdf Not yet solved , work in progress
I’ve had a few approaches for all these steps:
- The Bubble forum is very helpful
- Patience always helps! Keep trying
- Twitter is a great resource.
Here’s my advice for anyone looking to build a business with no-code tools
For coders :
There’s no harm in trying no-code, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t good at coding. As a developer, I don't want to write code for login/reset-password, it’s just a waste of time. I’d rather work on more creative, challenging stuff. That's what Bubble enables you to do.
You have now what was always asked for "I have an idea, how can I develop this myself?" It lets you minimize technical debt.
No-code doesn’t mean it's FREE or EASY. It’s a slow learning process. Patience and trying again and again is still required. Not all no-code apps in the market may suit you, so do your homework!
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Praveen! You can follow his journey on Twitter here.