Deep Dive

The biggest opportunities in no code tools

Published on
March 5, 2024
Matthew Gira
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I’ve been in the no-code space for over three years now and the tools have changed dramatically since then. Even if you look at my own YouTube channel and some of the older Airtable videos, Airtable is quite a bit different than it is today.

When I was first starting, Gareth Pronovost was someone I admired from afar because he had been creating content on YouTube for several years at that point about Airtable. I appreciated his work and everyone I talked to that knew Gareth always said, “he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet”.

In this conversation with Gareth, I think you’ll see a glimpse of that and how knowledgeable he is about no code tools. Gareth has been working with no code tools since almost the beginning and his entire business is built around them. If you’d like to learn more about Gareth, check out his YouTube channel or his company here.

Here are some snippets from my conversation with Gareth Pronovost:

Note: these answers are summaries and are cleaned up to be easier to read. Full answers can be found in the full episode!

When you first started consulting, you were doing more general business strategy consulting. Why switch from that into no-code tools?

Initially, I just stumbled into Airtable and I just put up the first video because I'd always been drawn to video content as a way of demonstrating knowledge. I had this intent in mind where I thought, “okay, I'm gonna build this video, we're gonna publish it, and we're going to drive leads to the business.”

It worked immediately. People were signing up right on the first video for consulting services for Airtable.

I continued with Airtable consulting, but five years ago when I posted, it was the really early days of Airtable and you needed other tools to get power from Airtable.

Airtable was and still is an incredible database for storing your information, but it had no capacity five years ago to move data through automation. It had no way to talk to other software natively in the tool. So if I wanted to send an email, I had to integrate with something else.

That led me to using other no-code tools like Zapier, Stacker, and Noloco. I was then offering those services too and naturally content and the business was expanding.

I was just along for the ride. I wasn't some great thinker who brainstormed all this innovation himself. I was just like, “Hey, this is what we need next. Oh, look, there's a tool that's offering it.”

All of these new tools have allowed us to expand our reach, and ultimately all of these new tools serves everyone in the no-code space because at the end of the day, I don't care what tool you use, I just want you to build cool stuff and help you build it.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities in no-code tools today?

There are three core components to all no code solutions: Where your data lives is, how your data moves, and how people interact.

Everyone's going horizontal. They want to be in all three of those camps. They want this because it allows enterprise clients to sign up easier. Enterprise deals are a big deal because when they signed up, it might be 3000 at $50 per person.

If these no-code platforms aren’t horizontally integrated, they can’t sell as easily to enterprise clients. For example, the no-code companies could say “I've got the best database on the planet, but you're gonna need to integrate with Zapier”. The enterprise clients will then say, “it's a whole other process to get our team signed up with Zapier and we don't want to do that.” That kills the entire deal.

As a small business owner myself, I don't care if it needs to integrates with Zapier I'll, I want the best tool for the job at the best price for the tool.

If Make is better than Zapier and cheaper I'm all in. I have no allegiance to Zapier. It's not hard for me to adopt a new software. There's not a rigorous process that my company goes through to decide if we're gonna use make. It's basically what does Gareth say we're gonna use?

We're watching these software giants, like Airtable, capture that enterprise client, but it's the small, medium sized businesses that I think are gonna stop using Airtable and maybe start looking for other alternatives that go deep in one of those three core components.

When a company like Airtable zigs this direction, there's an opportunity for other companies to zag the other direction.

When you're done with this work, what do you hope that you've accomplished with it?

I would love to be known as one of the key players who helped educate the workforce in how to think about no-code tools and how to implement them in a way that increases your productivity.

I don't feel like the 40 hour work week works for me and I sure as heck don't think it works for most people. There are some people I know who really love to work, but I'm not one of them. I like working, but it's it's not all I like to do. I'm hopeful that at the end of this adoption of no-code tools that we can redefine work.

I am hopeful that by the end of this adoption curve of no-code tools that people are redefining what the work week looks like. Whether that's work four days a week and that's normal now or that 30 hours per week is considered full-time.

In my experience, most people don't function at a high level for 40 hours a week. Fingers crossed that all of this automation can mean that people get get to work less.