Imagine the experience you would gain from shipping 30+ projects including one that has grossed $400,000+. Madhuri has that experience and she has spent countless hours, hardwork and patience to reach those milestones.
If you want to build a business with no-code, Madhuri shares many important hard truths learned from turning a product into a business that earns revenue. Here is what you can learn:
- Using a system or framework to building and launching increases your odds of success. If you don’t know how there are two ways to learn. Spend years learning or learn from others to see what frameworks they use. Madhuri shares her framework.
- Using the wrong no-code tools for your project is painful. How do you avoid using the wrong tool to build with no-code? Madhuri shares how she learned how. You really have to be disciplined to map out all the product features, and plan out which ones you will need to validate most. Then select the best tools that will deliver that.
- Or you can also use resources that have done that for you. I’ve also experienced this pain, and that is why I built GetStackd.io which takes data from 150+ Maker’s products built with no-code and recommends to you a custom suggestion of which tools to use. Check it out and get your free recommendation based on your project idea, your no-code skill level and complexity of build.
- Making things with no-code is overwhelming. And no project is the same. So what do experienced Makers prioritize and remember above all else so that they build the fastest way possible? Validation. The hardest lesson I have learned and seen countless Makers go through as well as trying to convince yourself not to build your perfect vision product as the V1. How can you prioritize feedback and validation, and build as minimally as possible? Madhuri shares in her framework below. Also in case you are interested how I recommend the best way is by using this database I created of 150+ Makers projects and over 2,000+ data points to help you see which tools are best. to make the thing you want to do. Check it out here: The Lean Side Project.
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your story and journey into no-code products.
M: I’m Madhuri, a Product Designer and a No-Coder. As Designers, we’ve always made prototypes of products that we would ship to test, iterate and hand-off to developers. No-Code came along and took iterating and shipping to another level.
In 2019, I launched DplusP Newsletter for design + product jobs for professionals to find curated jobs from the Indian ecosystem. After pushing it out for 6 months, I tried to get a website up and running for dplusp but I found that it took a long time. After I discovered the no-code world and trying a tonne of no-code tools and failing, I stumbled upon Carrd & Airtable. I made my first job board with no tech dependency in less than 3 hours and launched it successfully. That was the first no-code project. Prior to Carrd, as a team we were heavily invested in Notion for internal systems, client portals, job boards and more. We loved Notion and now making a system out of it is a dream come true.
2. Can you tell us about your Carrd learning course?
M: What’s important for Maker’s to realise is that it’s not the platform that enables good design but actual design needs to be done before we even jump into a tool. What the carrd course does is it brings these elements to focus and then building them on carrd. Carrd is a amazing, quick way to make websites and digital products. It’s price plan is great and makes it very easy for many maker’s to afford their first websites. Good Design Skills + Carrd can actually make it very easy for many makers to start.
Carrd Intensive is a comprehensive course to make digital products and product based websites which actually convert. You will also learn about how to use a number of different products to make a workflow and get started with selling and growing your projects.
3. What is your stack to create a Carrd membership platform with payment?
- Carrd: Website
- Stripe: Payment processor
- Airtable + Airtable Automations: For enrolments, enrolment letters, email newsletters
- Podia: To host the course.
4. Did you start off with this stack or did it change while making it.
I did enough research with Gumroad and Notion + Stripe. I chose Podia as it offered robust features that we were looking for in a LMS: Ability to host digital products, Tickets for live Zoom sessions, Memberships and Courses.
- Can you share your experience using this stack; any insights, advantages and disadvantages, things that surprised you, disappointed you for each tool:
- Gumroad is great for makers who are a part of the western world but not for Indian users. International transactions don’t happen through Gumroad quite easily.
- Paypal is also not used commonly in India and is quite cumbersome to open an account and accept payments and get funds too. Hence we ruled out Gumroad.
- Podia offered great flexibility with payments in instalments, Course delivery, progress of the student and much more. Consider Podia if you are serious about making your course happen.
- Carrd offered a great website builder but was not great with SEO.
- Podia’s integration button is not customisable it was very limiting design wise.
- If you are building courses in India some new options to consider are Graphy.com and BitClass.live
6. Can you share the story, strategy or principles behind what tools you started and evolved into for the LMS that generated $400,000? (To me this seems like a great lesson to be learned for no-code entrepreneurs just starting out – the idea of building iteratively.)
M: As a team we are heavily invested in Notion and after exploring a stack of Google classrooms for students, we realised that it did not make sense as we required a free flowing content area to write, explain concepts in a structured way which could not happen in a typical LMS. Using Notion, freed us and reduced our cost to literally $50/ year.
We used the same LMS to release two cohort based courses for Designerd and continue to do this year at Xperian & Nocoloco.
It seems as though Podia could be limiting. So to design the experience you wanted using tools like Airtable and Notion you were able to fill in the gaps. And create additional value outside of what Podia offered in your LMS. Do I have that right?
Is the lesson here that using other no-code tools can help add extra value and differentiate your product to deliver the value that you are wanting to create for the customer?
For cohort based courses, we did not use podia at all from the start. We chose Google Classroom first and then moved to Notion. Notion gave us flexibility that no other platform could give us.
The lesson here is to look at what you want to offer your students and make choices based on that. Also, dont think about scale when you are just starting.
7. Can you give any insights to your framework for building your next thing?
Take a look at the problem at hand and see what are the most probable ways to build something. Here are some questions, I ask myself before building something:
- Probe deeper and figure out if you can solve the problem using constraints.
- Can it be solved by building a better system in place?
- Can the problem be solved when the design/process is tweaked better?
- When you build something esp with no-code consider mapping your product features with no-code tools.
- Think how that solution can be built with only 20% of the time, money and resources.
- Test your solution, gather feedback
- Iterate and test again till you launch.
- After launch, collect consistent feedback
- With feedback work can be iterated upon and launched again.
- And finally, build something only when absolutely necessary.
8. Where do you see Makers/Startups/Businesses missing opportunity?
One big area with no-code shipping and startups arising in this area is that they invest less time in understanding the customers. Invest time in thinking about what are the needs of your customers and how best you can solve them.
Also, have a plan after the launch and how you want to improve the product. Most products do not scale beyond the launch especially in No-Code. Code or No-Code, your customers’ needs are important anyday.
9. Can you share about what are key things you did in this project to generate sales with $0 in marketing?
M: Content makes it easier for the word to get out. Add value to the customers through how they consume and get information. We made youtube case studies, twitter threads, ran newsletters and blogs. Those are some great ways to generate sales.
10. When building anything there is always something unexpected that occured. What parts did you get stuck and learn most from?
A lot of the time, the ideas we were executing we stumbled into something unexpected because we did not map features with the capabilities of the no-code platform we were using. Understanding this is prime and allows us to make quick decisions swiftly.
11. What are you excited about that is to come with Nocoloco and or have more projects in the works for 2021 around your niche?
In 2021, due to a pandemic in India, a lot of plans we had had a wrench thrown in them. However, right now we are working on a Product Design Cohort where you can come and upskill yourself as a designer and an accountable community called Maker’s Guild where you can learn to put on skills in a habitual manner.
We are also working and launching a continuous learning platform called Maker Shots which allows people to learn as much as they like, consistently.
12. Please provide what links to your project website, your twitter, where can people return the love? Where they can check out about you and your latest product launch:
My twitter: https://twitter.com/Iruhdam24
Read our thoughts and get announcements: http://blog.xperian.xyz
Nocoloco for No-Code Education and Consulting: http://nocolo.co
Hi👋🏼, I'm Michael.
The maker of this site