TL;DR – Chris created Jetboost to solve a real problem for nocode makers like me and you. He made a beautiful and insanely useful real-time, on-page search for a list like a job list. What’s so great about this? Well, I couldn’t put it any better than what Chris said: “Currently, without Jetboost, someone would have to either hire a developer or write the code themselves if they wanted this functionality on their site.“
1. What did you make?
CS: In October I launched Jetboost.io, an add-on tool for Webflow. It allows users to easily add advanced features to their Webflow sites, such as real-time, on-page search, without having to write any custom code. Currently, without Jetboost, someone would have to either hire a developer or write the code themselves if they wanted this functionality on their site.
2. What problems were you trying to solve, your motivation, what is your why for this?
CS: This all came about when a friend of mine, Corey Haines, created a job board using Webflow, Hey Marketers. The site looked great and had a ton of awesome job postings, but I wished I could easily search the postings. He told me that unfortunately that wasn’t natively possible in Webflow, and he didn’t know how to write the code to do it. I ended up writing the code for him, and over the next several months, I had more and more people reach out to me wanting to add a similar search filter to their site. Eventually, I decided to shelve the previous product I was working on, and focus on making it possible for any Webflow creator to add features like real-time search to their sites, without having to hire me or another developer.
3. What different tools did you use to make it? (Or can talk about how users/customers use jetboost to make something)
CS: To create Jetboost, I went with my default tech stack that I use to launch products, which is Node + GraphQL + React. And of course I also use Webflow as well, both for the integration with Jetboost, and the Jetboost marketing site itself.
4. Can you talk specifically about why you chose those tools? And how did you figure out to use those tools? Were there any others you considered or failed with at first?
CS: Out of all the nocode tools, I chose specifically to work with Webflow as I really believe in their team, their mission, and their CEO. In my opinion, they already have the best in class website designer. They’ve stated that eventually Webflow will enable anyone to build not only websites, but web applications as well. Some people have actually already begun doing this today using Webflow, and with Jetboost I hope to provide ways to make this even easier until the Webflow team completes their full vision.
5. What is the most interesting no code stack that you made or anything interesting you’d like to share? CS: I’ve been amazed this past year and all the incredible products that have been built using no code tools. Three Jetboost customer sites that I’ve been really impressed with are, the previously mentioned Hey Marketers by Corey Haines, Unicorn Factory a New Zealand freelancer database by Connor Finlayson, and of course the amazing resource that is Makerpad by Ben Tossell.
Some developers have been quite dismissive of the nocode movement, doubting that these tools can be used to create “real” products. I think this is mainly out of fear or gate-keeping, but in my opinion it’s great that more and more people are becoming creators now, without having to learn to code. At many companies I’ve previously worked at, we had to use a ton of developer time building out internal tools for operations, customer service, marketing, and other teams. This work was inevitably deprioritized compared to work on the main product. Yet, now with nocode tools, a lot of these teams have become able to create the internal tools that they need, without having to wait on developer availability. I think this is great for everyone involved!
6. What would you do differently building it or something valuable you learned you’d like to share with other makers?
CS: The biggest lesson so far for me with Jetboost, is to first find a pain point or problem that people are looking to have solved, and only then start building the solution. Previously I’d launched products with only a vague idea of who they were for and because of this the products struggled to gain any traction.
Seth Godin says it best in his book, This is Marketing:
“It doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open. The only productive solution is to find a lock and then fashion a key. It’s easier to make products and services for the customer you seek to serve than it is to find customers for your products and services.”
These are wise words whether you build products with code or using nocode tools.
7. Please provide what links to your project website, your twitter, where can people return the love?
8. Is there anything else you would like to share or some feedback/request/action that you’d like to ask the Side Project Stack Audience to do for you?
CS: If you’ve built a fun/unique/interesting site using Webflow, please share it with me via Twitter or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as I love seeing and promoting awesome sites that people are creating with Webflow!