No Code Concepts, Tools, and Plans: IO2020 Replay with Doc Williams, Brand Factory Founder & Build With Me Maker

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Interview Transcript with Doc Williams, Brand Developer, Founder of Brand Factory and Maker of Build With Me

Susan Stibal: Doc Williams is here to show you how to best utilize this new field of building without code and what concepts, tools, and plans you need to begin creating. Doc Williams is a brand developer, founder of Brand Factory and maker of Build With Me. Doc is also an entrepreneur who has worked with everyone from ESPN to App Sumo. So, Doc, I will let you take it away. Thanks for coming. And I can't wait to hear your presentation. 

Doc Williams: Well, thank you so much for having me. I really do appreciate it. I'm so excited. Saw the other presenters earlier today. I'm just so excited to be here. So, I'm gonna get right into it because I'm excited about No Code. I'm gonna be talking about how I can help you. And I have a small presentation, but again, this is about how I can help you. 

And if you're new to No Code, if you do not know what it is or you've heard the term and you're not so familiar, we gotcha. Don't worry. We got you in this Presentation and we're going to go through this a little bit. We're going to go through this. Okay.

This discussion today, we're going to be talking about an Introduction to No Code. Okay. And again, I don't want to talk about myself that much. So, I'm going to go through this very quickly. Just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself. So again, I run a six-figure consulting business and strategy. I also help startups integrate tech, so everything from telling their story to actually building that tech stack. So, I've worked from copywriter front end dev. I've been a CTO a few times. A CIO, blah, blah, blah, blah. All that kind of stuff. 

So more importantly, I just get to work with some great people. That's what I like doing. So, we're going to have to stop looking at my picture as I'm looking off into the sunset for a moment. We're going to be talking about the world is changing really quick. And Brian was talking about this in the intro to the Summit, and I cannot agree with that more. 

Right now, we see a huge shift of technology and what's going on in the world. 83.5% of small businesses experienced a negative effect with the COVID pandemic. 72% of the world startups saw that their revenue fell and 56% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible at least partially with remote work. So, there's a lot of things happening all at the same time. 

And people are scrambling to come up with new ideas or to test new ideas, lean out their business, and you can be doing all of that by using the power of No Code. And so, we're going to be talking about why you need to be ready for this new age and using No Code as an innovation. 

So, the first question is before we even get started and how you can be using no code, it's important to understand what No Code is. So, what is it? Let's go with a definition real quick. No Code is a development platform that allows programmers and non-programmers to create apps and programs, using visual tools instead of traditional computer programming languages.

Oh, that was a lot. So, the TLDR, what is it? Building visually. So, a lot of times some people are already using no code tools and they did not know that but basically allows you to do things that usually took what programmers were doing, writing code. So here are a few no code services. Now there's a whole other discussion. If you want to know the difference between no code and low code. 

But here are a few no code services that I use almost daily. So, there's Bubble, Air Table, IFTTT, Elementor, Zapier, Hopin, Repurpose.io. Okay. Those are a lot of different tools. Now what we're going to be talking about, this is the Intro to No Code. So instead of delving into very specific platforms, we can talk about it in the Q and A, and that's not a problem, but instead of just talking about all of these different services, what's really important is looking at areas to disrupt the industry and how it can help you figure out what you want to get done in your business. So, in the chat, please let me know.

Yep. Has anyone tried Amazon's HoneyCode? Yes. I did a whole breakdown video on that about three weeks ago as well. Yes. We're going to be talking about a lot of these things. If you're thinking about like seeing the handle, not the tool. Tons of times, if you only think about the tool you're going to see, like, only if it's a hammer, you're just going to see about how you can hit nails. Right? 

If you've got a Catana, it's the same thing. You're just going to be slicing things up. So, instead of thinking about just the platform, think about the handle. What are you trying to accomplish? And then we can go into the right kind of platform. Now also too, just to let you know, I have a YouTube show called Build With Me.

And so, I build three different businesses with one No Code tool every single Wednesday night. And also, I do tech reviews for App Sumo. So right now, I'm up to 453 tech reviews for them. And then, for the show we've done like a hundred episodes. So, we just passed 300 businesses with No Code tools. So, let's get right into it.

If you are trying to use no code and you're trying to speed up your design process, no code can be perfect for this. Designing complex websites and applications, it takes a lot of time, but with no code, you can do this really quickly. So again, if you are having a problem and I want it in the chat, if you're dealing with a design problem, you need to mockup things very quickly. We got you. 

What about another one. Automation. Perhaps you're doing a lot of manual tasks. For example, one of our, one of the clients that we were working with, they were working with a big manufacturer, and they were manually still filling in invoices and filling in all of these different things. Well, we had a No Code tool that automatically you set up the boundaries of reading different boxes. 

So, when people scan their order and instead of retyping it, taking all that manual work, it just looks at the numbers, looks at the letters, and then it just automatically does everything for you. So, and it already puts it into the system. So again, what tasks are you looking to solve as well?

The other one too, is architecture. So, system frameworks. If you're thinking about email marketing, SOPs, lead generation, complex, the complex tasks, we can talk about architecting a way for you to be able to solve those problems as well. That is the three main ways. And really the reason we went through the three ways, and we looked at it this way is actually even older.

We talk about, a lot on the program, Leonard DaVinci, and how he broke his style up was he was an artist. He was an engineer. An architect. And that actually forms a really clear line, especially with a lot of no code tools, which bucket you want to be into. We're going to talk about those three. And before we go into it and talk from the chat. 

Why start now? Because you need to be saving time. You need to make sure that you are getting to your goals. You're being able to adapt and pivot in this time. So, this is the time to start. Now, how can I help? I do courses, consulting, workshops, whatever. I work with all different types of companies. I'm going to be helping you today in answering your questions, but keep in mind if you need help from me later on, go see me on YouTube. 

Go email me. I'll bring this up. And all of that kind of stuff from building a marketplace in less than 60 minutes, was it two months ago, we built Netflix in an hour and a half. Creating Roku channels for your companies. We just do a lot of different random stuff. Oh, building SOPs for crime scene cleaners, you know, we go on and on.

So, let's get right into it. What people are trying to build. Now, let's go through a question. How do I say that first name? Petro Petro. Maybe, maybe if I butchered it, I'm sorry. I want to build a product development and project management system, basically from cradle to grave life cycle management system and seeking a platform to get started.

Okay. So that's a really good question. And what I would do with that one before even answering which one to go with, I would say, are you using it for your own team first or are you trying to build it as a Micro SAAS and get other people involved? So, if you're trying to build it internally, I would first talk about, okay, do you already have your SOPs broken out and how you want your workflow before deciding on a platform?

And do you want to be building on top of a platform or actually just build it from the bottom up? So, I know that's a lot of different things, but I would go with that detailed first. But I can go through a couple different platforms, how to do that. Once I get the answer or more details, I will swing back around.

Lindsay brings out, build a dashboard to show business metrics. So, I've got that one. All right. So let me break out of this. Actually, I was building a dashboard yesterday. So, if you're trying to build a dashboard, let's go through a couple different options. We were doing this with a client with the NBA about three weeks ago. And people were saying, well, where is this fancy system he's going through? It's just all my Twitter thread. 

So, we could use DataBox or we could use GeckoBoard. Okay. So, let's bring this up. I'm going to bring up Gecko Board. So, who asked this, Lindsay asked talking about, which one, if you're trying to display your data? Even if you're using like Google sheets or whatever, you can be using that. So, DataBox or Gecko. Yeah, depending on exactly the features that you want or how often you want it to be updated or what you want it to be integrated with. But I would go with yeah. Data Box. Gecko Board. 

Don, I think you're asking rapid prototyping. Own team then Microsoft. Okay. Petro again, let's see my own team and Micro SAAS. Okay. So, you're trying to build out your own team and Micro SAAS. Okay. So, if I was going to do that, it depends if you want to first white label or just pull the API or something like that. 

But Jumple would probably do that because they're already built to be similar to like Asana or, or a Slack. It's kind of like a mixture of the two it's really focused on agencies, but they do offer you to basically just white label it. And to do custom build outs too.

So, they are a marketing team and they're developers. So, they're all in house and a couple months ago, they were talking about having solutions if certain companies want to have their own platform to build it out. That's another option and you can make a Micro SAAS platform pretty easy off them. Their team is in Australia. They're really cool. So, that might be something 

Jen's asking Twilio. Twilio integration with no code. Yeah. So, tell me more. Yeah, I definitely agree. We've had Twilio integrations. We've had someone build out their, it's for fancy football, but they're adding Twilio with it. So, they're adding actually another filter basically, so they can run their draft on Zoom and then they're using Twilio with it.

And then they're transitioning from that to build their own platform for video conferencing. But they're modeling it using Zoom. They're using all the filters and then they're building it totally out with Trello and they're doing it with 70% no code. So let me know if you are what you're looking for with that one.

Carlos is talking about what are the risks and downside of using No Code? It kind of depends Carlos of what you're trying to accomplish. A lot of people, sometimes there's a feeling like, oh no codes can do everything. Well, you know, it has limitations, but it depends on what you're trying to do, Carlos. If you're trying to validate, you're going to scale to a certain point, but as long as you know, your limits and where you're trying to go, it can go pretty far.

If you're either bootstrapping or if you're VC funded, but you're making it really lean before you get to the next version. I can say that there are very successful apps and very successful businesses, all built on Bubble and No Code. Most people wouldn't know unless you asked them. So, it kind of depends on the capabilities of what you're trying to do.

Now on the flip side, someone asked me the other day when we did this breakdown, they're like, well, you showed me how to create Netflix, but I can't add, like, I think they wanted to add like 3000 films. And they didn't want to pay for like a server. I mean we got to be reasonable here, guys. So it depends on what you're trying to create or what you're trying to do. And hopefully that answers. 

Rebecca says best one that includes document generation. Hmm. I would need to know a little bit more about document generation. What do you mean by that? Good question. Legal documents. Oh, okay. So you're saying creating templates for legal documents or you're doing oh, in Word. So let me ask you this, Rebecca. So, you are a business and you're trying to either sell legal documents, like templates or to interact. I need a little bit more details. 

I'll, I'll find it in a second. Jason, from Fire Spring is bringing up something. Let me know what's going on with the details. Streamlining the process of creating documents. There are a couple different ones, depending, again, there's a lot. I like Taskly. I see what the logo is, but I don't know how to spell it. There are a couple different ones. I mean, if I'm looking at that, I might even go with Nucey possibly. Streamlining the process of creating a document. That's tough for me because I would want to know, do you have to have input from other people on your team? Is it just for your own workflow? 

If I was doing something where I'm trying to create documents, I would probably Nucey and again, this is just if I'm trying to go with clients and everything like that, and I want everything where I can have a plug and play, I build out the templates and then everyone on my team can just access and build it out afterwards.

Better proposals or Nucey. I would think. Oh, other teammates and or for clients. So, if I'm doing really advanced ones, I'd probably do Better Proposal. I use both. I have more contracts with Nucey. Because it's more based on a one pager. But every single time I use Better Proposal, I always get compliment. How well it looks. I mean, this Better Proposal probably is my bet. Not only that, because you can build your own branding kit too, so everything's on point. And your team can work with it. And then your clients go right with it. Good question. 

Three must have no code tools. Okay, Susan. I'm glad you asked that question. It really depends. Okay. So, so if I'm trying to build out automation. I'm probably going to go with Zapier. Yeah. We could go with Integromat. And all the other ones, but like, if I'm just going to go with like general automations to save you time, I'm probably going to build out Zapier, probably going to go with that one.

And that's if I'm business related. If I'm trying to figure out, just automating my life. And just things that I have to do around the house. I probably go with IFTTT because then it's allowing you to basically create different automations, like a recipe. And it's all based, it's really just really easy stuff. But I feel that Zapier is more leaning towards business.

If I'm doing something where I'm just trying to automate my life as much as possible. I'm going to go with IFTTT. If, so yeah, that's where I would start. If for me personally, for my business, the one thing that I use is probably repurposed.io. They don't get talked about enough. Basically, this is when I was working with Vayner Media in the Sasha Group.

So, this was broken down where we did a challenge where Gary has about 25 people working for him in building content. So, we built the Gary V Content Model 2.0 using Repurpose. So, with one person and using repurpose.io, we replace 25 people. And the way that you do this is you're plugging this in. You're live streaming. And then you're dropping timestamps and it does it automatically.

Or you can set it up and you can distribute your content and it makes all of those pieces for you. So, say for instance, you make a 30-piece, 30-minute live stream. Well, I can make 37 pieces of content with automation right off the bat. So, this pretty much changed my entire workflow. And what used to take like four full-time VAs. Now it takes 20 minutes a week to do all this. 

And we have a podcast. We have a YouTube channel. We have all of these different outlets, and I don't think repurpose. And he's awesome. That's his company. And they just kill it. They just kill it. So again, I probably, I would spend tons of time if I did not have this.

So, Repurpose is definitely up there on it. Let's see. What else do I use a lot? Again, it depends on what you're trying to do with your business, and if you're using it more for content creation or just saving time or money in your business. The other one that I really like, and although you could do it similar to like Typeform or anything like that, you can go with, my favorite is probably Paper Form.

And that's because not only does Paper Form have tons of integrations, the automations are just like second to none. So, we actually built a marketplace using Paper Form and a Google Sheet and yeah. Oh it, now, if I was going to build a full, like a full marketplace, which we're getting contracted a lot to do now, I probably use ShareTribe though.

I probably use ShareTribe. I pretty much use ShareTribe, maybe, seven times a week, at least. But we've spun up, built out niche marketplaces so quickly. We've built a Ikea marketplace. We've built a marketplace for App Sumo. So yeah, a lot of good stuff. That was a good question, Susan. So, I hate to be that vague, but it kind of depends on what your business strategy is or what you want.

If you're trying to go for automation mockups. Oh, now if I'm trying to go up for mockups. And I'm trying to look at the most robust, No Code tool. If I'm using a mock-up, I'd probably use Sketch.com. The reason behind it is it integrates with so many other systems. I can be mapping things out, giving it to my devs.

It's not a big deal at all. If I don't have that kind of team and I need to do the animation. And I need it to code in the background, Supernova. People don't talk about enough Supernova. You can build out all your animations. It writes the code. You can send it out. You'll be good to go. 

Are large corporations using no code or just startups? No large corporations are using it. Depends on how they're using it. Again, I don't want to generalize. I'm sure some don't if you're using Windows, we're going to have to go a different way. Y'all if you use a Mac, keep on going. 

Yeah. So, Susan was talking about bigger companies. I've seen bigger companies use no code sometimes to use it with smaller teams to build out ideas or build out MVPs very quickly. And then again, bring it back in house and then they'll code. Either way, but I mean, if you look at some of the bigger companies. Again, it depends on what people call no code, because some people call Shopify no code. Some of the biggest e-commerce stores online are Shopify, which would be no code. So, yeah. Good question. 

Really good session. Again, no code this is really just the introduction to it. There's tons and tons and tons of apps and platforms being made with no code. What I would encourage you to do is write down the functionality in what you're trying to get out of no code, and then decide to use those platforms. Because there's just, it's endless. It really is endless. 

Susan Stibal: Do you have any final remarks? 

Doc Williams: Start and just begin and start experimenting and start working on it. And if you don't know how to do it, no code community on Twitter is so vast and there's so many people trying to help. So, reach out to me, reach out to anyone that's an expert in that type of no code platform. They'll be happy to help you. And yeah, just keep building. It will be good times.

For More Information

Susan Stibal: Doc, that was terrific. And if you want to see more of Doc, check out his build with me on YouTube. It's very similar to this session. So powerful, so much information that can really change the course of a startup or even intrepreneurs. So, thanks so much, Doc. 

Doc Williams: Definitely. Thank you so much. Bye bye.

Brian Ardinger: That's it for another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. If you want to learn more about our team, our content, our services, check out InsideOutside.io or follow us on Twitter @theIOpodcast or @Ardinger. Until next time, go out and innovate.

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