💼 Business questions
Can you describe what it is about the no-code industry that you like?
I believe no-code is a trend and a promise at this point. It is a bit too soon to call it "an industry". Like many other trends it goes through a certain "hype cycle" where eventually (we hope) it will become a standard model for software development. The promise of no-code, and this is what I love the most about it, is the democratization of app development. Being able to materialize your ideas and turning them into a live app without hiring skilled professionals and doing it in the shortest period of time is a fantastic value proposition.
Can you describe your company / platform in the length of a tweet? (140 characters)
The Backendless platform is an environment where you can turn ideas to apps at the speed of thought. If you can think about your problem logically, you can implement it visually without any coding.
Can you share any exciting updates or developments that are planned for Backendless in the next 12 months?
I will summarize it with the following (partial) list of what we're working on: no-code GraphQL, no-code voice-driven apps, no-code bots.
What do you believe will be the biggest trend in no-code in the next 5 years?
- (Wishful thinking) The no-code ecosystem will start consolidating. A standard for cross vendor no-code component/logic exchange will emerge which will open up tremendous possibilities. One of them will be the trend of creating no-code enterprise and consumer mashups.
- No-code wrappers (either in the form of components or service facades) will appear either directly from the vendors who provide services (think AWS, Azures, Stripes of this world) or from the pure play no-code solutions. This will facilitate a new breed of no-code apps.
Any advice for non-technical entrepreneurs with an idea for an online business who are put off by the limited technical skills?
Technology is just the means to an end, it is never the end. Being put off by the limited technical skills would be an indication of entrepreneurial immaturity. Be rationally fearless, learn things, listen to (technical) people you trust, welcome challenging positions. Look for ways to validate your idea in the fastest way possible.
Stay away from an $8/hr "skilled work", by doing so you're accumulating technical debt which will cost you way more in the long run.
🧔 Personal questions
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No, although looking back into my childhood there were some early entrepreneurial attempts. Over the years I have been very fortunate to meet and work with some very successful businessmen. These people have been a great source of inspiration for me.
What are some of the obstacles you have faced growing your company and how did you overcome them?
The obstacles and challenges are rather typical. These are the things that every startup has to deal with at some point and include funding, making your first hire, figuring out the right pricing, staying focused when you see multiple opportunities, being able to predict industry trends and stay ahead of the game.
We made the decision to grow the company organically, there was a certain art of bootstrapping involved when I started the business, but with a lot of perseverance and some luck we got the company to a break-even point rather quickly and then remained profitable ever since. The guiding principle has always been listening to our users and customers, providing the kind of customer service and support we would want to experience ourselves.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Release early. Release often and listen to your customers.
🤪 Fun questions - quick fire
12 start-ups in 12 months vs 1 start-up in 1 year?
A startup is a relationship, it must be a deeply committed relationship in order for it to work. With the lack of other options, I'd pick 1 startup in 1 year, but I do not like how it sounds.
Investment vs bootstrapping ?
It depends on when you'd want to potentially experience discomfort. Early on (bootstrapping) or later on (investment). I'd prefer the former.
Zoom vs Googlemeets?
Whatever works in the first 60 seconds.
Design vs Development?