Building a product without writing code? Yes you can. And you should.
I want to start by saying this is not intended to be one of those click-baity articles where I hook you in and then tell you I know all these secrets that can be yours if you pay me. Nope — this is a freebie. And it’s not one of those “By ‘product’ you mean some sort of website, right? Where I do paid search ads? Or charge people for my time and knowledge — like a consultant?” Nope, not that either. But I know a lot of people who do those things and make good money, so I won’t knock it.
No, I’m here to tell you about a product you can create, ye of little coding experience, to help others with their business.
And the best part? It’s getting easier and easier to do this every day that passes by. Ready to learn? Okay.
Here’s what you need for this recipe:
- A passion for learning new things
I PROMISE IT’S NOT CODING…but if you want to learn about that, that’s cool and very helpful too. But again, coding is not a requirement.
- The ability to understand “if/then” statements
Example: IF I highlight this text and hit the “B” icon THEN it will be bolded.
- How to make a flow chart
Any type of flow chart, really. Even if it’s just writing on a scrap of paper a list of steps needed for the user to take, and the sequence in which they need to happen.
- The ability to research, test and iterate
Sometimes things are hard and they don’t go exactly how you intended. But that doesn’t mean you failed. If you have the ability to research and keep testing and iterating, you have the skills needed to get to the final result.
- The ability to write like a human…not like a robot.
Quick test: Which one of these reads like a human?
“<first name> ‘Michael’ <last name> ‘Nelson’: <run script> ‘google calendar reminder’ to parse data for end user <first name> ‘Sarah’ <last name> ‘Jones’?” *
“Hello Michael Nelson: I’ve set a google calendar reminder for your client, Sarah Jones.”
- The ability to do deep work
This is where you sit and concentrate on one thing and one thing only for long periods of time and resist shallow activities like scrolling social media sites, taking that Buzzfeed quiz or responding to yet another email from Susan in Accounting about your TPS reports.
That’s basically it. That’s what you need. And to be honest, nothing on this list is a firm requirement. You can get by without one or more of these. But these are the things that will really help you if you don’t know how to code but you STILL want to build a product.
Alright, now that you’ve got these skills ready, here’s what you need to do:
Go build something on Motion.AI.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
I know what you’re thinking. That’s NOT all there is to it. There is SO much more to it. And you’re right. There’s a lot more to it. But I can’t tell you exactly what you need to build, only that you already have the tools to go out and start building.
But here are some pointers to help you get started.
- Think of a problem you recently encountered. If you just had the ability to snap your fingers and fix that problem, what would that look like? How would you want that solution to look, feel, work?
- Go look at some of the products that others have built using that platform. Sure some of them are big names and probably have loads of developers, but this is a platform for BOTH developers and non-developers (i.e. my people). What are they doing that you could also be doing? What kinds of solutions are they touting?
- Think about a product that could be B2B or B2C. What kinds of problems do businesses have that you could solve with a really simple tool? What kinds of problems do consumers have that you could solve that doesn’t make them have to download a new app or go out to yet another website?
This might all still sound very vague, and that’s a bit purposeful. Because I don’t want to limit you to what you want to create. I have ideas of what I want to create, but each day I have a new idea that expands as my knowledge of this new space expands. Just to give you a sample, here are some ideas I’ve had that I very well could do, but don’t have plans on pursuing…so you can have them for free. Go do these things! And make money (probably)!
Idea 1: A chat interface that is pre-programmed with a variety of FAQs that users can interact with instead of having a human answer those same questions over and over again. Apply this in literally ANY field. People will love you.
Idea 2: A dating automation tool that keeps track of every time you swipe right on a profile and provides your own set of scoring metrics based on what the profile says so that you know how you would score the profile without even having to read it. For example, you swipe right on a profile and that profile automatically gets rated higher for including traits that you prefer like your preferred political party, physical appearances that you find attractive, the ability to use or not use emojis in the profile, etc…and then puts that score against all of the other profiles you swiped right on so you can see exactly which ones are worth reading and which you should just skip. (Again, I’m not saying I would do this, just that someone COULD do this)**
Idea 3: A simple tool that reminds when you need to do tasks that aren’t common. Like changing your passwords periodically so that Big Brother can’t get ya.
Boom. There you go. Three ideas. Maybe they’re gold mines. Maybe they’re not. But you won’t know until you go build it and test it.
And not to get all philosophical on you, but the best thing about building your own product is how much you learn along the way. If your product is profitable and helpful, well then that’s even better.
Now go build something!
*If you’re a developer and you think “That makes absolutely no sense.” You are correct! That’s because I’m not a developer. But a lot of times this is what coding language looks like to a non-developer. Trust me on this.
**For the record, this is all just speculation on how dating apps work because I’ve never actually used one, but I know quite a bit about them from Aziz Ansari’s book on Modern Romance, which I highly recommend (and no, that’s not an affiliate link).