#WorkSmart: Fake it Til’ you Make It

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In the world of startups, there has evidently been two types of founders & co-founders: technical & non-technical. A technical founder is someone that brings his idea to life through hardworking late nights and runs on <50 cups of coffee a week (fastfood & RedBull optional). A non-technical founder is usually an individual with an idea for a business but lacks the technical skills to bring it to life(they normally attend networking events filled with coders with hopes of bringing someone on board). For the most part of my career in tech, I’ve always identified as a technical founder: I think of something cool & I build it.

AI on HR

After I launched , my involvement with the technical aspect of the business grew smaller and smaller. After our pivot into “AI for HR” and building , I became more obsessed with building our business network over the development of our core product and technical know-hows. I was coding less and felt the knowledge begin to slip away.

I came across a YouTube video of Kamau Gachigi that would eventually change my way of thinking and Bludesk in its entirety. He talked about “Rapid Prototyping”, something I had never heard of before. At first, I thought he was one of those guys who over-simplified what needed to be done until I REALLY started listening. Kamau said that through his company, GearBox, his goal was to create an environment where anyone can have an idea and build an MVP to test the concept within a week. He went on to mention how he combined components from other machines (the process of unconventional digital fabrication) to make a 3D printer that can be sold for a fraction of its retail price.

Kamau Gachigi on “Digital Fabrication”

My biggest take-away from the video was how quickly we could build MVPs for concept testing, business model testing, recruiting your first team and even raise a seed round. STEM development of all sorts has grown to become a rather modular process over the years. I realized that our platform, both the core site and our Facebook bots, could’ve been built with ZERO LINES OF CODE! Our digital job board could’ve been built using WordPress and our Facebook bots could’ve been created using . I started diving deeper into the depths of “rapid prototyping” & I made a list of the best IDE(s) and other services that may help you or someone you know, work smarter.

  1. ) — Build FB Messenger Bots in under 5mins (Freemium)

2. ) WordPress — Asside from the obvious, you’ll be surprised what WP themes can do these days. I built an intranet community with WordPress ( — by Bludesk) with ZERO lines of code!

3. ) — Easily turn your website into an Android app. They do all the heavy lifting!

4. ) Balsamiq Mockups — Probably my favorite one from this list. You can build highly interactive mockups with Balsamiq that can effectively replace any basic MVP for any product that you might be building.

5. ) — Build dynamic web apps and slack-like communities without a single line of code! (drag-and-drop type).

I am still exploring some more on Product Hunt & Siftery and I will keep adding on to this list. If you know any more platforms that accomodate “non-technical” individuals, add them in the comments below. Let’s keep the list alive and help as many as we can (or email me: bob@bludesk.net/bobkshoo@gmail.com)!

I spent exactly 6 weeks re-working, migrating and re-building almost everything I had ever built onto more manageable platforms. “Grounds for the non-coders” as my business partner Nelson so adequately phrased it. At first, it was simply a duplication. I had a more manageable back-end ON ALL OUR PLATFORMS! It was very easy (and quick) to instruct a designer to edit a response block for client’s messenger bot. I was creating and testing ideas much quicker, deploying changes much faster and our deliverables are now nothing short of being 2–3 days ahead of schedule. I built a rather profound appreciation for modular development and working smart instead of “working hard”. I could've spent two weeks building a Messenger Bot but instead I chose to shelve my old code and use a platform that allowed me to replicate the same thing in under 10 minutes.

As an entrepreneur, being resourceful is an art and a practice that gives you an edge over the competition. Today, Bludesk remains the only Tanzanian Job Portal with a bot that connects over 10,000 candidates to a pool of vacant jobs. On the surface, it may seem like intense months of coding went into our platforms. That was the case. Now, people interact with 6 weeks of work, tops (3 weeks of building, 3 weeks of testing)!

A quote from Naval Rakivant

UPDATE: 04/10/18

6.)  — Automated Landing Pages for your Blog, e-Store and other Web ideas. Created the landing page for our Holdings/Parent company, .




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Originally published by Tom Hooker at document360.io on February 20, 2019.

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