First, it was Craigslist, next it's Zapier

As I delve deeper into the no-code space I see a lot of Zapier, Integromat and Tray.io workflows. Some of these are actually quite complex and require some programming knowledge to understand them (which kind of defeats the point of no-code).

As I was looking at some of these workflows, I couldn't help but think how there will be this eventual shift like with Craiglist where companies will spring up that just focus on certain more complex popular workflows.

Take for example a project of mine, gsheet2mail.com, you could make it in Zapier like so:

  1. Create a Zap
  2. Query for your spreadsheet
  3. Parse the fields of your spreadsheet into something usable
  4. Connect the result of #3 and pipe it into a RSS feed connector
  5. Copy the webhook URL and paste it into Mailchimp
  6. Realise that Mailchimp queries your RSS feed a lot
  7. Run out of Zaps
  8. Pay $29 per month

Compare that to the custom app I built:

  1. Sign in with google
  2. Copy the example spreadsheet
  3. Paste in your new spreadsheet URL
  4. Connect to Mailchimp
  5. Done

Even if the customer needed to go premium the cost would be significantly lower (around $6 a month) because I don't need to support massive infrastructure or bother about investor pressure.

So my advice if you're looking for your next indie software idea. Just observe what these no-coders are automating on Zapier and build a nice UI around it.

“Complexity can be tamed, but it requires considerable effort to do it well. Decreasing the number of buttons and displays is not the solution. The solution is to understand the total system, to design it in a way that allows all the pieces fit nicely together, so that initial learning as well as usage are both optimal. Years ago, Larry Tesler, then a vice president of Apple, argued that the total complexity of a system is a constant: as you make the person's interaction simpler, the hidden complexity behind the scenes increases. Make one part of the system simpler, said Tesler, and the rest of the system gets more complex. This principle is known today as "Tesler's law of the conservation of complexity." Tesler described it as a tradeoff: making things easier for the user means making it more difficult for the designer or engineer.”
Donald A. Norman, Living with Complexity

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