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Boring predictions for 2021

Boring predictions for 2021
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #38 • View online
Today at 6PM EST on the stream Victoria and I are going to help Matt West(@itswesty) build a personal sales CRM in Airtable!
Make sure to follow on twitch to get notified when I go live!
Last week, we built a marketplace CRM for Lisa who runs an aerial survey equipment company. A real challenge that included some thorny base design questions, automation and scripting to get live currency updates!
I’m taking the next couple of weeks off. I’m already excited to come back in January and I have some very exciting stuff planned for 2021!

Heyo!
I’m wondering if I do something two years in a row, does it become a tradition?
I guess, we’re about to learn. Just like last week, I thought it would be good to look back on an article from last year: predictions I made this time last year for 2020 (I had not predicted the calamity that 2020 would be but who did?). Let’s see how I did:
No overnight successes
I had predicted that there would be no emergence of new important players in the no-code space. I consider that I was right on this front in that when I look at my toolkit, it feels relatively the same as it was last year. That said, the big players–Amazon, Google and Microsoft–are definitely waking up. They’ve all forayed into the no-code space (Honeycode, Google Tables and Microsoft Lists) this year. But, true to the prediction, none have gotten strong traction. That doesn’t mean they are not formidable competitors but there’s a reason no-code tools are so long in the making: they require long term foundational-type thinking. The belief that you can short circuit that through a large team or a lot of resources may not be as true as it is for other saas tools.
Fundraising was scarce, now plentiful
The numbers do prove me right here: Airtable and Webflow, all raised massive rounds, Integromat was acquired. I don’t think any no-code company with traction had difficulty getting funding in 2020. That said, I now believe that funding was always available to the no-code space but that companies didn’t feel like they needed it. It’s not the availability of money that changed but players’ perception that they needed the money. When Google/Amazon/Microsoft decide to enter your space, having a few hundred million in the bank definitely helps.
Gaming aside, no-code tools for mobile app won’t take off
I stand by this and I think it will continue to be the case in 2020.
Automation will be part of every SaaS product
This one was definitely right. Airtable and Monday launched their version of automations. But I would be remiss not to mention that I did not predict Airtable to be the one launching automations!
Predictions for 2021
Looking forward, here are my predictions for the no-code space in 2021.
Webflow drops e-commerce
Webflow’s main differentiator has always been how it can take a designer and turn them into a (web) developer. It truly provides its users with a canvas to create absolutely gorgeous, fast and scalable websites quickly. When it comes to e-commerce, Webflow also leads with its design advantage when comparing itself to Shopify. However, design is not a top of mind worry for an e-commerce shop. I don’t even think it’s in the top 10 worries! If we’ve learned one thing in 2020, it’s that shipping and fulfilment are! Webflow itself admits defeat on this front (but makes sure to leave it as the last bullet on its page). Unless it refocuses a lot of resources, I think Webflow will have no choice but to recognize it’s inability to compete with e-commerce focused shops and drop that part of its offering.
No-code twitter continues to focus on the wrong thing
I think we’ll continue to have two different worlds: no-code twitter that focuses on building external applications patching together different tools together where no-code replaces the need for “tech”. The build Airbnb/Uber without code type content (I’ve been guilty of promoting this!) which showcases what no-code can do but gives the wrong impression as to where it truly creates value. The ability to turn anyone into a software creator is a true superpower of no-code. The real value however is being created within companies leveraging no-code to reduce the strain on their developers. It’s in internal teams creating their own software so they can focus on what their work is–content, support, finance, whatever–instead of waiting for IT to fix issues with their custom software. Reducing ticket response time through sound relation database structure doesn’t have the razzle dazzle of how an entrepreneur made money without technical knowledge so I think we’ll continue ignoring the latter! I hope I’m wrong here–and I’ll personally continue creating content for the that specific audience.
No-code becomes a job
This is my hope disguised as a prediction. With a growing swath of enterprises relying on no-code to power their line of business operations, my prediction is that the knowledge of specific no-code tools becomes a requirement for certain roles. From there, I also expect that consultants will start hiring no-code generalists to identify where no-code tools can fit into a company’s stack. You can see the start this trend emerging with this senior no-code consultant job opening at Deloitte. Note that I don’t think these will not be administrative jobs to maintain existing no-code stacks (similar to salesforce administrators). Instead, the roles will require proactively identifying where no-code can fit and then deploying tools. So yes technical knowledge of the tools will be key but more important will be the change management skills required in getting folks to change their ways!
That’s it for 2020!
Again, I’d just like to reiterate how much this community–you–has brought to me this year. It’s been such a challenging year for so many of us but the one silver lining for me has been the knowledge that I’ve found this niche of the internet where I can share my passion. And hopefully you’ve taken away some things you can automate out of your life in 2021 so you can focus on the things you love!
Best
Aron
Thanks to Stephen O'Grady (@orishnal) for reviewing this newsletter every week before it reaches your inbox!
PS Last week, I unfortunately forgot to thank Ethan (@fatsackfails) who has been instrumental in making the stream run without a hitch. I have not dropped a single frame since he’s come on board (for folks who remember last year’s streams, that’s quite the change!). So, if you’re thinking of streaming, I’d say start with Ethan so he can get you set up for success much like he’s done for me! Excited for him to continue helping me improve the stream in 2021.
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Aron Korenblit

A weekly Airtable/no-code tip & thoughts on the working smarter not harder with no-code tools written by Aron Korenblit

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