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How can you make your process 10% better?

How can you make your process 10% better?
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #57 • View online
Today 1PM EST on the stream, I’m welcoming my old boss and close friend Emre Mangir, CEO of Stacksi to Automate contracting with Airtable and Hellosign.
He came to me with a simple question: How can I one click create and send contracts instead of copying and pasting a bunch of info? That’s precisely what we’ll build!
You can add the stream (and all future streams) to your calendar by clicking here (it auto updates!) and subscribe on Youtube.
You can catch last week’s replay of Ask me anything (about automation) where I answered a ton of interesting questions about automation (how to manage duplicates, calculate distance between two meetings, social media metrics and much more)!
Onto the update…

Last week, I linked to this amazing piece from Jason Lengstorf that discusses how creating great content is a process not a project. It’s a relevant piece, yet very few of you clicked on it. Which is why I’m putting it up top in this piece and going to expand on it. The reason I think it’s so relevant is that even though Jason argues that great content is an iterative process. I’m going to argue that most of what we do—content or not—is in fact iterative and no-code lets us do those iterations faster.
If we look at what we all do, marketing managers, CEO, finance managers, whatever, we actually all do similar things over and over again. A customer success manager’s job can be broken down into discrete interactions client onboarding processes. Every client is in some way unique but there’s enough commonality between them that learnings from one client can be at least partially applied to the next. Applying Jason’s lens, on your first client call in a specific industry, you have no mental bandwidth to think about anything except how your solution can benefit them. After 10 calls with clients in their industry, you start with a pretty good idea of how they should use it so you can focus on other things like where your interlocutor fits in the company hierarchy etc. etc.
The piece got me thinking about a question my manager often asks: how can we make this 10% better?
It’s a great question because it’s answer is something you can often do quickly without feeling intimidated. The answer doesn’t require coordination or approval. It’s something you can just…do! Over time those incremental changes make a huge difference.
Just to understand what the impact of 10% over a sufficient period of time looks like, take a moment to guess what the return is on investing 1$ at 10% over 50 weeks (or years)? You end up with $117! I bet that’s much more than you expected. Our brains just aren’t built for compounding/exponential returns!
It’s a question I ask myself every week after my stream and newsletter. Every week, I write down 2-3 aspects that I think can be improved. Over time that creates a backlog of incremental changes that can be tackled in the time I dedicate to Automate All the Things. The last few weeks have been small but important changes to the stream layout. Before that, it was creating a workflow for faster timestamps so folks who couldn’t join live had a good experience (thanks Colleen).
What is the tie in with no-code here? What I think enables me—and a lot of you—to feel like a 10% improvement is possible is the fact that we’re operating in a low-code environments. Most of the improvements represent incremental tweaks we can implement ourselves or at least that we all can understand! The accessibility (and power) of no-code is what lets me know that there will often be a 10% improvement with moderate effort.
To wrap up this slightly meandering piece, I encourage you to look at your work iteratively (process, not a project) and ask yourself every week or every couple of weeks, how can you make that process 10% better? And, hopefully, you’re working on a team and in an environment where anyone can tackle that 10%.
Airtable tip: when form is submitted.
New Airtable automations trigger alert: you can now fire an automation when a form is submitted!
There are so many ways to use this it’s difficult to highlight just a few. Use it to let an applicant know you’ve received their submission, create action items when a request is submitted or send a slack message when you get a new sale!
When not to use when form is submitted
If you want a form submission to lead to different automations—say if the submitter selects “project” you want to create records but if they select “small task” you want to send a slack message, you should not use when form is submitted.
There is no logic within Airtable automations to route to the right actions. If you use when form is submitted, it’s always going to run the same actions.
Instead you create multiple automations each using the when record matches conditions trigger. One automation for records that have “project” selected which will create the action items and another for “small task” which will send a slack message!
Tool of the month
This month’s tool of the month is macro. Macro sits on top of your other tools and lets you document and automate checklists that require steps in various tools. Say you’re onboarding a new employee which requires an Airtable record, a custom email, a manual send of swag etc. You can use macro to automate portions of that checklist while keeping track of the manual steps as well.
Use offer code ARON to get 20% off when you upgrade your account. Sign up here!
From the interwebs
It’s interesting that Asana, a company that enables companies to collaborate remotely, is so bearish on working remotely. That said, I do agree with Dustin Moskovitz (CEO of Asana) that within a hybrid model, remote and in person folks are not equal. The latter are often treated like second class (meeting) citizens.
clem 🤗
Similarly to @Github copilot, you can now do question-answering in Google Sheet thanks to the TAPAS model from @GoogleAI & the @huggingface inference API.

Machine Learning making its way in each and every product! Great job @osanseviero!
Dustin Moskovitz
Many believe that since lockdown demonstrated remote work can be productive, it follows that companies should have flexible hybrid cultures going forward. But remote-only is not hybrid, and almost none have lived hybrid.

I predict few companies will be "fully flexible" by 2023.
Makerpad released a history of the no-code movement. The piece highlights how different industries tend towards low code with data analytics and email marketing as examples. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: software tends to want to have a large addressable market. There will always be more folks who aren’t technical than those who are!
Reflective is an interesting take on the automation space. It’s Zapier but you can add a human step. Simple, smart and instantly useful. Give it a try.
Jason Staats 🔨
I finally shot videos #8-14 in this series today

Here's the final list of video topics 👇
Of course, just as I’m starting to get comfortable writing my own code, Github releases Github pair which will make all of that useless…
Until next week and keep building!
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Aron Korenblit

Weekly thoughts on the working smarter not harder using no-code tools + a weekly Airtable tip. Written by Aron Korenblit

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