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The case for vertical automation tools

The case for vertical automation tools
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #61 • View online
Today 1PM EST on the stream, it’s time for No-code talk #2 with Connor Finlayson. Just like last month, we’re going to answer your questions (submit one here) and showcase no-code tools & projects.
You can add the stream (and all future streams) to your calendar by clicking here (it auto updates!) and subscribe on Youtube.
Onto the update…

Heyo!
Two weeks ago I streamed How to automate your e-commerce store with Sara Du from Alloy Automation. Alloy Automation is a no-code automation tool solely focussed on helping e-commerce stores automate their workflows.
Before that stream, I asked myself, why would the world need another automation tool? Doesn’t the existing set of no-code automation tools like Zapier and Integromat suffice? Like a lot of you, when looking at a new automation tool I think, what can this one do that my existing automation tool can’t? That’s definitely how what I came into the session.
And frankly, Sara showed me exactly why the world needs another automation tool—and why the world is going to see a lot more of these vertical automation tools. Alloy doesn’t just strive to cover a few triggers from vendors they integrate. They in fact strive to cover all available endpoints. Here’s a slice of their Shopify trigger options:
This is in stark contrast to Zapier’s available triggers or even Integromat’s. Alloy automation covers most (if not all?) of Shopify’s API whereas other automation tools focus on getting the most bang for their buck by integrating the most common endpoints. Making every endpoint available requires a lot more work.
But if I was running an e-commerce store, I’d want my automation tool to be extremely granular! It’s no surprise that Parabola went a similar direction by focusing on e-commerce and Shopify specifically.
The automation space is so large that e-commerce is not the only market that’s worth targeting. You have Troops that lets sales people work directly out of Slack or MS Teams. Imagine that, a successful automation tool that integrates with only one option as a destination. There’s also WhenThen which automates payment workflows. Look at all of these Stripe’s different API and all their respectful endpoints. Of course a tool could exist only to make all of these usable without code. Even Stripe’s no-code offerings like Stripe Payment links need a little bit of code to do basic stuff.
As I get deeper into content creation, I’ve found myself disappointed in the levels of integration of automation software. Zapier offers no Youtube streaming integrations, or even including the thumbnail despite being available endpoints in Youtube’s API. I would pay so much money for a content automation focused tool that could remove the remaining tedious steps in my workflow!
With all of that I’m revising how I view the future of no-code automation: general purpose automation tools will see users flock to in-house automation apps on the one end, and then to specialized automations tools on the other. That said, the space for automation still remains large enough for all of these to not only co-exist but flourish. Up to you to decide which tool you want to use!
Airtable tip: organize your view picker
Last week I shared some tips on how to use emojis to help orient folks in your base. A few emojis to denote concepts like urgency or importance are a great start but there’s a limit to them. If you’re using 10-15 different emojis, learning them becomes a chore as well!
One place where chaos can quickly reign is in the view sidebar. Once you’re collaborating with 15-20+ collaborators, the view sidebar tends to sprawl as everyone creates views for their role in the workflow.
So here are three options to help your organize your team’s view sidebar for cleaner bases:
1/ Organize with view sections
View sections let you organize your views similar to folders. Create one for the different teams involved in your workflow (design, marketing etc.) or for different steps.
2/ Encourage folks to create personal views
Personal views by default are hidden from everyone else’s view sidebar. They’re perfect for when you create a view that’s only useful for yourself.
3/ Favorite views for easy picking
Finally, you can create favorite views which will bring them to the top of your viewbar. This is especially useful when you’ve organized your view bar into sections but don’t want to add a click for yourself to get into the views you use all the time!
Below is a video with these same tips in video format. You may just recognize the voice in that video 😅
How to manage views in Airtable
How to manage views in Airtable
Tool of the month: Paytable
Paytable lets anyone monetize their Airtable bases without code. Instead of setting up Memberstack, Webflow and Airtable (+ Zapier!) to monetize your base, simply use Paytable and get all of that done for free.
Check out their discover page to see examples of Paytable in the wild.
From the interwebs
Notion created a set of starter apps on Glitch for working with its API. Check em out if you’re new to working with APIs:
Glitch: The friendly community where everyone builds the web
This is more for the content creators but I found this list from @rogie on his WFH/camera setup very useful (luckily, it validates a lot of the money I’ve spent in recent months)
Bubble raised $100M last week. I don’t quite know how to interpret this! If you’re a bubble user, I’d love to hear from you. Show me apps you’ve built on bubble?
No-code Bubble raises $100M to make technical co-founders obsolete – TechCrunch
Finsweet released a chrome extension that basically fixes a ton of recurring issues with Webflow. Check out their livestream for the deets
#28 - Meet the new Finsweet Browser Extension for Webflow
#28 - Meet the new Finsweet Browser Extension for Webflow
No-code conference is back! Happening in November, I’ll be there, are you?
No-Code Conference 2021 | Webflow
Pixelgeek retired his livestream last week. I’d just like to a little bit of space in this newsletter to thank him for everything he’s done. If it wasn’t for him responding to my cold email in 2019—an email he would have been in his right to completely ignore—I would not be writing to you today!
pixelgeek
Going live on my YouTube channel for the last time in 1.5 hours.

https://t.co/na3RXwkdjO

See you soon ♥
Here’s that email from 2019. You never know the impact you can have on folks! So thank you Nelson. Excited to see what he does on the official Webflow channel!
That’s it for this week.
Until then, keep building!
Aron
Thanks to Stephen O'Grady (@orishnal) for reviewing this newsletter every week before it reaches your inbox!
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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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