Fireside 2.1 (https://fireside.fm) Leap Takers Blog https://www.leaptakers.com/articles Thu, 08 Oct 2020 10:45:00 +0200 Leap Takers Blog en-us Build your startup with NoCode tools - List of 30 top NoCode tools https://www.leaptakers.com/articles/nocode Thu, 08 Oct 2020 10:45:00 +0200 remo.kyburz1@gmail.com 21ddff9d-5fcc-49a0-a915-1bcbba43fdec Have you ever wanted to start a startup, online project, or build an app, but you lacked the coding experience? Enter the world of NoCode. In the last few years we 've seen a rise of NoCode tools that allow anyone to build websites, apps, and products online. This article is an introduction to my top NoCode tools, as well as a comprehensive overview and list of my top 30 no code tools. Have you ever wanted to start your own startup, your personal online side-project, or build an app?
But yeah... you forgot, you never learned how to code and you lack the coding experience... so you quickly gave up again!
Not anymore. There is a solution now!

--> Enter the world of NoCode.

In the last few years we 've seen a rise of so called "NoCode tools" that allow anyone to build websites, apps, online stores, and products online. These tools make it very easy to start creating without any (or much) coding skills at all. I recently started diving into this whole world of "NoCode". To make it easier for other makers, I put together my personal top 30 NoCode tools in an Airtable below.
-> You can easily filter and look for the perfect tool for your personal use case. No more excuses to get started:

  • Do you want to build a mobile app? No problem. Try out "Glide", "Thunkable," or one of the many other tools in the list.
  • Want to sell something online? "Shopify", "Weebly", or "Wix" has you covered.
  • Ever wanted to become a writer? Start writing and charging money for it online with "Substack".

If you want to be fancy, you can even rebuild clones of popular webapps like Airbnb or Tinder. Apps running on the web like these can be built with Webapp tools like "Webflow" or "Bubble".

This and a lot more is all possible today in the world of #NoCode tools. You don't need to be a developer and no coding skills are required. Have a look at the list below to get a comprehensive overview of the top NoCode tools.

List of the top 30 NoCode tools for (non-technical) makers & entrepreneurs:

(Scroll down for my personal top 5 NoCode tools!) Note: This list does not include NoCode tools for podcasting. This is a separate topic for itself.

My personal top 5 NoCode tools :

1. Airtable:

I use Airtable mainly to collect and summarize data, such as this NoCode Tools list. It's like a spreadsheet, but with a lot more powerful features. In the future, I even plan to also use it as the backend / CMS (Content Management System) of a new project I am working on.

Airtable is very innovative and easy to use. I had no problems switching from Google Sheets. It's free to get started, and you probably don't need a paid plan in the beginning. They also offer a wide range of templates to chose from, which might already match your use case. So have a look there first. Airtable also has a marketplace with many apps that extend its functionality.

2. Buy Me a Coffee:

I recently was asked by a friend if there is any way people can donate something for the work I'm doing with the podcast. I had to say no, unless you wanted to buy me a coffee/beer in-person. But I thought it's actually a good idea to offer people the possibility to donate something if they get some value out of the podcast or these articles.

Meet "Buy Me a Coffee"! It's a simple tool that allows anyone (creators, artists, podcasters) to accept one-off support and membership from their fans. It was very easy to setup. Within an hour I had everything setup, customized the text, and integrated it to this website. You just need a Stripe or Paypal account to start accepting donations. The only downside is that you can only accept major currencies like USD or EUR so far (no CHF as its used here in Switzerland). If you want to see how it works, just have a look at the bottom right of the sceen and click on the coffee cup (or click here) 😊

3. Mailchimp:

Probably the first "NoCode" tool I've used. In most side projects and startups it's often good to build a community first and start building a list of potential customers. With Mailchimp, you can very easily start creating email lists and send out email marketing campaigns. So if you sign up for my newsletter to get notified about the newest podcast episodes and useful resources, auch as this one, I do that with Mailchimp.

Mailchimp also allows you to integrate email newsletter signup forms (see here at the bottom 😉) on your website (via a code snippet --> just copy & paste) and it also offers email collection popups (like the one I use on the LeapTakers website).

Furthermore, Mailchimp has a whole lot more features that I don't use, but which you might find valuable. This includes the option to build landing pages for your business. Find out more on their website.

4. Webflow:

Webflow is the newest addition to my list of NoCode tools that I'm using. Basically Webflow is aNoCode responsive web-design tool. With it's visual builder you can create your own website, blogs, ecommerce platform. It also includes a CMS and offers the option to build web apps (interactions, users can add, change, and manipulate website data etc.).

If you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated than a simple website builder, I can highly recommend Webflow. I just started a couple of days ago with it, but I really like it so far. I'm currently working on a new side project, and I plan to build it on Webflow. If you are interested on what I'm building, just follow me on Twitter where I will post more once I have something to show.

Webflow also has a wide range of resources, tutorials, and videos (e.g. Webflow University) to learn how to use the platform. They official videos are quite entertaining as well! 😁 What's cool as well is that you get started for free and you only pay once you launch the website / webapp. So you can take however long you need to build it, and then only start paying once you publish it (and link it to a custom domain).

If you are looking just to build a website, have a look at Wix, Landen, or Dorik.

5. Zapier:

Last but not least - Zapier! If you haven't heard about this tool yet, then you are in for a treat.
Zapier allows easy automation of tasks for busy people. So what does that mean?

Zapier moves info between your web apps that you use daily automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. They have integrated over 2'000 apps, such as Gmail, Google Sheets, Calendar, Twitter, Slack, and many more. So with a few simple clicks you can setup triggers and actions to automate recurring actions. This allows you to setup workflows across apps and to finish routine tasks automatically. Examples could be that you set up a "Zap" that automatically adds subscribers to Mailchimp for new Google Sheets rows, or you save new Gmail attachments to Google Drive. The possibilities are limitless.

I'm personally also still at the beginning of my journey with Zapier, but it's an immensively powerful tool that I plan to start using more in the future.

Conclusion:

The NoCode revolution is here. Anyone can now build and create website, apps, mobile games, ecommerce stores, webapps, newsletters, and other (side)-businesses now without any coding skills.
So for example if you are a founder in Switzerland or anywhere else in Europe, by leveraging NoCode tools you can easily start your own startup or side project. NoCode is also a great way to build a first prototype for your startup and to test it.

If you are interested to learn more, feel free to filter through my airtable list above, and to get inspired for your next project.

Let me know if you build something cool. Happy building! 🙌

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1,000 True Fans? Try 100 https://www.leaptakers.com/articles/100truefans Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:00:00 +0100 remo.kyburz1@gmail.com 6b0cc83a-a75a-4290-9608-d3fb0e2b7501 A great article by a16z about creator platforms and changing consumer behaviors, which allow people to puruse their interest as a job with a "100 True Fans" model. I just read a16z's Li Jin's article "1,000 True Fans? Try 100" and wanted to share it with the Leap Takers community. You can find the article here: https://a16z.com/2020/02/06/100-true-fans/

To quote Li Jin: "More than a decade ago, Wired editor Kevin Kelly wrote an essay called “1,000 True Fans,” predicting that the internet would allow large swaths of people to make a living off their creations, whether an artist, musician, author, or entrepreneur. [...]
As the Passion Economy grows, more people are monetizing what they love. The global adoption of social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, the mainstreaming of the influencer model, and the rise of new creator tools has shifted the threshold for success. I believe that creators need to amass only 100 True Fans—not 1,000—paying them $1,000 a year, not $100. Today, creators can effectively make more money off fewer fans."

In the article Li Jin shows how changing consumer behavior and the rise of creator platforms like Patreon, Teachable, MightyNetworks, and others allow more people to make a living off "100 true fans".

The concept of the Passion Economy is something I'm very interested in. Especially millennials and Gen Z are looking for a non-traditional career, which allows them to pursue their passion (no matter how unique it is), where they have a community / tribe with shared interest, a "job" absent of old-fashioned hierarchical & corporate structures, a life with greater flexibility regarding where and when they "work".

So if you're interested in following your own path, the "1000 True Fans" or "100 True Fans" model could be worth a look! :)

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Tandem / First "investment" https://www.leaptakers.com/articles/tandem-first-investment Wed, 30 Oct 2019 07:30:00 +0100 remo.kyburz1@gmail.com 3731957b-d60e-4dbc-b955-e4b185a201a1 Intro of a startup company that I like and which is the first "investment" of my virtual seed investment portfolio. I first heard about Tandem when they launched on Product Hunt in early July this year. From the moment I first came accross Tandem, I was intrigued by their solution for remote work teams and the founders behind Tandem made a great first impression to me.
Around that time, shortly after the launch of the Leap Takers podcast, I also started puting together a selective list of promising early-stage startup companies, which represent my virtual Seed VC (Venture Capital) investment portfolio.

So far I selected a handful of companies for my investment portfolio. In the upcoming weeks I will introduce each of my "portfolio companies" in a short blog post, as well as making the whole list public. The exact reasoning behind this virtual portfolio, my investment thesis, the assumed fund size & investment mandate (geography, stage, ticket size, investment period etc.) will also be covered in a separate blog post.

The goal of today's post though is to introduce Tandem, which in essence would have been the first company I'd invested in, for my virtual Seed VC fund.

Meet Tandem

Product
Tandem is a virtual office for remote teams. It allows its users to see, talk to, and collaborate with their team in one click. So what does that mean exactly?

Tandem integrates 40+ popular applications used by Tech companies & startups. This includes Google Docs, Asana, Github, Notion, Trello, and many more. The exciting part is that with Tandem you immediately see where, meaning - in which application - your (remote) team members are currently working in. With one click you can join them in a video call and see their cursor and screen / what they are working on. So no more screensharing needed.
This allows for a novel way of easy collaboration on documents, projects, and tasks together for remote teams.

Virtual rooms show you who of your team is in working mode (for cross-time zone workign), plus minimal voice/video call on the side of the screen makes working on the same document way easier than having Hangouts or Zoom open separately on the side.

Company
Tandem was founded in January 2019, after pivoting from crypto (Cryptagon, which wanted to provide an institutional-grade portfolio management experience to everyone). The company is based in San Francisco and currently lists 9 employees on LinkedIn. The startup completed the prestigious YC Summer 2019 Batch.

User feedback
Initial user feedback is very positive and Tandem was voted Product Hunt #1 Product of the Day.

Team
The founding team consisting of Rajiv, Tim, and Bernat makes a great first impression and brings all the relevant skills to the table (Product Manager, Engineer / CS, Designer for great UX). Furthermore, they all have previous startup experience incl. exits (acquisition by Yahoo). Obviously for a real investment, I would spend appropriate time in-person with the founders, interviewing them, and evaluating if there is a founder / VC fit. Since we're only talking about a virtual investment here - I did not have the opportunity to do so. Nevertheless, reading interviews & quotes of the founders and vetting their CVs on LinkedIn - I get a feeling that this is an amazing & very smart team that will end up achieving great things.

I particularly also like this quote of Rajiv: "Every company is a remote company,. ou have salespeople in the field, [companies with] multiple offices, people working from home. Tandem isn’t just building the future of remote work, it’s building the future of work."

Traction
Tandem launched officially in July 2019 and has already signed contracts with Airbnb, Dropbox and others. The company claims to be growing 50% week-over-week. More actual numbers are hard to find at this stage.

Investments
Assuming I would have had the opportunity to get into the deal by talking to the founders and showing interest right after launch in July 2019, I would have participated in their intial seed round. My target ticket size for this deal is $300k.
To be fair, I also have to point out that Tandem got huge attention after graduating from the YC Summer 2019 batch, being one of the hotest companies.
Therefore, they got huge investor interest and managed to raise a $7.5m round at a (post-money?) valuation of $30m. Under these circumstances it might have been difficult to get into the deal. Nevertheless, for the sake of this virtual portfolio let's assume that I could have invested.

Also note that my investment of $300k would have only resulted in an ownership of 1%, which is way lower than the fund's target ownership of 10% in its portfolio companies. I'm okay with that in certain circumstances, since I'd rather own a little piece of something that can become big and amazing, than a big piece in a mediocre company.

Overall, the Tandem investment is atypical for the fund since it's a US company (which I only invest in opportunistically), it's at a valuation that is way above than what I would normally invest in, and therefore the ownership percentage is lower.

Nevertheless, I found Tandem to be a great first "investment" for the "Leap Takers" Seed fund and I'm convinced that the team around Rajiv will do great things in the upcoming months and years! I'm excited to see where their journey goes.

You can find an overview of the "Leap Takers" fund and the existing "investments" in below Google Sheets document:

If you have any thoughts or feedback, just let me know.

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The Leap Takers Blog https://www.leaptakers.com/articles/leaptakers Mon, 09 Sep 2019 17:00:00 +0200 remo.kyburz1@gmail.com fdba527b-608b-44a5-81d3-33f5f7422ed8 This post marks the start of the Leap Takers blog, where I want to briefly share some of the goals and reasons why I started this project in the first place.

In the Leap Takers podcast, I interview daring entrepreneurs, investors, and other shapers with the goal of extracting valuable advice, recommendations, and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs, college graduates, & anyone that wants to "take the leap" in their life. Next to the learning aspect, the interviews should be a fun way for the audience to hear about cool startups & products, get to know the founders better, and learn about interesting books & resources.

While in the podcasts the guests are the main focus of attention, I’m planning to share more of my own views on the startup world, investing, and “leap taking” in all its forms in this *blog post format. *

I’m going to focus my writing on the following thematic areas:

  • Startup investing: ** My thinking about the wonderful world of Venture Capital, incl. a simulated **seed fund portfolio that I’m “managing”.
  • Cool products: Short profiles of interesting new products that I’ve discovered. This will be very wide-ranging - from mushroom coffee (Four Sigmatic) to cool travel gear (Nomatic).
  • Professional “leap taking”: Posts about entrepreneurship, productivity tips, helpful resources and books to take the leap into entrepreneurship or your next life adventure.
  • Personal “leap taking”: My advice and thinking on topics around personal development, as well as practical trips in areas of moving abroad, travel, enjoying life etc.

Having said what I’ll write about, you might still wonder.. why is Remo doing this?
The answer is simple! I’m a very curious person and I love to learn, find & try out new products, and have discussions with founders / investors about their visions of the world and where it’s going.

As a startup investor, I’m able to do all of these things. By investing in companies that operate in spaces where the future is heading, VCs can support the founders and companies of tomorrow, and have a lasting positive impact on the world.

I’m currently already doing that for the Fintech space in my role as an investment manager at Tamedia Ventures. However, my personal mid-to-long-term goal is to raise my own seed VC fund to support founders in areas that I feel are underserved so far in today’s world (especially in Europe). More to that in a separate blog posts. :)

So next to showcasing cool products and promising startups for investing (in my view), I hope to exchange with like-minded investors and founders.

Lastly, the Leap Takers project should serve as a source of inspiration & knowledge for people that want more out of life, who might struggle with career decisions, who want to have a lasting impact, or who want to chart their own path to success.

In the end, everything I plan to put together here - be it blog posts, interviews, or other resources, are bits of wisdom that I wished I had when I was younger.
I hope that this will be valuable to some of you.

Remo

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