The State of Makers:
No-Code is About to Take Makers by Storm
Creators. Builders. Innovators. Tinkerers. Inventors.

It starts with an idea. And then comes the itch. The desire to solve a problem. The need to bring an idea to life. To create something and share it with the world.

This is the cycle that drives Makers.

And there are about to be a lot more Makers.

The Maker movement is already growing. New Maker communities continue to sprout up. There are now entire publications devoted to help Makers build products and tell their stories.

Though Makers typically know how to code, the barrier of needing to know how to code yourself is about to fall.

The rise of No-Code tools has made it so that anyone can create and power websites without needing to write a single line of code. Similarly, Low-Code has reduced the amount of code needed to the bare minimum.

We surveyed 260 people to learn more about Makers and No-Code. Here are our three Maker movement predictions based on what we learned:

  1. More Makers are going to adopt No-Code and Low-Code
  2. No-Code and Low-Code will solve Makers’ most painful problems
  3. There are about to be way more Makers than ever

Thanks to the Maker and No-Code trends, we’re going to see more software products created each year. It will become even harder for all of us to get attention when launching new products.

Before we go into detail about our predictions, here’s a bit more on who Makers are.

Who are Makers?

Creator. Builder. Innovator. Tinkerer. Inventor.

Makers build software to solve problems they identify and to satisfy their creative urges. They don’t play by the rules of traditional product development. They’re scrappy. They’re hungry. And they love to build.

Makers build with fewer resources than companies. Often working by themselves or with a Co-Founder to build and launch products. They’ve figured out how to create quickly.

Makers are a subset of the larger tech Product community.

Makers don’t define themselves simply as engineers, hackers, or people building with No-Code. Instead, Makers are defined by the act of creation itself.

We asked people the open-ended question: “How would you describe a Maker?”

How would you describe a Maker?

Makers are creators (62%)

Overwhelmingly, Makers are driven by one simple thing: creation. More than anything else, this binds the group together.

“A maker is someone who, starting with nothing, produces something”

Makers also:

  • Have the skills to turn their ideas into reality (23%)
  • Have an internal drive to create (17%)
  • Make it happen (15%)

It’s not just about creation. Makers ship and often ship their ideas themselves.

Makers typically don’t just do one job. More than half of the Makers surveyed (52%) have a full-time job and make on the side. The rest - 48% - make full-time. That means most Makers are juggling their jobs and their creations.

We asked Makers what habits help them create, since they’re able to juggle so many things at once. It turns out Makers have a lot of different methods that help them create. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all habit that most Makers use.

What’s your favorite habit that helps you as a Maker?

1. Learning 14%
Makers love to learn. It’s part of what drives them to create.
“Continuously learning and leveling up my skills (design, development, marketing)”
2. Experimenting 13%
Makers love running experiments. And improving their products based on what they learn.
“Think, design, build and test. Repeat”
3. Making / Shipping 10%
The more you ship. The more you ship. This is a top habit of Makers.
“Consistently do a tiny bit of one thing at a time, before you know you will encourage yourself to do more.”

1. More Makers are going to adopt No-Code and Low-Code

Thanks to the rise of No-Code, it’s easier than ever for anyone to build products. Even some Makers who are developers have jumped on the bandwagon. These Makers are able to do more in less time by taking a hybrid approach to their work. By accompanying their coding skills with best-in-class No-Code tools.

With No-Code, it’s simple to build products using tools like Airtable, Zapier, and Coda. Even G Suite can be used to build products.

The No-Code trend seems to be exploding. This year Product Hunt - a community where people can launch and discover new products - called their annual Makers Festival the “No Code Edition” and asked applicants to build products without any code.

Naturally, we were excited to ask people whether or not they’ve ever built without code.

We expected to see really high adoption of it - at least 40%, maybe much higher.

The reality? Only 19% of Makers have built with No-Code.

81% of Makers haven’t built using No-Code yet.

Have you ever built with No-Code?

Yes, 18.8% / No 81.2%

Among Makers who have built using No-Code tools, 73% used Zapier, an online automation tool that connects apps. 73% said they used Google’s G Suite. While 49% said they used cloud collaboration tool Airtable.

The next most popular tools were ecommerce company Shopify, website building app Webflow and Coda, a new type of document creation tool which lets users make documents as powerful as apps.

Which No-Code tool have you used?

Based on these numbers, the No-Code movement has a lot of room to grow.

As more Makers hear about No-Code, they’ll start to experiment with it and adopt No-Code. Low-Code is also going to increase, which is a combination of building with some code as well as No-Code.

Makers tend to be adopters of tools that make their lives easier. Take Product Hunt. It’s been a big part of the Maker movement and Product Hunt continues to ship features that help Makers build.

Makers adopt tools that provide them value, and we believe No-Code and Low-Code will do just that for Makers.

2. No-Code and Low-Code will solve Makers’ most painful problems

It’s not easy being a Maker. Working on multiple projects, often juggling a job at the same time, creating something from nothing.

Based on our survey, the top four challenges Makers face are:

What’s your #1 challenge as a Maker?

Challenges

Nearly one third of Makers struggle with productivity.

More than half of makers (52%) have a full-time job and make on the side. It’s also not unusual for makers to work on multiple projects at once. And often, makers are creating solo.

No wonder it’s tough to find the time to build. To stay motivated and productive. And to prioritize what to work on.

Managing their time and prioritizing what to work on is the top challenge for Makers.

“Prioritization and time management (choosing which ideas to drop, which to focus on, and managing my day job while building products people will use). AND not getting burned out.”

One in four Makers struggle with marketing and sales.

Makers love to create. It’s what drives them. It’s fun and engaging. But marketing and selling the product they built takes discipline and time.

"I don't always think about selling what I do, so making money is a secondary focus. I’m probably not as good at marketing as I need to be or communicating. I'm more focused on what I'm making."

8% Makers struggle with profitability.

Makers create out of a desire to build. A deep urge to solve problems. A thirst to learn.

They don’t always make for the money. They make for the love of creation.

“$ - creating a balance to make what you love and still support family and life.”

14% Makers struggle with making something that is useful to others.

Makers are go-go-go. Shipping fast. Iterating. Speed is everything. They are fueled by their passion to create. But where does early product research come in?

Finding the right problem to solve and making something useful to others is a challenge for many makers. They just aren’t able to get early feedback on their product or spend enough time researching.

“Identifying a big, hairy problem, that if solved, would be something that the market would pay for.”

We believe that No-Code and Low-Code will fundamentally change these challenges for Makers.

No-Code and Low-Code will help boost Maker productivity.

No-Code and Low-Code is a lot faster than traditional code-only production. You don’t need to spend days, weeks, even months coding. And you don’t need to deal with nasty bugs over and over again.

If Makers can cut development time by using No-Code and Low-Code, they’ll be a lot more productive. They’ll even able to ship more features and have a simpler time prioritizing what they build. We see this as the biggest opportunity for increasing productivity across the Maker community.

Makers will also be able to utilize No-Code and Low-Code on early versions of their products, before they commit to adding more code. That way, they can focus on making something customers love and only spend more time on code once it’s necessary.

No-Code and Low-Code will enable Makers to learn, ship and iterate faster than ever.

Marketing and sales will become the biggest challenge.

If Makers are spending less time on coding by using No-Code and Low-Code, then they’ll have more time for marketing and sales. It’s not as simple as launching a product and being done - there’s so much work that has to happen before launch, leading up to launch, and after launch.

With less development time, Makers will have the opportunity to spend more time learning which marketing and sales techniques work on for their products. Who are the target customers? What’s the right value proposition that appeals to them? What marketing channels work best?

While we don’t believe the marketing and sales challenge will go away, the improved productivity from No-Code and Low-Code will give Makers the time that they need to address this challenge.

3. We’re about to see a flood of new Makers

No-Code reduces the barriers for anyone to build and launch a product.

Thanks to No-Code, you no longer have to know how to code to build. Anyone can create products from scratch without needing to be an engineer.

There are so many tools that teach people exactly how to do it. Take Makerpad. It’s a collection of tutorials, templates and tools that show you what and how you can achieve without code. There are other tools out there that also support building without code, like Zeroqode and NoCode.

As more people get wind of the No-Code movement, there are bound to be more Makers. The barriers to entry are just too low.

Where the Maker Movement Goes From Here

Makers love to make.

It doesn’t matter if they make on the side or do it full time. Makers are driven by the act of creation.

But it’s not easy.

Nearly one third of Makers struggle with productivity and prioritization.

One in four Makers struggle with marketing and sales.

As the No-Code movement continues to grow, we expect to see:

  1. More Makers adopt No-Code and Low-Code
  2. No-Code and Low-Code solving Makers’ most painful problems
  3. More Makers than ever

Makers will be able to create products faster, without spending as much time on code. They’ll have more time to focus on marketing and sales. And more people will become Makers as the barriers to entry come down.

We know one thing won’t change:

Makers will continue to build for the love of building.

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