LowCode Podcast Episode 10: How to start a no-code agency

Erik runs THE Adalo agency. From “scratching his own itch” to building an agency during lockdown while in Asia, we not only talk about how to get started in the industry, the opportunities in the no-code and low-code space, what makes a good idea a good app, and more.

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Transcript

Erik Goins: A lot of people say "oh, my app has to have this to be successful". And then it's like, that's actually just a nice to have, like, If you built this app without this, like push notifications for instance, if you built an app without push notifications and it failed, would you say the app failed because it didn't have push notifications and the answer's probably no, it's probably that the idea just wasn't good to begin with, the pricing wasn't good, the distribution wasn't good.

Jesus Vargas: Hey everybody, welcome again to another episode of the LowCode Podcast, today we have Erik Goins with us. He runs a studio, a no-code or low-code development studio called Flywheel. Eric, thanks for joining us today. 

Erik Goins: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. 

Jesus Vargas: So why don't you start by telling us how you came up with fly wheel, how did it start, how did you find no code or low code and started making apps? Because I think, just like my case, you don't come from a technical background, so you found... tell us about how do you find low code and no code and how did you end up building this business. 

Erik Goins: Yeah, absolutely. I have kind of a roundabout way to do this because it was quite unintentional and I do try and point that out to people, but, um, my background is consulting.

I used to, I was a consultant for Big Four in the US and then I moved over to Asia and I was in consulting there. And then two, just over two years ago, or almost two years ago now I actually resigned from my job as a full-time consultant there, and I was going to take a travel sabbatical. Between resigning and actually leaving, the entire EU shut down, which was my destination, um, due to COVID-19, which we all kind of thought was going to come and go.

I mean, you remember like the optimistic times that that's when it was like, oh, this will be gone in like three months. It's supposed to be gone by summer type thing. Um, so I started messing around on my own projects and I am very much like a tinkerer at heart and, and kind of like the old classic hacker of like, I just want to build things.

So we, I just ended up building a studio, um, where we were building mobile apps. We got listed on Adalo. We were building on everything. I mean, we had like, no.... In the early days the business was automated intelligently because we wanted, that's kind of what I was doing in consulting, I was automating processes for people, so we were thinking, okay, why don't we just go into businesses and just apply any tool to the job, whatever works.

Like they, they probably need Airtable along with Glide apps, maybe they need an external app with Adalo, maybe they need like a website with Webflow, and we were just like, we'll just use anything and we don't even care, right? Yeah. And, and that, that, that was actually one of our big selling points when I was in consulting, was that the first company I worked for was a big four consulting company.

They've got loads of tech partnerships and you can go see those, like on their website. And any time you go to a big enterprise tech companies, uh, website, you know, you can see who their preferred partners are. The second consulting company I worked with was smaller and they didn't have any of those like really cool partnerships.

So what they did instead was they said, oh, we're tech agnostic, so we won't sell you just because like, somebody is a partner and they're going to give us a kickback, and we use the best tool for the job, which is kind of just because like, we didn't even have the partnerships to begin with, but, um, we did make it. 

Jesus Vargas: So you were coming up with a solution and also implementing this solution with software.

Erik Goins: Yeah. 

Jesus Vargas: Okay. In both cases, in the big four company and then the smaller company. 

Erik Goins: Yeah. Okay. So I was kind of... I've got a bunch of tweets about like agency life really recently, so it was just pure coincidence that you were doing this at the exact same time. But one of the big caveats I tell people about you know our success as a firm is that I've been doing low code for like six years now.

Um, you know, we were doing BPM and RPA software in the US and in Hong Kong. So I'm not a developer, I can't code, I can't write Java script or, you know, sequel or, you know, react native or anything else, um, but I was already familiar with a lot of drag and drop, uh, tools for automation. And that's where I got into kind of Adalo and even Glide apps when we, we used to do Glide apps too.

Um, and we, we, we were so early stages on Adalo though that like I had one personal app, I had made and they let us get listed as an expert. Um, It was in, in fairness, it was, it was a pretty decent app, but it was, it was just like a fitness app. It had, um, your 180 workouts... 

Did you built that app for yourself? 

Yup. 

Jesus Vargas: Okay. Yeah. Was it that originally in Glide apps and then you build that in Adalo? 

Erik Goins: It went back and forth. I don't know where the first one was, but we definitely got it in both, you're right. So it wasn't glide apps, um, I think that the first place we built, it was Adalo, and then we hit some limitations with like old Adalo, they didn't have, um, like a good way for users to track workouts that have been completed. And so we were just kinda like showing you every workout until, and then you had to track it yourself. Um, we built that again, under a different name in Glide apps and then we... Adalo released a new feature and we went and rebuilt it in Adalo and never came in anything of it, there's a couple of hundred users. 

It's a free app out there. Um, but that's literally how we started an agency. And then since then, we've just been getting leads from Adalo and in building through that. 

Jesus Vargas: So your first client came from Adalo? 

Erik Goins: Yes. Um, I would say, I mean, our first, our first real, our first client that we ever worked with, we did a bunch of work for free for like friends.

And it was like building out our portfolio and maybe we charged, but it was like, so little, you couldn't even call it like really charging a fee. All of our real clients all came from Adalo, all because we were listed on that expert page. Um, and we probably have gotten, every year we probably get a hundred to 200 leads from Adalo on that page.

Jesus Vargas: Wow. That's massive. I mean, just for context for whoever's listening that doesn't know what Adalo is, just like in LowCode we mostly build apps using Glide apps which is this tool that allows you to build visual development style apps, Adalo is I would say very similar. What do you think are the main differences between Adalo and Glide apps? 

Erik Goins: Um, Glide apps, the backend is, is way better. Um, I, I think I have to start with that because like I'm insanely jealous of the backend that they use and that you have like formulas and so many different field types. Um, I think that really helps a lot of people because Adalo is this simple crud database. Okay. For anyone who's not used... doesn't know what that is, it's C R U D, which means Create, Read, Update, Delete, which is kind of, um, what a simple, any simple database is, versus Glide apps that built in more functionality to make it a little bit more like an Airtable or something. Um, so you have like some built-in logic into the database.

Adalo is drag and drop, it's like building a PowerPoint, and then you can add, um, native app functionality to that, and you can put your app in the app store. Um, that's really where I think the biggest differences are, is in the backend. Adalo is straight crud, um, and if you need to build in some logic, then you might need an external system.

It's drag and drop so it's kind of fully customizable, but you know, that comes with a few limitations, I guess, or issues, and then it, you can put a native app in the app store, so you could build iOS and Android. 

Jesus Vargas: A lot of people, at least in my experience. Uh, are looking for a native app. And in my experience, that's not always a good idea, right? Because it's hard, it's hard to scale. It's hard to get users and sometimes it's even better to try to sell your app or your idea to the business rather than go the consumer route and try to get hundreds of thousands of users. Um, since Adalo apps can be published in the app store, do you find, let's say a lot of unqualified clients, or customers, like come up with an idea because they want their app in the app store, it can be built in Adalo, they get the app and then nothing happens because they don't scale. Is that the norm with adalo apps?

Erik Goins: It's w it is way too much the norm, and probably like all of no code, um, I would say like, if you were to aggregate all of our requests by type, the number one request we get is probably for Uber Eats or like some it's, it's, the number one is like some delivery app and it's like, okay, it doesn't matter whether you're in the app store or not, it doesn't matter whether they're using code or not, the fact of the matter is that every delivery service out there has a marketing budget of a billion dollars a year.

And you know, they're not making money for, for six years. You as a no-code maker, can't just can't do that, you cannot compete. So that's 100% like building an app is not building a business, an app is technology, which is a tool that a business uses, but it's so much more than that, that a lot of people don't give it respect.

Jesus Vargas: In that case, do you prefer working with established businesses building apps for them, or are you still doing like consumer facing apps? 

Erik Goins: We, we naturally work with a lot more businesses because we charge really high rates, and so for most people who want something like, hey, I'm building the next Uber eats, they're probably not coming in with a budget that really can, that, that we can work with them on just because of the way that we build apps and the way that we, um, we work. So we have like a natural filter. 

Jesus Vargas: Do you have that price, that high pricing order to not get these types of clients? Is it a way of qualifying the leads?

Erik Goins: Um, yeah, it kind of is a way of qualifying leads, but it's also kind of just something that we've, we've made a decision on internally. Like, when you're, when you're building apps for us, like we could make a very bare bone app for a thousand dollars, we could do it, and we really wanted to. Um, it at our bill rate, I mean, we can build a full app in five hours and we can help you list in the app store.

It's not going to look good though, and it's not going to have most of the functionality that like you would probably expect, um, It's not going to have all the functionality that a full app would have. It would function in, it it'd be an MVP and you can validate it. But, um, you know, it's not going to have like every single thing and user needs to manage their account, etcetera.

So we don't really build apps like that anymore, um, so we're not really like building bare bones MVPs. And so we kind of like when people come to us with a budget of a thousand dollars, then we're like, look, we're not really the best firm because we build like full service solutions now, um, and we, we spend a lot of time and effort on design because we want to show off good designs to continue to get better projects in the future.

You know, there's kind of like a lesson that we've learned there that like, you can take a bunch of thousand dollar projects and deliver those all day. They just don't look good and they don't help you really grow the business. Um, and then people are going to look at all your projects and they're all gonna look bad.

They're all gonna have failed. Um, and then they're going to say, do I want to work with this person that's delivered a hundred projects that all failed? Versus this guy that has like five projects, but they have like good reviews on the app store, they're real businesses, the apps look really nice, it's just kind of a blend between those.

Jesus Vargas: You are still building, in a tech agnostic way, so you're not only building in Adalo anymore, but using a bunch of different tools like Bubble and whatever other tools to build apps as well. 

Erik Goins: Yeah, we're migrating. This is the second thing that's kind of like really impacted our business is as we've started charging more and trying to build more like full service applications, we've actually started moving away from Adalo because, like when you, like, if you charge $200 an hour, you get clients who have $200 an hour problems. Like, you know, if somebody had an easy problem, they would pay somebody $10 an hour to fix it. And there's nothing wrong with that, but we don't get, we don't get easy apps anymore, which kind of sucks to be honest, like, like it really takes the fun out of building.

Like we used to be able to just be like, oh, we're gonna build, it's gonna be easy, all these simple things and you, you just sit down and just jam for like a day and you could be like 80% of the way through an app, and it felt great because you were just moving so fast. Now we have clients that are asking for things that are just so complicated that when you're doing it, it's like tons of like tech and tech, like testing.

You're going to post man all day trying out API calls and stuff like that. So we've hit a lot of the upper limits of Adalo for certain functionality. And so then we've started moving to flutter flow and drafted where, okay, we're not so contained and we can use different backend services like Firebase and Supabase.

And, you know, that's, that's kind of where, I mean, w we're always tech agnostic, but we really, really liked Adalo, but now a lot of our clients have expectations that when you're trying to deliberate on Adalo, it feels like you're walking into a wall every time you turn around, because there's just some functionality that isn't there.

Jesus Vargas: So, however, you're still building products for yourself. So you're not only networking as an agency, but building like apps or suffer like at software as a service maybe, or apps that you want to put in the app store. Yeah. Are, are you using Adalo for those projects? Or not even there? 

Erik Goins: Yeah. The big one we've been working on for like the last year and a half to be honest is it's called Time and it's, it's like the mint app for real estate investors. So it helps you calculate your real estate returns, um, by just like connecting your bank account. To do that we're using Plaid, and I think to be honest, like we're probably one of the first ones to really try and use Plaid in the no-code world, um, and it's been an absolute nightmare.

It is, it's been like the hardest thing that we have technically ever done as an agency. Um, But I'm a real estate investor, it's something that I'm passionate about and it's a product that we know and want as an investor. So, you know, we're, we're really happy to take the time and the energy and the money to invest in that.

But, um, we started on Adalo. We tried to build a custom component for Adalo. We, it never worked. Um, we went to Draftbit and, um, you know, there is a limitation with the code for how we couldn't use it and draft that basically, and now we're doing it on FlutterFlow. Um, so we've kind of gone like all the way around the world here, um, trying to, trying to get this one thing done, because like you want to be able to connect bank accounts. 

So it's, otherwise it's just silly. But we, we, as an age, when we started, we, we do believe that we're a studio ourselves, so we have always tried to build our own products, um, alongside our clients. 

Jesus Vargas: So, I mean, in our case, uh, as an agency as well, we build products for clients, and then as you said earlier, some might scale, most don't, most projects, at least consumer facing, end up dying. In these cases, you're building a project, let's say for yourself, right? 

You know the market, you know the industry, you want to solve a pain that you have, uh, how do you plan to grow? Because something that comes up a lot with our clients, uh, is that they have an idea that they probably had it for years, right?

Yeah. Then they either find us or they find no code or low code or Glide or Adalo or whatever. They end up with us, we build them the app, the MVP. Then they have the app, their dream come true. Now they have to scale, they have to get users, they have get a subscription, they have to sell that to a company, to white label, the app, they have, they have to move on to the next step.

Like tech is no longer the limitation, now it's, let's call it sales, right? Or user aquisition. And that's something very challenging for everybody because you solve the tech, but then selling is a completely different thing. How do you, how do you tackle that, it's not a problem though, how do you tackle that next step?

Erik Goins: Yeah, it's I think it's, well, first off, it's always gonna be case by case, but I'll, I'll talk about time because that's like the easy one for us is, um, we are, we, we know that there's a good market out there because there we are actually doing something that's pretty similar to another software. We have a different angle for how we're doing it that we think is better and it's kind of more comprehensive, but we know that this company, they were just acquired, um, probably for, you know, mid tens of millions of dollars. 

Um, they have 50,000 users, they, we know that there's a validated market for this, and we, and we use that software and we know the limitations and we know that we're being, we're bringing something better to market for it.

Okay. The second thing is we have talked to, even without a product, we have talked to dozens of people and they have all said like, "yeah, we would be really keen to try that. And we would be interested" like, "when is it available?" We have people waiting to get into our beta, um, even before there was a product.

Um, so we've, we, we validated that like pretty early, um, for most people like, yeah, it's I really do think that you should try and have your first sale before you even get a product and you should have people kind of like begging and clamoring to use it. And you should really know what you're building too.

Like, you should have like one sentence that explains it. When you, when you talk to people, it should resonate. Um, and if it doesn't do that, then you're probably going in the wrong track. 

Jesus Vargas: Right, right. So let's say that gives you a few dozen beta users, right? What do you do to scale? Let's say you have a couple dozen people in the app, it works, it doesn't have any bugs, then you want to get, I don't know, a thousand users. How do you plan on getting those users? What would the options be? I know it can be very industry specific or even app specific, right? But yeah, in your case, well, let's say that I was your client, I wanted, this app is for me, what would you suggest that I do? 

Erik Goins: We're really big on, right when you start to figure out a really strong SEO strategy, and that doesn't necessarily mean a blog, it could be anywhere. Like there's another one that we really love is like YouTube. And we have, we get like 5,500 or 5,000 views a month on our YouTube about Adalo stuff.

And it's like, we haven't put a video in six months and we still get 5,000 views per month. It's, there's a huge long tail to that, like for time, that's the first thing we're doing, is, okay, we're going to put out a bunch of content about how we calculate specific metrics that are in the app, and we're piecing that as like educational content for people that look these things up, like, how do I calculate this type of return? What goes into this? Why should I do this? How does this work? 

Things like that, we're developing that content to attract those people, it's also a help desk topic, so one thing that we're expecting is people will see like financial metrics in the app, and they'll say, how do you calculate this? Like, what does this mean?

So then we can show them that exact same article, and then we're repeating all those articles as YouTube videos for a course on investing in real estate, and that's just going to be a free course that we have, that, again, we like, the goal is like blitz all this content out super early, and we know it's going to pay dividends like a year from now, when it's been out there for 12 months and it starts getting traction. After that, the main goal is, is referrals and try and create some partnerships.

Um, so we know like real estate investors are kind of hard to find because they could be anyone, like your neighbor might own a few properties. That doesn't mean that like they're a licensed real estate agent, it doesn't mean that like, they go to like some mastermind group, there, they probably aren't on Twitter.

Anyone can invest in real estate. So it's not like super easy to find them, but we all know, but we know that, they all have accountants that work in real estate. So like, why don't we target their accountants? And we know that they go through brokers and real estate agents, so like let's target real estate agents and offer some kind of like referral program and create some program that's a little bit automated to encourage people to sell other people this and give them some kind of commission for doing that. 

And then the last thing we're going to do is we're going to look at paid advertising and, and see, but my big thing for that is like, you really have to wait until you have a lot of good data on customers and like the, you know, the LTV of a customer because you need to know what you can afford to pay for customers. 

Like yo, we're not, we're not Uber where like we can just lose money for three years, it doesn't make sense. I mean, we're a bootstrap company and the good thing for us is we don't care how long this takes. It doesn't have to make any money because it doesn't cost us any money.

Um, you know it's just time for us. So we're we're okay which ironically is the name of the app, but we're okay if this takes like a year before it gets to like any meaningful MRR, because you know, we're using this for ourselves and it's something we're passionate about. 

Jesus Vargas: That's pretty cool. And I love the YouTube, the video strategy, and I was speaking the other day with uh, actually a guy, we have a podcast, it's called Arrigo, uh, he is a, uh, SEO consultant, and we were talking about video because right now on Google search, the first organic results are video. So you'll see they'll search for something, they'll see a bunch of ads, then a bunch of videos coming from YouTube and then, uh, links.

So creating video content right now, is something that, that Google is pushing and then you can like ride that wave and get good rankings with video. 

Erik Goins: Yeah. Yeah. I wasn't even thinking so much about that, but yeah, we, I, I, people, people use youTube a lot to learn. And I think that that's like a great place to, to target people when you have a product that's kind of for like entry level people, um, like we're not building like there's enterprise versions of our software that are like for big funds that do this, right? And so we're not targeting them, we're targeting individuals, and so they're going to be at a more basic level, and so YouTube is where they would go to learn about this. So it's kind of like the easiest place to find them. 

Jesus Vargas: Right. Okay. So now I want to come back quickly to, um, the agency. Building, I mean, you, you use many different softwares to build apps, but what do you think are the limitations? And that is like the topic that always, always comes up. Like, what are the limitations with no-code or low-code, where should I start looking into code rather than no-code or low-code tools? What would be your answer to this very big question? 

Erik Goins: Yeah, I think it depends at your bill. If you, if you're an agency or if you're building for somebody else, or if you're building for yourself, if you're building for yourself, I would absolutely first like start with something you know and understand, if there's already something you know. Like one of the biggest reasons why this tool is not out today is to be honest, is because like we tried to over-engineer it in the beginning, which is hilarious because like, that's exactly what we tell clients not to do. Um, we probably, we probably made it too complicated in the beginning and we probably could have had like a version out like six months ago if we had really thought about it.

Um, and yeah, we, we probably could have done it easier. It's just stupid, but anyway, use tools you know, if you don't know a tool, um, you know, I would reach out to kind of like the broader community and say, "this is my idea, what platform should I be using?". If you're going with web is probably almost exclusively going to be Bubble.

Like if it's a web app, I think, um, if it's not a web app, you can probably use like Webflow, and I'm sure, I don't know anything about the Glide pages, they look awesome, but like, I don't know how that works, so I can't comment a ton on them. Um, and then if you are building something internally for a company, like I would use Glide apps.

If you have to have it in the app store, then I'd probably use Adalo. In terms of limitations, though, I would say one, the worst limitation that people expect is that you can't scale. It doesn't, it really does not resonate with us, uh, we've never seen anyone hit an upper limit on scaling on any no-code platform ever. 

Jesus Vargas: But they all, they all mentioned that even though I was speaking with someone earlier and I was telling them that these no-code or low-code tools are going way faster than the users.

So when, say, you'll say maybe we'll build this app in whatever, Glide, and then in 12 we'll figure out what we have to do. In six months, Glide has launched something that will fix that thing that you were thinking about. So everybody comes to that idea, like I'm going to hit a limit pretty fast, and that never happens.

It's very unusual though, in our case, it has happened just once. 

Erik Goins: We had a, yeah, we had a client who built a custom app, and it never worked properly. It was too buggy and they were using some bad custom developers. They came to us as a stop gap and we started working with them in July. They were, they had engaged another developer to build a new custom app for them that was supposed to be done in September.

They're still on their Adalo app, because it works, they were just like, look, I mean, it, they, they, they practically put the entire custom app on hold, even though it was like almost completely developed. They were like, it doesn't make sense to switch to a custom app when you have something that works. And, um, you know, there's a lot of like workarounds we had to do to make this Adalo app work as we've been using it for the last year. But it works in that that's all that counts. 

Jesus Vargas: Yeah. Usually, I mean, with a lot of clients, they don't care, I mean, everybody cares, right? But it's not that important to tech stack, as long as it fixes the problem or makes what you have in mind. Um, people sometimes are like, what about, I mean, low code, or no code, or code, like it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter what you're building as long as you fix the pain. Ideally, hopefully, you'll use no code or low code because it will be cheaper and faster and easier to maintain. Uh, but for, for a lot of business owners, it's not a big issue, at least in our experience. 

Erik Goins: Yeah. And we were talking about this too before, that a lot of people say, "oh, my app has to have this to be successful", and then it's like, that's actually just a nice to have, like, If you built this app without this, like push notifications, for instance, if you built an app without push notifications and it failed, would you say the app failed because it didn't have push notifications? 

And the answer's probably no, it's probably that the idea just wasn't good to begin with, the pricing wasn't good, the distribution wasn't good. You know, I'm sure push notifications would make it better, but that's not validation of the idea. And people need to like come back to, you know, th you know, there needs to be, uh, you know, uh, you know, coming back to the ground type moment of, this, these are the core features that validate the idea, that make, make it work, and then you just need to, you know, you need to be using those. You need to be targeting those and not all the nice to haves. 

Jesus Vargas: Yeah. Sometimes people come with an idea for an MVP, and then when they're speaking to you, They forget about MVP and they have their whole idea that I've been thinking for years, uh, all dumped.

So yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's important, something that we do is build in stages or in phases, right? So let's launch fast, the MVP, the most important things that you want, you know, four weeks or whatever, and then get a few users, get some feedback and then let's move on to phase two and then we'll build out these nice to haves that you think your users will want, it hasn't been validated yet. 

In a lot of cases, phase two ends up being completely different than what they have eventually thought, because users or clients want different things. Yep. So, um, final question, where can people find more about what you've been doing? I know you're very active on Twitter, um, do you have, you have a portfolio on your website, right? 

Erik Goins: Uh, I think we have a few pictures up there, to be honest, we don't update a website or anything. Um, we are an absolutely like, when it comes to being an agency, we're just not a very good one. I'm not about like, we're good at building mobile apps, but we don't do anything else that like normal agencies do.

Like we don't have a blog, we don't really showcase any of our client work, um, we have some pictures up there now though, I think I added a few like last week. Um, and we've got future content. 

Jesus Vargas: You got a lot of inbound? You got enough inbound that you don't have to pump to your website? 

Erik Goins: Yeah, we don't, our website's on card, it's been on card for two years. We, I don't think that we've, I didn't even have any pictures of client work on my laptop until like a week ago, um, and I asked my designer to share one of the things with us because we were using it for something else. I got those, and I was like, I should probably put these on the website cause they look nice.

Um, yeah, we like, yeah, we don't. So you can find a at flywheel.so, um, that is our corporate website or our agency website. You can get me at a it's @erikgoinshq at Twitter, um, we're also on Twitter at @flywheel_studio, um, and you've probably seen, uh, us tweeting from @buildsell30, that's like our other program. 

Jesus Vargas: Now tell us a little bit about that, about buildsell, the challenge that you've been promoting and doing it. 

Erik Goins: Yeah, yeah, so, I sent out a tweet like in December, and I was thinking it'd be really fun to have, um, a challenge to try and get to 100 MRR in 30 days and then so a business. Its so, to the core of like everything, we've just talked about this entire podcast, it's all about, just break down, like, what are the simplest things that you can do to actually create a product and then go sell it? That's it. There's no, there's nothing sexy about this challenge at all. Like there's no strategy other than like, get out there and sell something and build like the most basic version of an MVP that functions and then list it.

You only have 30 days, you can only do so much. Right. And it's been awesome, um, we have, it's kinda tough to gauge how many people are participating, but we, in one month we have like 30...

Jesus Vargas: Because everything's on Twitter. 

Erik Goins: Yeah. Everything's on Twitter. And people have like very different levels of participation, which, yeah, maybe we kind of expected, but like some people already had businesses and they're like, oh, I'm going to re-energize my business to #BuildSell30, some people were like, like we have people starting #BuildSell30 today. It was supposed to be done like in January, but like they're starting January 5th.

I like, I, I can't control that, I'm very happy they want to do that too. Um, and then we had a lot of people who did it, who just had like no intention of ever selling anyway. So they were like, oh, I'm going to use this as an opportunity to really just like, uh, you know, build but, we got 3,300 people following a Twitter and a month and we have about 600 or 700 people on discord.

It's a very cool community, and it's just dedicated to, um, you know, really trying to break down a business to its most simplest parts of like MVP on technology and marketing and selling. Um, and to be honest also, I would note, there's, the point of it isn't actually even to sell or to be acquired, is just to get your business into a place where it could be.

Because so many people fall into the idea of like, if there's no end date, then you can just take forever to build your business, and there's no, there's no deadlines, there's no rush, I'll make a sale when I make a sale, um, so we kind of said, okay, you, you need to have it in a place where you can sell it in 30 days. 

Jesus Vargas: We are, we are on the 25th of January.

So it's about to end because it was a general challenge. What do you think are the biggest challenges? I mean, from all of these people that have been doing that, where did they get stuck? 

Erik Goins: Um, I think one thing was some people came into it knowing exactly what they wanted to do, and some of them were, were right on the money.

Like one guy, he actually started early because he wanted to start over like the December holidays. He already listed, um, it, the information is public, if you go check out like enough stuff on Twitter about, I'm not gonna mention it all, but he had 300 MRR and he's going to sell his business this month for 20 grand.

Like awesome outcome, right? But he had a perfect idea, he already knew how to build it, it was something he kind of just wanted to build any way, and he knew exactly who to go sell it to and get MRR for it. And he's, he's very experienced in the SAS world and knew like how to list it, etcetera. 

A lot of people, so many people came to us and said, I don't know what to build. It's like, I got a lot of ideas, but like, that doesn't mean that's what you should build. So that was probably like the biggest hurdle, and we're going to try and come up with some ideas about that for the next time we do this, um, which will probably be in like two months. Then the next one is some people just like over engineered things or built things that have, um, like some gatekeeping, like a lot of people use the GPT three from opening.

Um, but you have to be approved for that. So like they built these projects on it in beta, and then they want to release it publicly, but they can't because they haven't been approved. It's like, well, okay, can't get sales, if somebody doesn't let you use their software that you built this on the backend.

Um, those are probably the biggest ones, uh, to be honest, there was a lot of trust... 

Jesus Vargas: and I thought that sales would be the most challenging, like getting your first sale would be way more challenging than coming up with an idea. 

Erik Goins: I have a feeling that most people never got to the part where they could even sell it.

Yeah. Okay. And it's kind of hard to, it's kinda hard to see that, like, it's just kind of a gut feeling when you see the updates, but like a lot of people are still in the tech side of things. Like, okay, you might not even have a page to take payments yet, and it's like, wow, it's January 25th, if you can't take a payment, you can't get a sale, if you can't get a sale, you can't get revenue.

So you can't list on micro acquire with IOUs. Like, you know. I don't know that that's, that's my gut. So next time we we're, we're going to take a month off and there are people doing this next month too, um, even though we're not going to like, kind of officially host it and we're going to try and put together like a guide for what people should do, but, um, I think the big, the biggest takeaway is that you, you need to, like, when we say it's 30 days, the build part really can only be like 14 or 15 days.

It can only be two weeks, if you're building past two weeks, because whatever you think is... 

Jesus Vargas: Yeah. And people should be selling from day one. Yeah. Probably they shouldn't wait until the product is ready in order to just start selling, they should start pre-selling from day one while they're building. 

Erik Goins: Yeah, you should do it next time with us.

Um, yes. I mean, you could easily, uh, I mean, you, you could, I mean, I know you could have a Glide app out in a day and a half, so, um, yeah, I mean, you guys are, are the experts at it, so I feel like you could, um, easily get something out there. And then it's just about selling it. 

Jesus Vargas: Yeah, yeah. It'll be, it'd be a cool field project. Yeah, I'll try it, I'll try to do it.

Erik Goins: There's a lot of work for people like it, it was time-consuming so like, I'm really grateful that people did want to take the time to do that because like, we all got other lives. I mean, I was going to try and do it and I didn't have the time to do my own thing. Part of that is cause like I'm trying to manage the whole community and stuff too.

Building #BuildSell30 was like my #BuildSell30, but, yeah, I appreciate that people took the time to do it. So hopefully we see it the next time. 

Jesus Vargas: Yeah. Yeah. I hope I'll, I'll have a time and I'll try to make some time. Yeah, it'll be interesting, Erik thanks for joining us today, talk to you soon.

Erik Goins: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.