The WATZ Stack

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🚫The WATZ Stack

In Case You Missed It: On Friday, I shared my conversation with Mat Sherman, founder of Forward Thinking City. We covered a wide range of topics, but one of my favorites was the future of no-code. Mat’s a firm believer that there will one day be multibillion-dollar tech companies built without a single line of code.

Forward Thinking City is entirely built using a suite of no-code tools that Mat’s cleverly coined the WATZ stack.

Webflow - A visual way to build a website. Similar idea to Wix and Squarespace but with significantly more design capabilities. If you don’t have prior HTML/CSS knowledge there will definitely be a learning curve, but it’s 100% worth it. I just moved my website over from Wix to Webflow and couldn’t be happier.

Airtable - A multifunction spreadsheet-database hybrid that makes it easy to store, index, and manage data. It’s easy to visualize like an Excel spreadsheet, but powerful like a relational database. It can also be used as a CRM, project management tool, or collaboration tool.

Typeform - The easiest way to build and distribute online forms and surveys. Can be used for contact forms, customer research surveys, quizzes and more.

Zapier - Their slogan says it all. Zapier is the easiest way to automate your work. With over 2,000 integrations, Zapier enables you to connect your web apps together to create seamless automated workflow processes. Here’s an example:

Pretty neat.

With Zapier, the possibilities are endless. This is something that I’m just now starting to play around with to help me save time in my day-to-day workflow. I’ve found the Zapier Learning Center to be very helpful in getting started.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of no-code (and other products Mat mentioned like Adalo and Memberstack), it might be worth checking out these two no-code communities (No Code Founders and No Code Devs) that popped up on ProductHunt a few days ago.


📺Five Years Later

According to a 2014 study by Bentley University, 66 percent of millennials want to be entrepreneurs. Another 2014 study of over 4,700 high school and college students by Millennial Branding found that 72 percent of high schoolers and 64 percent of college students want to start their own business someday, with 61 percent of high schoolers saying they would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee after graduating college. Keep in mind, this number will only rise as the tech-savvy creatives of Generation Z start to enter the workforce.

Many of these individuals are motivated and inspired by the mainstream glorified success stories of young tech moguls such as Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel and Brian Chesky, seeking what seems to be the overnight wealth and notoriety they achieved.

The grave truth is that at least 90 percent of start-ups fail. Of those 90 percent, nearly 50 percent dissolve within the first four years. Often times the failure isn’t caused because of a bad idea, but rather poor execution of the core vision.

Merriam Webster defines vision as a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination.

But in entrepreneurship, it’s a little different. In this context, a vision is the heart and soul of your venture. This shared dream empowers not only the entrepreneur, but every member of the organization to put their heads down and work ruthlessly to defy the odds of success. It is the driving force that justifies the sacrifice of time, money, and effort that is required to chase your goals. But most importantly, it is the powerful framework of ideas, missions, and ethics on which your business is built. No matter how brilliant the idea, a failure to implement this vision will cause a business to collapse.

This idea doesn’t only apply to start-ups. It is relevant to anyone looking to build something from the ground up, especially creatives, YouTubers, gamers, and others looking to make a name for themselves in a respective internet niche.

Even the biggest internet stars in the world started with a clean slate. Zero followers. Everyone has ambition, but few are able to define a clear vision to execute on and set goals to achieve. It’s those who set these parameters and constantly show up that find the most success.

Take a look at Jimmy Donaldson, also known as Mr. Beast. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a world-famous YouTuber who’s made a name for himself through his crazy stunts and philanthropic tendencies. In one video, he gave away a private island. Yep, you read that correctly.

Yesterday, he released this video on his channel. Five years ago, he recorded it for his future self to watch.

At the time of filming, he had over 8,700 subscribers and over 1.8 million views. Keep in mind, it took him three years of posting to get up to this point. Anyone who’s given YouTube a shot knows that these numbers are nothing to laugh at, but Mr. Beast had bigger goals.

Over the next five years while some of his competitors wavered and quit, he kept his foot on the pedal constantly churning out hundreds of videos and honing his craft.

Today he has over 44 million subscribers and over 7.2 billion views. Thanks to his YouTube channel, his merch line, and a handful of creative partnerships, Mr. Beast’s net worth is rumored to be close to $18 million.

His story serves as a great lesson for anyone looking to make something from nothing. Don’t take your foot off the pedal, even if it seems like no one’s watching. I can’t wait to look back at this email when I have a million subs too.

If you want to learn more about Mr. Beast and his story, you can check out this Business Insider feature.


🧰Tool of the Week

When building something new, feedback is crucial. It could be writing a newsletter, building a company, or implementing a new process at work. While many of us recognize the value of feedback, actually collecting it is easier said than done. People are busy and sometimes even taking five minutes to fill out a Typeform survey can seem like a big ask.

Last week, I came across FeedLetter. A feedback system that’s quick and easy to use for both parties. While the core use does happen to be for newsletters, you can embed this form in blogs, emails, and other online documents.

So here goes nothing! If you’ve made it this far in today’s newsletter, please take the two seconds to click one of the three links below and let me know how you’re feeling. I’ll be using this data to make the newsletter better in the future. I truly appreciate it.

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If you’re new here and want to catch up on some old editions, here are a couple of my favorites: When in Roam and The Million Dollar Question You can also follow me on Twitter or check out randymginsburg.com for more writing.

In the meantime, you can get your favorite pair of headphones ready for a new edition of Friday Features coming at the end of the week.

Thanks for reading,

Randy