Build Apps for Gaps, but first, try SaaS.

Build Apps for Gaps, but first, try SaaS.

A few weeks ago, we penned the NOLO MANIFESTO. I've been in product companies my whole career, and you need to write down what you believe and how you approach problem-solving to keep everyone aligned, even when you're small.

This post is about Rule #1: Build Apps for Gaps, but first, try SaaS.

It's easy to get confused when you are introduced to no/low code solutions for the first time. If something can do pretty much anything and you start to see the potential, it is easy to get out of hand. Rule #1 is about reframing nolo within the context of all the solutions available.

If there is something that's £100/£500, even £3,000 a month, it's built for your use case. It's perfect; use that.

But many tools think every business is a bathrobe, which is the exact opposite of what they are.

When you're selling SaaS, you have to advise best practices, but you're advising best practices within the constraints of what you know your product does.

It's how your product visionaries see the world and want to sell someone to use it.

Which means you are inherently biased. You cannot trust a salesperson of a SaaS product to 100% be unbias, but that's OK so long as you know it. I did this for over ten years, and when you've got a product that knows its ideal customer and the use cases, it can be an excellent sales experience for everyone involved.

Even when they're really good and know their expertise area, they'll still swing it towards you, adopting how they see the world. If they don't have a clear vision, understand their ideal customer profile, or simply you aren't it, you can see how you end up with the wrong SaaS in your business.

My advice here is to find the ones with a great vision, companies like Cogsy, Inveterate, and Klar. Follow the founders.

With what I do now with NOLO and SaaS in our corner, we can try and find and assess solutions to our absolute best.

I spend 4-5 hours weekly on calls with vendors, meeting founders learning about tech.

When my clients identify a top priority, their real
issues, they say that I play cupid every time they've asked for a
solution. I've just introduced to them the perfect match. Fast decisions shave weeks of implementation.

Because we've got the low code, you know as well, I'm not going to try and shoehorn you into a SaaS to find a solution.

We spent about 8 hours ruminating on how to manage colour codes with a brand this week.

And we've had a two-day debate about how they do colour codes for their products because until they tried to create a solution, they'd never had the time to scrutinise what they do today.

They start with pink, but then the pink goes on three different fabrics, and it only gets named later in the process. It means different teams have different references, which is how mistakes happen.

And we toyed it back and forth? And we said, oh, we could build it this way, we could build it that way. They've ended up coming to a solution on the best way for them. And we could let them know thoroughly. Agnostically, we could help them problem-solve; it felt amazing.

That's what gave me a contrast between how I used to be versus how we can be now that we have nolo in our corner.

- Thanks, Oliver

Oliver Rhodes

Oliver Rhodes