Can we really scale a SaaS in No-Code?

Peut-on réellement scaler un saas en No-Code ? - HYTRAPE

Juho Makkonen, co-founder of Sharetribe, shares his lessons learned building a no-code solution that most of his customers eventually outgrew. It raises a major problem with no-code tools: their lack of scalability. Sooner or later, founders run into limitations, unable to develop certain features without turning to coding. Makkonen spent ten years developing a no-code marketplace solution, finding that almost all of his clients ended up opting for custom development.

The Limits of Codeless

Makkonen identifies three main reasons why no-code fails to get through the early stages of business development:

  1. Limitations of No-Code Tools: Even the best tools have their limits. Founders inevitably encounter features they can't build without code.
  2. Lock-in by Platforms: When a limit is reached, there is no choice but to rebuild the product from scratch.
  3. Change of Terms by Platforms: No-code tools can change their terms at any time, which can be detrimental for founders.

Suggested solutions

Despite these challenges, Makkonen suggests several approaches for founders without coding skills:

  • Use Codeless for Adjacent or Internal Tools: Ideal for building marketing websites or administrative dashboards.
  • Choosing No-Code for Your MVP: No-code tools are excellent for validating ideas and building prototypes quickly.
  • Opt for an API-First Approach with No Code: Some no-code tools allow extensions via coding, offering the best of both worlds.

Final Thoughts

Makkonen concludes that most early-stage founders shouldn't worry about the scalability of no-code tools. Their main product is not technology, they can build complementary tools securely with no-code solutions. For MVPs and prototypes, no-code is often the best option, allowing you to learn and iterate quickly. The future of no-code, according to Makkonen, lies in API-first platforms, which combine the benefits of coding and no-code, good news for solo founders and small teams.