The world is changing. Information is becoming a commodity. No-code development is empowering anyone to build things on the internet. The new economy will favor makers and people with niche skills.
Advances in Technology: No-Code tools
The term “no-code development” was coined by Ryan Hoover in The Rise of No Code in 2019. These tools allow you to create software using a graphical user interface instead of writing code. You can build a beautifully responsive CMS-driven website using Webflow, paid newsletter with Substack, and mobile apps powered by Google sheet on Glide, among many others. This is empowering a different set of makers as you no longer need to become a programmer to build things on the internet. I see this phenomenon as an extension of the development progress: from machine language, more user-friendly languages, and now to a GUI format that doesn’t require one to type code.
Like how Twitter made anyone a publisher, no-code tools are making anyone a web developer.
While many of these tools existed for a while, I’m noticing a huge increase in the number of makers recently. It’s possible that pandemic is accelerating this change.
The definition of ‘product’ is evolving to include new types of products. What was previously intangible is being packaged and sold. There is an increasing number of creators selling their ‘systems’ in the form of Notion templates. In fact, there’s even a website dedicated to hosting these templates (for a 20% affiliate fee). Substack allows the publisher to monetize the newsletter, Circle allows you to build an income stream from your audience. Services like Gumroad, Teachable and Shopify makes it easier to sell any products online.
Accessibility - to information and people
It’s easier than ever to find and connect with someone on the internet. Twitter is a great example, where many people are just a follow away. Your website is available to anyone around the world. This, together with easy no-code tools, now anyone can create their own brand and product and market it to just about anyone in the world.
What does this mean?
Information is becoming a commodity. We have too much information and data out there that information alone doesn’t give you an edge. To stand out, you need to find a niche, either by going deep into a special area of focus or synthesizing information to formulate a new insight. The internet rewards people who can provide a unique value to their audience.
How to Thrive
1. Build your brand.
In this new economy, you need to build a brand. Your brand is your node in this crowded world. Your brand is how you get recognized.
In How to Crush it on Twitter workshop, Matthew Kobach shares a template for creating a Twitter strategy. You can use the same questions to understand your brand. ![[Pasted image 20210108235543.png]]
3 questions. Simple, right? Uh, not really. This may be easy for makers who create new things for a living, but may not be for many of us, information workers. We may be very good at the work we do for the companies, but not so when doing it for ourselves.
2. Find your niche.
How do you find the answer to the first question, “Someone should follow me because ___________? What exactly is your niche?
David Perell sums up a personal monopoly nicely in his Tweet:
A Personal Monopoly is a unique intersection of skills, knowledge, and personality that nobody else can compete with.
Personal monopolies aren’t found — they’re made.
Spend some time thinking about your skills, knowledge, and personality. Ask some of your close friends these four questions as a starting point. (I wrote these down in my notes but can’t locate the source.)
- What do you think are my biggest passions and why? If you can think of at least two or three, that would be great. Please explain.
- What do you think are my biggest natural strengths and talents? Please explain.
- Given the above and what you know about me, what have you always thought I’d be great at doing as a career? Or maybe as a volunteer or hobby? Please explain.
- And here’s the big one… Assuming you didn’t know me personally, what talent, skill, or passion would you happily pay me to teach or help you with? Why?
3. Get in the habit of creating.
Thinking is not enough. This new economy favors makers who act. While creating may not your second nature, you can build up your creative muscle. Prolific creation and testing them in the market is also a great way to learn more about your strengths and to build your audience along the way. In fact, an increasing number of creators sharing their journeys by building in public.
Consumer ➜ Creator
How do you get in the habit of creating? This is a three-step process.
- Decide on what you want to do. - It can be writing regularly, or producing art, making a video, something.
- Decide when and how you want to do it - Make it as specific as possible. Mark it on your calendar and set notifications.
- Do it.
And repeat the process. Keep with this for at least 12 weeks. After just 4 articles, I noticed a significant improvement in how I consume information - I started to consume information more actively, focusing on how they contribute to my creative process.
This new economy will be more prevalent before we know it. It is a good time to start developing your personal brand. The world needs your unique skills and expertise. Good luck, and tell me more about your journey @erinejeong.