June 2, 2022

#273 — ➕ functionality for your low-code apps

#273 — ➕ functionality for your low-code apps
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Spending a lot of time curating a database of "legos" that you can add to no-code and low-code products. (See #269 — 📊 A database of legos and #268 — 📚 Curating Legos for context). Jamming in this episode about some trends I'm seeing across the dataset and spotlighting 🔦 a few interesting APIs.

Companies mentioned


What's up everybody, this is Lola Ojabowale, founder of Lunch Pail Labs. Welcome back to Lunch Pail Daily, my personal audio diary on building and growing Lunch Pail Labs, which is a digital product studio based out of Atlanta, Georgia. In today's episode, we're gonna jam about the database of functionality you can add to your no code, low code apps that I'm working on and how it's going. 

For those who are new here, I really just have this interest in what I call like Legos, Legos in business, this whole transformation of when you're building products, you can really assemble different pieces of functionality, how that's kind of even traversing to when you're building a business, you can kind of assemble different pieces of business capabilities to create that and how that sort of contributes to like more efficient teams. I think it's going to help people compete and all of that great stuff. And so on that end, I have been spending some good time really understanding the space from a product perspective, currently creating and organizing a pretty large database of functionality you can add to your no code apps, and no code, low code apps, really to any app. 

But since I focus a lot on no code, low code, that's a spin. And I am spent a lot of today really looking at API's and what like API functionality exists that you can put into, and it's been fascinating. I currently have a list of almost like 500 companies that I'm sort of like looking at reviewing, and yeah, jamming on some of those trends, I think first we'll start with some trends, or things that I'm seeing across these these companies. And then I'll jump into, I guess, really, really neat, like functionality you can add via API. And then once they kind of do this and sort of the the workflow for this massive database, doing some API's also gonna look at sort of more like integrations and other snippets of functionality that are not necessarily like API's, but help enrich the product experiences of no code and low-code apps. 

And then yeah, gonna give it a give it away. So I had posted a tweet about this, sometime last week, had some folks who were interested, I think it has like, maybe, like 70 or so like some, like 30 comments, some people even saying they would pay for this database. So I will certainly sell a portion of it.

But yeah, with all that said, let's get into it. So of this list of 500. And I pulled it from totally a lot of different sources. I did some sleuthing through accelerators to get some of the fresh API blood, new companies that are kind of coming onto the scene, I looked at a lot of like,

organized and curated lists that exists like elsewhere, looked at some of the main NoCo platforms themselves. So it's been

quite a few hours go into 10s of hours of research, just pulling everything. And once I have,

I think there's a couple more sources I want to aggregate from, then I will do all the lovely culling and enriching with information of like, what specifically is the use case that they're working for? And how well do they play with some of these platforms so that someone who purchases or uses the database can like look at it and be like, Oh, yes, if I need to do this, I can use this API. So first thing, I guess, three trends first trend in the list. And it could be just the list that I pulled lots of like health care FinTech security, really, really specific enterprise b2b use cases, which you probably wouldn't pursue, like as a small team or team of one. Don't think anybody's trying to have like, go to a one person hospital, but and then also ones that are very, like industry specific, which I guess wasn't expecting, like one example is a node, which is infrastructure for green energy apps that you can kind of import, I was thinking that I would see a lot more things that where like text messages, notifications, video, things like companies that

help you add, like a product capability that is very industry agnostic, pretty ubiquitous across industries. But that wasn't really much of the case. 

Certainly, they were probably like, I'd say so far. It's like 100 of the 500 or this product capability and the rest of the four


A lot of them are so far like this very like specific specific use case. So like, yeah, really, really technical security things.

Number two,

very technical language on their landing pages.

And this is probably also a vestige of, I'm probably not their core target market as an agency owner or service business owner.

So I had quite a bit of trouble understanding even what some of these companies did and what they do it for, what is what they're even talking about. But

yeah, I think for their core market, they probably understand it more. But where it gets kind of interesting is like, as we have more people who are maybe a little less technical, who start shipping who want to build things.

Does that jargon? Does that language become a barrier? And who is going to close that gap? Like, should we

teach some of the jargon to folks who may be like less technical? Will companies adapt and use more plain language to describe like, oh, we have an API for this even API, I guess, is a very technical, pseudo technical thing. But yeah, that that was a definitely a big thing I noticed. And number three, reading through the list, feel like just sparked so many ideas of just interfaces that could be plopped on top. 

Like I saw an API doc generator. And I remember running into like, a, I think it was a no code tool for creating API docs. I was like, wondering, like, is this API doc generator powering this no code tool to create API docs. And even Yeah, like this idea of like, interfaces that make it easier for end users that are not developers to interact with? You know, copy AI, I think is a great example, doing extremely well. I think they're built on top of GPT. Three. Obviously, all copywriters are people who might want to want cut, right copy don't want to have to interact directly with GPT. Three and write their own custom integrations. And

outseta, I think, is another good example. Like they kind of I think they're built on top of stripe and bundle a lot of different things for no-code platforms. So yeah, I'll just say, looking through this list of API's, I was like, oh, you know, like a simple interface to put something on there. Like those could be some really cool experiments to run.

I know.

I know on the topic of GPT 3, I'm so are just like, AI really, really excited for for Dalle, because I think a lot of when that hits and that becomes a thing, I think there's going to be a lot of cool products built on top of that. So anywho that is my little jam. And yeah, let's dive into some really cool companies. I will list all of these in the show notes. 

Number one, Banner, bear, bear bear, I think they do such a great job of building and public on Twitter. So I've been actually a big fan of them for a while haven't used their service yet. But they're an API for automated image generation.

Another one Hyper Beam, Hyper Beam dot Dev, unfortunately, they're still in beta. That was another thing I noticed with this list. Quite a few of them. So I'll definitely have a beta or like, not publicly launched marker in the, in the database. 

Because yeah, just like, you have to talk to someone that's just, I know, it's for their purposes, because they're early, but it's just kind of annoying, honestly. So I will make sure I will let anybody know that of the ones that I can you know, make sure I call that every once in a while. And who Hyper Beam the looks super cool. It enables users to learn, collaborate and socialize

in sort of like in embedded multiplayer web browsers, which I think is freaking dope either actually quite a few API's that are in this like, enabling multiplayer experiences. So that was a cool like product experience, like product enhancement, I guess API.

And also remind me of life blocks, which I think is a little bit more popular, but also in the space. radar. 

Radar was another cool when I ran into lets you build location aware experiences and create geo fences in your app. I know there are some like, tutorials of like, Oh yeah, you can make like Uber but

and stuff and like with no code, but I think for the most part, they're like, yes, you can recreate the Uber UI, but not like that functionality of like geofencing. And you only see this when you're in this area. And so that I thought was really cool.

Of like potential to add different capability and experiences based on it like even not too long ago, I had a project where this could have been really, really interesting with a client. And it's probably something I will suggest to them for like the v2. 

So another one vital, which lets you by API, create home test kits and also receive data from hundreds of wearable devices. Nessa I thought that was super awesome. Scene, which is an API key for seamless entry. So I actually, I like, now that I'm seeing these API's, I'm like, Oh, I wonder how many of the products I actually interact with regularly are just powered by these on the back end. But I, I'm part of a co working space in Atlanta, they'll oftentimes go to to work. And we all have this like, digital key with like, open path that lets us get into the building when it's, you know, to get in because it's like secured access. And yeah, seems like this API key for seamless entry with seam lets you do that sort of thing. So I think that's another capability that you can add to apps, which is totally cool metronome. I've heard a lot from afar from metronome. I personally, I think, I think.

So this API, lets you implement usage based billing.

I think the usage based billing can be overdone. In a lot of use cases, it seems like everybody's trying to like usage base. They're not everybody but a lot of sauces are, which should be just like monthly subscriptions want to usage base, Bill their thing and it's kind of annoying. Bubble was trying to do that. I ran into this other product today will not name them. And I was just so confused. It was like why am I why? Why do you charge per view?

Of like this thing? Like this isn't making any sense to me. It's just weird, in my opinion, in my opinion, anywho. 

But if you do want to do that, despite what Lola has to say about usage based billing, obviously some things I think make a lot of sense for usage based billing, but yeah, I think folks just like overdo it, especially when there's not like a usage base cost. I think that's where it makes no sense to me. Anyhow, metronome. Next one speech Li, which lets you extract meaning from spoken language in real time. I feel like the main use case for this is like, speak to search type applications. So are like live transcription. I thought that was really cool. Another one that was kind of sad to see was in beta is atomic Avast. It lets you add investing to your product. And then the last two work wild jobs. Now that was it is a flexible workforce API. So like by API, you can like scale your workforce with flexible work, obviously, I think first you have to like apply to be a partner for their flexible work. But like, was like Yo, that's kind of interesting. And I actually ran into a product that really reminded me of that a couple of weeks ago, I think it's made by an on deck alum that actually lets you embed gig economies into your product. Basically, what they do is if you have a SAS tool, they will train a group of freelancers or of their staff to use the tool. And you can kind of sell like a service layer of using your tool with an expert alongside your Sass, which is kind of cool, actually, like pretty pretty cool. And I think like that's you should base which makes sense. Like if you are not actually having any people booked jobs you don't pay like that is the prime example I think of sensible usage based pricing.

And then the last one, I'll shout out, but there are so many interesting ones is duffel, which it lets you get the power of a full stack travel agency into your app, which is also really cool. So you can like have people book flights and sell flights and pay for flights and you like the duffel takes a cut of that experience, or a cut of that transaction. Also, you should base great, lovely example of making sense usage based product and then you keep the rest. I think it's like an 8020 Split but

I don't I don't know. I'm not sure like

what use case there might be for like a,

I guess a travel agency or booking site with with?

I don't know. Like, why wouldn't I just use Google Flights? I don't know. But maybe there's some like niche community or something where you would it would make sense to have your special duffel powered travel agency. NT who that is all Yeah, next up gonna continue to enrich the data. Think I'm pretty good on the API's in so now look more like SDKs integrations widgets that you can add to no code apps and put those in there as well. I think maybe I'll get close to like 1000 When it's all said and done a really well culled list. But as I continue to progress, I will keep you all updated. So I hope you all have the most wonderful Wednesday. Catch you later.