Hey! What are you working on and what led you to building with no code? Have you got any previous experience of building sites/apps?
I am the founder of ConductScience.com - a company that makes translational science tools for outcomes in science.
First and foremost, I am an emergency medicine doctor. I’ve spent over a decade training in medicine, so this means that I don’t really have much experience with coding. I can create websites using popular tools, but definitely can’t do anything more than soft coding.
When creating ConductScience, I knew that I should play to my strengths and stay away from coding as much as possible. Where needed, it makes much more sense to hand off complex but necessary programming jobs to people who are qualified to do them.
What platforms and tools have you used to build ConductScience? How long did it take to build?
I first purchased the domain in about 2012, with a pretty clear vision of what I wanted ConductScience to become. The first realization was that we would need our own proprietary tools, so it took me a good three or four years to create MazeEngineers.com. I wanted ConductScience to have one true proprietary tool before expanding rapidly as we are now.
ConductScience is based on WordPress, so no coding was needed. I hired specialists to help me with some custom CSS for the site. In case you aren’t familiar with CSS, it basically describes the presentation of a website in HTML format. It isn’t a programming language, so there was no need for any coding there either.
How have you gone about growing your user base? What has been most effective?
Growing my user base and building a loyal following of scientists and researchers has come about, I believe, from focusing on making the product solve the pain points I discovered as a lab technician and scientist myself.
I realized that I spent the majority of my time on unproductive tasks such as building maze prototypes and little time collecting data. I thought about how great it would be if there was a service from which I could buy ready-made scientific tools that actually measured outcomes instead of mechanisms. Every company had really complex tools to find out exactly how something worked without ever figuring out if things ever actually did work or not.
Almost a decade later, we have a much broader array of scientific tools which has made ConductScience become much more easily marketable. The tools allow scientists to spend more time conducting the studies that are at the core of what it means to be a scientist.
One step we took to help make ourselves more attractive to potential customers was to try and establish an ‘easy-access IP’ style of tech transfer for these tools. Results-based tools which measure medical outcomes are not as well patented as other mechanism-based tools, like lab equipment. The latter has a very organized model when it comes to the movement of products.
We made the effort to negotiate deals with the universities or manufacturers that develop tools we want to sell, and gain licenses to spread the technology amongst the scientific community.
On another note, we also use tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and Crazyegg to better understand our customer behavior in the maze that is our website. This helps us to understand what actions we could take to maximize growth.
Have you monetized it yet and if so, what is your revenue model?
Yes, we are monetized! Importantly though, we are a bootstrapped business. This means that we grow with our own revenue, and never accept outside funding. I believe this is a crucial part of our revenue model, because accepting investment could lead us to compromise on the quality of our scientific tools by rushing to meet an investor’s targets.
In order to make revenue, we have to provide real value to customers. We work hard with all of our divisions to ensure our products are always going to stand up in a real scientific experiment. Put simply, if our customers are pleased with the tools they receive from us, we will manage to keep growing our revenue stream.
What has been the hardest part of building, growing or monetising ConductScience?
Making the decision to be bootstrapped is without doubt the toughest thing about growing ConductScience, despite the benefits it brings. Relying on our own revenue to grow means that we have to work really hard to cut unnecessary spending, and only work on things which have a great chance of a healthy return on investment. This discipline is both the hardest thing we do but also the most important source of our strength--it means we have little waste and everyone has the same expectations of productivity.
Do you have any tips on building, growing or monetising a no code product/business?
Yes - even though there is no coding involved in the process, don’t make the mistake of thinking that a functioning website is easy to architect!
I do liken the science of website design to that of building mazes for neuroscience purposes. Everyone who visits the site needs to land on the part of the site relevant to their needs, and it is our job to guide them there. Just like a maze, we need to construct the architecture so that each user finds the ‘cheese’ at the end of the trail.
Here are several tips that spring to mind when thinking about how to design a great no-code website:
- You should think of yourself as the chief growth officer.
- Knowing the product and customer base, how do you design websites that speak to their needs?
- How do you design websites that deliver knowledge when they search? This is value that builds trust, eventually leading to revenue for you.
- When you have revenue, who do you hire to grow the product?
- The website should be a central growth machine to generate more revenue for the company, and all marketing activities should lead to funnel towards that.
If your site is offering skincare products, for example, make it easy for your customers to find their ‘cheese’ (their desired product). With an extensive stock and intuitive search function, you’ll already have gone a long way to designing a website that navigates clearly.
I know my strength lies in science and medicine, and not in coding. I think that the best thing you can do to grow a product like this is to take your strength as far as you can. For me, this was designing scientific products and conducting experiments to test their efficiency.
Where can we find out more about ConductScience and connect with you?
Sure - please feel free to contact us if you’d like to find out more about the products we offer. Our experts are on hand to chat, and if you’re a scientist, we’d love to hear about the things you’re creating.
Alternatively, if you really like the idea behind ConductScience and would want to help out in some capacity, please feel free to browse https://conductscience.com/work/.
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