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How Vlad Larin and Levon Terteryan built a 35 person no-code agency with a non-technical background
6 min read

How Vlad Larin and Levon Terteryan built a 35 person no-code agency with a non-technical background

How Vlad Larin and Levon Terteryan built a 35 person no-code agency with a non-technical background

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’m a co-founder of Zeroqode, which is a suite of no-code products and services(Templates, Plugins, Lab, and Development - we got it all!) We’re building and launching our own products, running our no-code educational platform, creating and maintaining hundreds of templates and plugins for Bubble, as well as providing custom development services for our clients and partners all around the world at scale! We’re also leveraging the simplicity of no-code to run a ton of experimental projects all the time. Myself and my co-founder Levon both had a very distant technical experience from way back (high school times or so), but we have never professionally worked as software developers or anything of a kind until we found and fell in love with No-Code and Bubble in particular. Today we’re running probably the biggest exclusively no-code agency in the world - which is not a huge company by most standards, but in the small world of no-code - it definitely is! We’re currently 35 people and always looking for more talent!

What platforms and tools have you used to build Zeroqode? How long did it take to build?

Our weapon of choice is Bubble. After running multiple experiments with various tools, we’re yet to find a more versatile and ubiquitous no-code framework that really lets us build everything and anything we want. We have multiple product lines with various complexities that we’re working on all the time. On average, the good first version of the product that we’re building takes anywhere in between a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get shipped. There are however some products which we are launching much faster - literally in hours, and there are some that we are gradually building for months (our main portal page is a good example of one of our longer-term projects).

How have you gone about growing your user base? What has been most effective?

We’ve been slowly growing over the last few years, being constantly active within a fantastic Bubble community of builders, and of course preaching on every corner about the future and present benefits of building with no-code tools. We had a few notably successful cases of being featured on HackerNews, TechCrunch and getting our projects to Product Hunt products of the day, but other than that it’s the usual startup grind of growing slowly, but steadily. As mentioned, we regularly ship our completed products on Producthunt, being active and trying to be helpful on Twitter, and engaging with our fellow founders via communities such as IndieHackers, DesignerNews, Hackernews, and a few others. The most effective we found so far is to give back to the amazing community of fellow Bubblers on the Bubble Forum, as well as meeting amazing people on Twitter and other social networks and real life too,  and finding ways to partner up on exciting projects together.

Have you monetised it yet and if so, what is your revenue model?

Yes, we are bootstrapped and profitable from day one. We started by offering no-code coaching & development services, with a set hourly rate, providing the end-to-end lifecycle support of any product. Beginning with the idea, all the way to the design, development, testing, launch and post-launch support. We still have customers working with us from the first day of our operations in that model. Every day from then until now we are working with hundreds of entrepreneurs and businesses from all over the world in a variety of niches and market segments. The best part of it is that over the years we see the number of people really digging the superpowers of no-code keeps growing exponentially! In about a year or so on our no-code journey, we expanded our portfolio by building and marketing our own products, such as Bubble Templates, and (later on) Plugins. Our products offer one-time and subscription-based models for our customers. We’re selling both of our main product lines on Bubble Marketplaces. Lastly, we have our educational SaaS - Zeroqode Lab, which teaches people how to build their own applications with no-code starting from absolute scratch and no technical experience, all the way to grasping the advanced concepts of no-code app development. The Lab offers both Lifetime (one-off fee) and subscription-based memberships.

What has been the hardest part of building, growing or monetising Zeroqode?

First and foremost - the team. It always will be the hardest and the most rewarding part of the process. Finding, growing and nurturing the right team is a key to success, especially in our niche. The market does not yet have no-code\visual developers in any decent quantities, so everyone that joins us has to start from the very basics of working with our tools and on our speed. We were fortunate to have a chance to meet and work with extremely talented and passionate people, and that will always be the thing that pushes us forward. Helping our team to grow, and growing together with them is the most exciting part of our business. Of course, the 2nd hardest part is educating people about no-code. We have again been lucky to have a lot of our customers and partners learning about the advantages of no-code and coming to us prepared and ready to give it a shot, but we’re finding more frequently than not, that mainstream industry is currently extremely skeptical about the potential and possibilities of no-code. Although the overall perception of no-code today is in a far better place than was just a few years ago, most people still did not hear anything about the No-Code way, and the first thing that comes to their mind when they do is of course - “This sounds too good to be true - there has to be a catch”. Lately, this attitude has slowly, but noticeably started to shift, with companies like Webflow getting solid funding rounds, Google acquiring AppSheets, more and more startups getting into YC with a purely no-code stack, but it will still take a while before it will be “easy” to market no-code tools & services.

Do you have any tips on building, growing or monetising a no code product/business?

Focus on the areas where no-code shines. Be fast, be flexible, be ruthless with pivots, Plan Bs, and give 100% focus on getting faster to the Product-Market-Fit.

No-code tools make all of the above possible so much easier and faster than any other traditional stack, so it’s a no brainer for a solo-founder or a small and not-so-technical team about what to use to test the idea for the product as fast and efficient as it’s possible, and build their product based on the real-world feedback from the users.

We actually have a problem of having too many ideas that we can easily launch in days and put it out there for people to play around with. That’s the easy part with no-code.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, no-code is just a better tool to build things, it is not a silver bullet that takes away the grind and all the hardships of getting to a product-market fit.

It definitely makes the technical side of things easier and way more flexible, but just building on no-code alone is not enough.

The good news is that the global no-code community (regardless of the tools used) is absolutely vibrant and super-helpful when it comes to advice, support and so much more.

So if you’re considering no-code as your tech stack of choice - you’ll be in good company! No-Code-Founders is one of the shining examples of the no-code builders getting together and helping each other with overcoming product and marketing hurdles, finding jobs, sharing referrals, or simply supporting and cheering at each other when it’s needed.

I can personally say I have never experienced such a sincere atmosphere of support and camaraderie as I am experiencing every day when I’m opening my Twitter no-code feed.

So to sum up:

  • Don’t be afraid to try anything (no-code gives you an easy way to validate all of your craziest concepts)
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to the community - it’s fantastic!
  • Don’t expect miracles just because you’re building it with no-code - you still have to make all the right choices when it comes to planning your marketing strategy, doing the product design, and listening to your customer.

Where can we find out more about Zeroqode and connect with you?

We’re hanging out on Twitter more and more these days, at @vladvlarin and @levon377.

We’re also running multiple channels of support and communication with our customers on our main website, as well as in every possible channel you can imagine - our blog, our forum, our Slack & Telegram groups - you name it!

Last but not least - we're very active on Bubble Forum, so if you’re hanging out there - there’s a chance we’ll be able to give you a hand sometimes (or get some of your advice!).

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