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  • Writer's pictureSylvester

Low-Code and No-Code Solutions: Are They Suitable for Your MVP?




In Agile methodology, the goal is to build as lean a product as possible. A lot of people look to low-code or no-code solutions to keep costs down, but the irony is that these are still sometimes antithetical to Agile dev, because you wind up with a lot of parts and pieces that are tangential to the product and it will confuse your users. If you’re wondering whether no-code or low-code solutions are suitable for your startup and when to pick them versus custom development to build your product, we have a few rules of thumb and an example of an Agile-friendly low/no-code integration to guide you. 


The Risks of Using Low/No-Code Solutions

Choosing a low-code or no-code solution can actually be overkill for an MVP if you pick the wrong product. An MVP’s purpose is to do one thing, and do it really well. Otherwise, feedback from users is diluted and not valuable. Platforms like Bubble.io or Glide are enticing to use because they allow you to build entire apps with a significant amount of customization without needing any code, at a fraction of the cost of custom development work. However, these tools present a couple of big business risks:


  • Risk #1 - Diluted User Feedback – They allow you to build a ton of features without any user testing along the way to confirm product/market fit. This inevitably leads to overbuilding. You wind up with a feature-heavy product and user feedback that is spread out across features that just don’t matter to your business and your KPIs (e.g., they’re complaining about the payment processing but that isn’t what your platform is for.)


  • Risk #2 - Problems with Data Migration/Extraction – There comes a point in time when your business will be ready to graduate from these tools (even if these low/no-code companies promise that you won’t need to.) The problem comes when you start to transition to custom tools and you’re unable to migrate or extract pertinent data out of your low/no-code tools. It can be a really rocky transition at a very sensitive time for your business. Imagine that you’ve gained market traction and a new round of funding, but now you’re faced with a terrible choice: putting your initial customers through an awful experience, or not using the custom tools that would allow your business to scale to the next phase of growth. The moment can be a negative inflection point with big repercussions for your business.



Rules of Thumb for Low/No-Code Integrations

While the above risks are why we advise against using whole-platform tools, at Mile Marker we advocate for a hybrid approach of using low/no-code integrations. There are many cost-effective low/no-code solutions in the market today that do one workflow really well (sign-ins, payment processing, etc.) that developers can integrate into a platform. They’re easy to use, maintain, and integrate, freeing up time and resources for developers to focus on creating a custom platform’s core features. And they also provide smooth and predictable user experiences for the flows that are tangential to the product, so users can focus their feedback on those core features that are essential to your business value. Here are our Agile rules of thumb for picking the right integrations:


  • Pick specific tools, not a jack-of-all-trades tool. This is where teams get tripped up and wind up with too many features that dilute the user experience. Pick a tool that performs one specific function really well, like logging in and authentication. 


  • Pick tools built on open source standards. It makes it easier to migrate away from the tool eventually, if needed.


  • Pick the most cost-effective option. Can you build it better than is available for twenty bucks? Does the tool offer better security and maintenance than you could? 


  • Remember that it’s okay if some of your MVP processes aren’t scalable in the early stages, like finding initial users and billing first clients. Wait until the user base is there and you’re clear on their needs before you choose whether to build the flow yourself or integrate an off-the-shelf solution.


One of Our Favorite Out-of-the-Box Solutions

A note before we mention this product by name: this is not a sponsored post! We just really like this product! Auth0 is a user sign-in and authentication tool that we use for almost every build with our clients. It fits all the criteria we outlined above: 


✔️It does one thing really well: sign-in authentication.

✔️It’s really cost-effective at just $23/month, and is fully supported with security and maintenance. 

✔️It’s also replaceable because even though it is closed source, it matches standards of open source protocols and can easily be switched if there was ever need. 


Staying Focused on Your MVP

Remember: the goal of building a Minimum Viable Product is market validation and user feedback. In the excitement of building something new and trying to anticipate consumer reaction, it’s easy to get distracted by out-of-the-box solutions and cool new tech that seem to be the answer to all your challenges. But as mentioned above, the big risk to this is diluted user feedback that takes your product further off track. 


Our new eBook, “Founders’ Guide: 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building an MVP,” offers a ton of guidance about how to be strategic and stay focused on your MVP to create an investable, successful product. You’ll find insights on when and how to integrate generative AI, how to establish an effective QA process, and tips for gathering valuable user feedback. All of the insights are based on Mile Marker CEO Daniel Litvak’s experience bringing more than 30 products to market to date. We understand the excitement around a truly amazing business idea, and we know what it takes to succeed (and fail). Download your (free!) eBook copy today.



About Mile Marker

Mile Marker is your strategic partner for Agile software development. Created for founders, by founders, we offer strategic software at startup speed. We specialize in aligning your technical work with your business goals through collaborative planning, offering a multidisciplinary development team, and ensuring ongoing support for your software. If you’re searching for a software development company or need a technical partner, start the conversation with an introductory call.


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