E145 Vishal Sahu: Founder & CEO @ DrapCode

Episode 145 April 29, 2022 00:24:28
E145 Vishal Sahu: Founder & CEO @ DrapCode
NoCode Wealth
E145 Vishal Sahu: Founder & CEO @ DrapCode
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Show Notes

Vishal Sahu is the Founder & CEO of the NoCode platform DrapCode. Vishal is a NoCode Evangelist and lover of Open Source technologies.

He previously was the Co-Founder & CEO @ FintechLabs India, founder at NexThoughts, the Senior Director of Engineering at Perfios (Fintechlabs acquisition) the CTO and Co-Founder at Investly.

Twitter: @vishsahu

Website: DrapCode.com

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Episode Transcript

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:16 Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling every day they built for hours and hours but didn't ship and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find a way because of this, makers became founders and live the lives they deserve. Because of this, founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to fail in multiple startups, yet, learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine, even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now, I'm rebuilding my life one more time. 1% a day sharing the wisdom of luminaries I've interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Forbes, Technology Council, Harvard Financial Times, and even a priest from the Vatican church. Everyone is welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Vishal Sahil. Vishal is the founder and CEO of drab code. He is a no code evangelist and lover of open source technologies. V. Shell previously, was the co founder and CEO of tyntec Labs, India, the founder at max thoughts, the senior director of engineering at Perry FiOS FinTech labs acquisition, and the CTO and co founder at invest Lee drab code is a no code platform where makers can build and launch full fledged web applications without writing a single line of code using free templates and pre built layouts to build their web apps even faster. We shall How are you today? Vishal Sahu 2:27 Yeah, hi, I'm doing good. How are you? Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:31 I'm feeling optimistic, hopeful, positive, and honored to have you here. And to understand your mind even more, if you were today, to return back in time to your beginning in entrepreneurship, and give yourself some advice, what would be some important things you would share Vishal Sahu 2:53 to spend more and more time on learning things to actual things, rather than focusing on like shortcuts, Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:01 thank you. However, at the same time, this could be problematic. So I want to understand your vision. Because some people will spend all their years learning and never doing anything about it never starting and using it as a lazy paralysis of analysis or procrastination way. So how to balance that? Vishal Sahu 3:23 Yeah, so I think I can tell a bit about me how I did it. So basically, instead of joining a big established company, having a stable job, stable income, I went to a startup join of five people company, so that I can learn each and everything. So although I was hired as a programmer, but I tried to learn everything, to run a small company. So that was, which I tried. And something which I, like suggest people do, basically look beyond what you have in the early stages of your career. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 4:04 I really love how valuable this is. But I want to focus on a specific point that I discovered its power, which is networking, and I noticed you're the co founder at various companies, therefore you weren't doing it alone. A lot of engineering minded people are founders they focus on work, give no time to meeting other people to collaboration to partnership or networking. Were you one who gave time for networking? Did it change your life? Or was it just some lucky situations where you met the right people, but you are focused on learning, learning learning more than meeting people and networking? Vishal Sahu 4:46 I think I somehow I was lucky. Other thing it was a bit of balance. So I was meeting a lot of interesting people. I met a lot of interesting friends. So when I started my end partnership Germany, I was traveling a lot meeting clients. In fact, till date I've been to more than around 55 countries, most of those countries are just to meet clients, potential clients, old clients. And the clients also keep visiting us because initially they start as a as a record contains or as a client, but then they become friends. And then they start introducing me to their personal network to their friends. And then things kept going. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 5:30 Wonderful. And let's speak about draft code because you know how to code. So what's interesting to you or fascinating about no code and open source as well, what made you in love with it, because some programmers and coders actually, they consider that, well, if you don't code and do it the hard way, then you're not doing it properly. And all those things. So What gave you that open mind and ability and interest in no code and in an open source? So basically, Vishal Sahu 6:09 I've been coding for almost one and a half decade now. And what I realized that there are a lot of things which you are just doing a repetitive work, right, I'll give you an example. So let's say for one of the application, I'm implementing Facebook login, or maybe Twitter login, or maybe some API to fetch data, now I need to do same thing again. And again, again, and again, in any application I build, which needs the same feature. And at the same time, there are a lot of people out there in the world who have very good analytic skill, very good logical thinking, but they don't know programming, or maybe they used to know programming once, but now they are no longer hands on. So to have those people, I realized the same problem that okay, there shouldn't be a way for them to bring their ideas to shape without needing to do any programming. Because programming language as of right, like so, like, the field is growing so far, that programming language keeps changing every five years. So technology completely changes in a period of five years. And it's hard to catch up when you're not 100%. Hands on. So this made me to think that okay, let's learn something which would be much more bigger of then hardcode programming, which only programmers can do. I Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 7:32 really love this, especially your mention of people who have great analytical and logical skills and thinking, but they don't know how to program. Well, someone else when I interviewed before mentioned that some people have, like great intuition for creating apps. How would someone know they have the right analytical, mental logical skills to be great at no code? or can any person learned that? Can any person become a no code maker? Vishal Sahu 8:07 In a short answer, yes, anyone can become but even to work with no code at forms. Someone needs to be in touch with the with the technology means they should at least know the basic that what is a form? What is an email? What is a button? Or what is a data, so at least they should be somewhat familiar to the terms, which given the age we are living, I think most of the people now know all these things. But yes, they need to be somewhere in touch with the tech space. If they are, then they can easily use any new code platform. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 8:45 Thank you. And as someone who was involved in acquisitions in startups and various companies, a lot of know code makers struggle, not specifically with the technical skill, but in validating their idea that the need the problem they're solving. What's your advice about coming up with ideas that can bring profit to the person creating it so that they don't spend all the time and yes, no code makes the project completion much faster, but often it's on apps that nobody wants to use later or only very few people. So what will be your advice, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the selection of idea and the validation of Product Market Fit Vishal Sahu 9:36 Yeah, so if you ask me ideas is like 01 idea without execution is nothing. So the easiest or like the best approach, which I would say is go and talk to your customers, customers, customers, take feedback, iterate, talk to your customers. Product building should be the least priority. The very first priority is to identify the problem whether people are willing to pay for it it, whether people are interested what you're building and interest me just not they're saying yes, if you build it, I will use it. No, it should be the other way around that, okay? Are you willing to pay me if I give you this this piece? So the more you talk to a customer, the more feedback you get, the quicker you will reach product market fit. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 10:20 This is absolutely great. Especially you're mentioning customers, because I believe there is a problem that some people do, which is they ask friends, they ask other makers or anything. And we ask those people are nice and good people, but they're not the customer. And the person who pays is the person who votes with their money. And therefore it's their problems, their thoughts, their issues that really, really matter. Tell me more about draft code. How did the idea come to be? Why did you choose to enter and compete in a market where there are other companies doing some, like no code welding and all that ability? And how did you see yourself as different? Vishal Sahu 11:07 Okay, so I've been in technology business for more than 12 years now. Okay, I've launched a couple of companies. So the companies, which you mentioned are the one which read somewhere had acquisition or something, which good happening to them. But there are at least 12 or 15 products, which I launched, which never reached anywhere, right? So I don't even mention it. Those are all failed startup. But I wouldn't call them as a fail because they taught me a lot of things, a lot of things about entrepreneurship, about products and all. So what I realized that you keep doing a lot of things repetitively, and it takes a time to do the same thing again, and again. So I thought, Let's build a product, which should be we should make you to build products easier. That's how the idea of no code came in, when this idea came, I was not even aware that there's a term called no code out there. Because I was not even aware that there is some something like this exist, then I started researching on internet that, can we build a software which can build a software, then slowly, slowly, so I started this journey back in 2018, there was just the idea that there need to be some faster way to build software's. So I have not heard of no code low code at that time. Then I came across bobble in 2020. This the very first time and I heard something about a no code platform where you can actually build web applications, like without writing code. And then I realized maybe there are issues there are I went to community forums, I went to various channels. And I realized there are a couple of issues in the existing platform. And a lot of people want. So the tendency with people have the makers have in mind that you go build your MVP, or the first version with an open platform. But once you start seeing some traction, or you see people are using a product, then scrap it and build everything from scratch. This idea has stuck to my mind that why people are throwing their temporary or their MVP or their first version, which they have built using so many different different tools. So I thought it should not be the big way. Because whatever effort whatever time energy money you have spent in building the prototype, you should be able to continue your journey from there. And then I started looking for tools which I can use for a longer term, it should not be just use and throw model. Right, then I couldn't find a lot of tools. And if there are tools, but they were very costly, very, like highly enterprise. So it was quite hard. And I thought, let me have something like this, which people should be able to use from the day one of their journey and they shouldn't be able to continue as long as they want it to be hence with big rapport. So the biggest differentiator between Trapcode and other notebook platforms is the code export. That is one feature. Second, there is no vendor lock in you are not locked into an open platform, you get your code in very good technologies like no GS, JavaScript Express MongoDB. Then other thing is you can deploy your own own infrastructure. So it's 100% enterprise friendly you your data, your privacy and security, which is a very big concern for enterprise nowadays is completely in your own control. And at the same time, if you can extend the capability by adding code since I come from a technology background, I know how to glue together the no code piece and the code piece. So we have built it in a way where you build a quick prototype using no code platform. You can launch your own infrastructure you can be 100% enterprise friendly, and at the same time, you can continue extending the front started using code or using again, no code, and continuous and you don't have to scrap your tool, once you have started gaining traction, so we are part of your vision dream, the first version, the MVP, the growth, scalability in your continuous journey, we are not just part of your one of these steps. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 15:20 I love that. And it shows that you actually spend time with your clients, with the users with the people to understand their goals and dreams. And who seems to be the person or the type of company or startup that gravitates towards drab code more than any present the first time beginner, no coder? Is it serial entrepreneurs, first entrepreneurs, like what kinds of companies find the most value and use in their app code and in those, like templates, and workflows that you don't need to repeat repetitive tasks and repetitive code, but to make it into a no code, reusable thing that saves you time and makes their goals and dreams come true. Vishal Sahu 16:11 Yeah, so most of the users which we are going around are small companies, maybe sometime individuals, people who have a clear idea what they are looking for what they want to build, or companies who want to automate their processes, and the core focus what we are doing as of now, we are more focusing around enterprise friendly HealthTech FinTech application we are there are not many no code platform, which allow you to let's say, store data in an encrypted form transferred it over the network in encrypted key management compliances. So all those things, since I come from a FinTech background, I understand those things really, really well. And we do have a good team who understand all those aspects. So the focus is around small enterprises and individuals who are looking to launch much more secure, scalable, faster web applications quickly. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 17:07 Thank you. And let's return back to your experience. I mean, you have so much experience with startups with building growing companies and all that. Why didn't you choose the typical corporate route? What interests you and entrepreneurships and startups knowing that there is a lot of like, additional anxiety or stress that comes from? Well, you don't know if tomorrow you'll make revenue or not, you're responsible for all of it, compared to being in a corporate where you know, your salary is somewhat secure and all that. So is it your personality? Is it a belief that you can make a lot more as an entrepreneur than as an employee? Or you're just love that risk and gamble? Or what is it about you that attracted you to this lifestyle? Vishal Sahu 18:01 Okay, so that's a really good question. So basically, initially, when I started, it was a huge risk, I was very afraid whether I will be able to do it or not. So this is back in 2013, when I started my first company, and unfortunately, after two months, we had to shut it down. So we couldn't survive more than two months. At that time I launched a product, it did well, but no one was willing to pay it. We were able to acquire 30,000 users. So it was a b2c platform, you were able to acquire 30,000 users, but most of them were free users, right? They were not willing to pay it was more like a newsletter subscription. Okay, so now I had two option either to go back to my corporate job or continue the struggle. Then I started something else, then I started doing consulting. And over a period of time, I realized that although there's a struggle, but you learn a lot, you enjoy it a lot. You talk to a lot of new people, and then everyone teaches you something. Then I started enjoying the journey. Then I launched one another product, and then I got an opportunity to move to Estonia to start in Wesley. I met a lot of good people, nice people, different culture. So and obviously there was always a chance that things may not work out and you will have to come back. But at each step, I just used to think that okay, what what is a voice which can happen? Every day as an individual, I'm growing, I'm learning new things. I'm growing. Technically, I'm growing socially. And I'm learning a lot of new managerial scale, how to handle people, how to hire people, how to interview them, how to motivate them, motivate them. So in a span of last eight years, I have hired more than 300 people just to work for my different different startups. Right. So I started enjoying journey sooner than even going Back to a corporate jobs scares me. So I just keep thinking that, Okay, until next day until as so I just keep moving, I don't plan another six months, one year or five years. I just plan next week next month. And that's all and we'll see what will happen and so far I've been lucky enough that things kept on in my favor somehow I was lucky things kept moving in we are here are like launching so many products launching so many startups. And even before starting Trapcode, I had this very good opportunity to continue my corporate job or take take a very good position in a established company. But I thought, Okay, I'm not may not be adding that much value, what I could add, being an entrepreneur, again, launched something which actually the people need, and I started building rapport. So this is basically the passion which keeps driving me. And there is always this fear that Okay, what if something do not work out? Then if I go in compare, then I think, okay, maybe I'm much more valuable for any company as compared to when if I don't move to enterpreneurship at all. So obviously, it is adding value every day. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 21:11 I agree. And I want to like specifically mentioned, you said, adding value, it's also growing your own value, like you said, where if someday you have to or choose to have a job, you'll have a much better job. Because of your unique background. I love this very much. And I want to ask you one thing, you spoke about no code, there is also automation and all that. And yes, a lot of makers are working part time or after their jobs to build their small startup to try everything. At the same time, we're moving into a world where there is a lot of automation and AI that will replace a lot of jobs. Where do you think is the highest value of humans, that people should focus on developing those skills so that if AI replaces a lot of jobs, people will be ready, and they will not find themselves shocked and out of a job without a plan B. So what do you believe are the skills people should develop the technology skills, the creativity, the no code skills, or whatever, so that they will always be competitive, no matter how smart AI machine learning, and things like that become? Vishal Sahu 22:29 I think the most important skill which people should learn is to learn things quickly, right? Because nowadays, world is changing so fast that every five years or 10 years things change drastically. So instead of sticking to any one technology, any one skill set, people should be able to multiply their skills, learn more and more new things to upcoming things, because automation and AI may end up like killing some jobs, or it will open ample of opportunities for people which were not there before the AI era. Right? So I'm 100% positive that there will be much more jobs for technical, non technical people. Even when all these automation comes, Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:17 thank you so much we shall this was enriching. This was wonderful and full of wisdom. And please share more about draft code as well as if people want to use it to benefit from it. What are the links for them to do so? And of course, I will make sure to include your Twitter in the description. Vishal Sahu 23:39 Sure. So Trapcode here, they can go and visit www.trapcode.com They can create a free account and start using it's free for everyone. The there is a forever free plan. And once you plan to go live then you can convert to a paid plan which starts with $25 a month. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:59 Thank you so much, and I wish you progress success and to keep adding value to this wonderful community. We're part of the no code community. Vishal Sahu 24:11 Thank you

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