When I put on my analyst hat and look at the world of application development I have a bit of a different focus than most. I believe in a future world where business users – people who have full time business roles that don’t lend themselves to weeks worth of training – can adjust the workflow and business logic in a software application without needing to write any code. When I apply the “no code” label I’m focusing on that specific user interaction. That doesn’t necessarily preclude the need for somebody somewhere to write some code or get some training. There are technology management and support roles for that.
Doug Wilson at LOCO appreciated that perspective, but was quick to tell me that you really can run a business on a completely no code, no IT staff, nobody writing code anywhere, type of platform. He and his team didn’t think it could happen at first. But they have an early following of happy customers who they’ve converted from their IT services business who have convinced them that it can happen.
It all happened out of necessity really – Doug and crew were working with non-profit associations, and other extremely budget conscious clients who didn’t need the flashiest custom workflow automation app. They just wanted to manage their data and get work done. Much like someone who uses Wix, MyShopify, Squarespace or any of the other drag and drop website building tools on the market, Doug saw many clients who needed something custom, but couldn’t afford the time delay or budget hit of a full soup-to-nuts custom application.
To be clear – Doug doesn’t want to deliver a platform that will let you build the new age claims management application that ties together a million APIs to make an automated decision about a claim and route it to different teams for a tight turnaround SLA. There are plenty of awesome platforms that do that. Doug wants to help the business that needs to manage their data model on the fly, attach a document to a task, and see it all on any device tomorrow without the cloud management hassle. The type of things that you wish Google Drive would let you do more of without having to script or buy more stuff.
“We are really shooting for the small to mid-size business that is underserved and understaffed. We want to give them a way to manage their data and build helpful applications without worrying about all of the technical stuff,” Doug explained.
In a way, it’s kind of a blast from the past. Doug continued, “we used to do stuff like this with Lotus Notes back in the day, but for some reason that capability got lost when the cloud and SaaS took over the world.”
In true LOCO fashion, Doug was able to hop into the product during our web meeting and show off a few things – the same way he would in a demo. “We can just build stuff during the demo that applies to the customer, and they really enjoy seeing something they can use come together so fast.” I was impressed with the simple user interface and experience. It’s easy to see how they could build more capability into the platform as they emerge from beta with their early customers.
Any time you are talking about application development from a low or now code perspective, you are essentially talking about abstraction. Putting something a little more familiar or easy to comprehend around the technical building blocks so that less technical people can manipulate the app to their liking. Loco has gone to great lengths to do that here, simplifying data management concepts down to playing card type concepts with cards, decks, and sets.
The price seems to match the philosophy, which hasn’t always been the case in this space. With plans starting at $100/month for a basic subscription and maxing out at $400/month for an enterprise package, it really should be accessible for most small business use cases. They also offer a generous 60-day trial at no cost the offers all features, unlimited apps, and unlimited users.
2019 should be a big year for Doug and LOCO as they continue to add new features to the platform and supercharge its capabilities. The profitable services business behind the scenes appears to have been the perfect incubator for the platform concept. We’ll be catching up with Doug in the future, but if you want to give LOCO a try today, we’d be happy to introduce you to Doug and the team.
Learn more about LOCO: https://try.loco.build
Get a little LOCO with a free trial*: https://loco.build/beta
*I’d recommend a demo to start the trial.