Wed, May 31 2023~4min

Is Software Couture still a thing in the age of No-Code

Looking back at these past few years, it’s amazing how no-code platforms were able to democratize app development.

The No-code revolution instilled a democratic culture in the tech industry, enabling almost anyone to bootstrap a technology venture with little or no technical knowledge. 

Tools and platforms like Bubble, Webflow, Softr, Glide and others,  each have their own learning curve, which brought to life a new kind of technical pioneer - the no-coder (more on that later)

The Expanding Universe of No-Code 

The no-code realm is in continuous growth and with the emerging generative AI technology, there is no doubt that software couture is facing some tough competition.

How does be-spoke software fit within this grand schema?

As automation is carving a standard path in development, does the need for bespoke, hand-crafted development still hold its ground?

Will no-code solutions forever reign supreme?

There's no absolute black-or-white response.

Business Needs: The Fundamental Factor

The answer primarily boils down to the unique needs of your business.

It is crucial to thoroughly understand the granular elements of the product you’re attempting to bring to life.

Bespoke software development is still relevant despite automation and AI advancements. It can provide a competitive advantage by addressing unique challenges and requirements that cannot be solved with off-the-shelf software..

To aid understanding, let's put this into a digestible perspective, drawing a parallel with the world of fashion, specifically suits.

Let's envision this scenario.
Typically, there are three categories of suits you can opt for.

The first category is the 'off-the-rack' type, the second involves 'made-to-measure' (or 'done-for-you') suits, and the third category pertains to 'tailored' (or 'bespoke') suits.

Most of us typically choose between the first two categories and, in most instances, they prove to be a satisfactory fit. They adequately serve their purpose, although they often require minor tweaks and alterations to ensure an ideal fit.

However, there's a niche that indulges in the third type — tailored suits. The differences between a tailored suit and its off-the-rack counterpart are striking.

Tailored suits might cost a hefty premium, but they offer an unparalleled, unique experience.

They promise a suit that’s been specifically crafted to your specifications, featuring high-end materials, ensuring longevity, and exuding an unmatched aura of refinement.

Keeping this analogy in mind, let's circle back to our primary topic of discussion.

One could safely argue that 'off-the-rack' and 'done-for-you' solutions equate to the prebuilt themes, templates, and plugins readily available in the tech marketplace.

These options typically come at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke software solution.

Advantages and Limitations of No-Code/Low-Code Platforms 

Now, you might be wondering...

"Is the No-Code path right for me?" There are myriad successful businesses out there that owe their genesis to no-code or low-code platforms.

The tools available in today's no-code/low-code ecosystem are impressive in their capabilities. They're intuitively designed and relatively easy to master, offering a plethora of predefined themes, templates, and plugins.

These tools empower you to virtually build anything that you can conceptualize.

Moreover, these platforms are cost-effective and dependable, delivering a secure and efficient environment to launch your business venture.

If you're aiming for a swift time-to-market (typically under 3 months) and operating with a limited budget, these solutions may be worth considering.

No-code tools are particularly adept at crafting simplistic apps and products, especially when there's no requirement for complex data management.

These platforms are optimally designed to build Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) for startups operating on a tight budget or limited resources.

However, adopting this approach does present a set of risks:

  • Over time, costs may escalate, particularly if third-party integrations are required.
  • Non-tech-savvy individuals may find some tools challenging to grasp, despite their intuitive design, therefore they will still need to hire no-coders
  • Over-reliance on prebuilt templates and components may limit customization, making it challenging for your product to stand out from the crowd.
  • There's a persistent risk of the no-code platform exiting the market, which could be detrimental to your business's survival.

So, it's essential to tread with caution.

The Case for Bespoke Development

"What about custom-tailored or bespoke software, then?"

Each startup is a unique entity and should strive to provide superior value and user experience to its customers.

The product you bring to the marketplace should mirror your brand's distinct personality — the archetype.

It should be a cut above the rest, making its mark with its uniqueness.

If your product calls for an intricate level of customization or needs to incorporate numerous third-party integrations, then ready-made, off-the-rack solutions may not cut it.

A bespoke solution for your product or startup could be the ideal fit for your business needs. This custom approach guarantees an unparalleled level of uniqueness and complexity, akin to a perfectly tailored suit that fits you like a glove.

Just like a dedicated tailor working to craft your perfect suit, a dedicated team of tech professionals will invest their expertise into your idea, working in an agile methodology to iterate different versions of your product. They'll ensure harmony between all systems and components.

On average, developing a custom MVP takes around six months, although this can vary depending on the resources at hand and the complexity of the project.

Admittedly, custom solutions have a higher upfront cost, but they're built to withstand future challenges and can save money in the long run by avoiding the costs associated with future modifications or third-party integrations.


Coming back to the suit analogy, your choice greatly depends on the occasion and your unique needs. Do you see yourself donning a custom-tailored suit?

The critical point is to thoroughly understand what you're aiming to build and comprehend the pros and cons associated with each approach.

It's entirely feasible to kickstart your journey with a no-code approach, create an MVP to validate your market and product, and then transition to a bespoke solution when the time is right. This largely depends on your resources and your product's evolution.

Sticking to no-code platforms can work seamlessly if your product doesn't call for significant customization. As mentioned earlier, numerous successful businesses have risen from the roots of these platforms.

However, if your vision requires extensive customization and complexity, the off-the-rack solutions may not be the ideal fit for the long haul.

I'm here to assist you in identifying what suits your business idea the best and help you make the most informed decision that aligns with your business objectives.

Thank you for sticking to the end.

Join The Grindster newsletter

Get insights and inspiration for your own entrepreneurial and personal growth journey from my experiences and those of others in the industry.