So what can we learn from Ali?
I believe the secret to starting anything is learning from other people. But the hard thing is, finding people who are not too far out in front of where you stand today in your journey.
Ali, has recently launched his design studio and is building some amazing projects in Webflow.
Why is it so helpful to talk with Ali now? Because it’s always best to talk with someone what they learned when they just have gone through it.
This is part 1 of 2 about collaborating with someone on a project. I recently worked with Ali to redesign Side Project Stack. Tons of lessons learned.
This is an intro into Ali, as he shares his journey, style and learnings of what it has been like to quit his day job and start his own thing.
It’s actually a pretty funny story. What many people don’t know about me is that poetry got me into this whole no-code thing. Back home in Amsterdam, next to working for a consultant for a big Saas company, I wrote poetry in my free time.
It was something that started out as a method of expression during a difficult time in my life and turned into a very serious hobby after. I shared my poems over Instagram and was growing my audience quickly.
At one point I wanted to write a book containing my poems. So I started working on it day and night. After a few months of dedicated work, I had my book. I had my Instagram account, all I needed was a website to promote my book.
Being low on cash, I couldn’t afford to have my website built. I needed to figure a way out to build the website myself.
Luckily, one of my best friends was earning his money doing Bubble projects at his company Minimum Studio. He told me about Webflow and all its possibilities. After playing around with the app, I was sold. I was amazed by the endless possibilities Webflow offered. I couldn’t believe that after a few days of practice, I was able to build the website that I wanted.
After that moment, I decided this is what I wanted to do from then on. I quit my job and started offering Webflow services. Never regretting a day.
For me, the most difficult thing was building in a logical way. It really isn’t something that has to do with the way Webflow works. It was more a basic understanding of HTML and CSS structuring. I believe the first website I’ve ever built still contains a ‘div block 64’. It hurts my soul knowing that these unnamed divs are still out there.
Ali Jamal Design is still a young company finding the perfect place in this market. As the whole no-code movement is developing itself rapidly, so are we. It’s difficult for me to describe the perfect project
Two projects I really enjoyed working on are tap.global and sideprojectstack.com. I think that is because of the people behind the companies. In both cases, they were open, honest people who really understood the creative process behind designing and building a website.
Designing and building a website is an ongoing conversation between a designer and client. It’s like a philosophical conversation that determines the direction a design needs to go. Not based on personal preferences or opinions.
I remember doing my first project for ‘The Orange Boost’ a starting online marketing agency in Valencia. I remember coming across their website, thinking this is terrible.
I asked them if I could build their new website for free, and naturally they agreed. Shortly after, they went live and started receiving many requests.
They got many requests for new web designs and websites as well. As a thank you for building their website, they started referring all these leads to me, which they still do today. This really kick-started my career as a Webflow designer.
Any advice you could give to yourself when you just started out?
I would tell myself to talk to more people in this business. I often have people contact me for advice, jobs or collaborations. And I really enjoy talking with these people and helping them out as well. I’m sure that many people out there are willing to help anyone who is willing to ask. I think I could have learned many things and saved myself a lot of time by just talking to an experienced designer or developer.
In two words: time and money. And wouldn’t we all like to have some more of both. No-code enables people and businesses to quickly build, test, pivot and validate their ideas.
If I have to compare creating and editing websites to traditional front-end developers, my work can be up to 20 times faster while maintaining the same quality. I still can’t believe it myself sometimes but it’s true.
I truly believe no-code is still at the beginning of the hockey stick growth curve . More and more companies will soon realize the potential of no-code apps and will wish they had started utilizing it sooner.
You can find me on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ali_jamal91
My design site: Ali Jamal Design.
I spent 1,000+ hours talking with 150+ No-code Founders, who have generated millions of dollars with their businesses without actually writing code.
How are they doing it?
I spent years researching and building on what they do. I wrote The Lean Side Project so you can build and launch your product.
I started Side Project Stack to help Makers reduce the time and effort to make stuff with no-code.I launched Get Stackd. A former #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt. It helps Makers find the best no-code tools to use to make something. It's a 100% automated web app built with no-code.
What's interesting about it? Get Stackd take's the data from over dozens and dozens successfully made no-code projects to recommend the best starting point of tools to use to make your idea. I hope that you try it out. It's perfect for just starting out.Ill be adding more to the no-code space.
If you'd like to stay updated you can sign up for the newsletter and join over 3,000+ Makers getting the best insights on no-code and product management. Thanks for reading.
Once a week, valuable and actionable insights, no bs -- promised.