The World Wide Webs

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

I haven’t coded anything in a couple of years.

Codecademy used to be a daily stop for me, but that time’s been replaced by Duolingo, where my streak of practicing Italian is up to 819 consecutive days.

Coding takes a bit of vision and concentration… but mainly a reason to do so.

Last night on Twitter, someone explained in 10 tweets how to use Webflow. Link

This is what Webflow does:

Webflow is a visual web development platform that lets you design, build, and launch completely custom websites without writing code. By combining design, animation, content management, marketing, and eCommerce tools into a single tool, it empowers non-coders and coders alike to ship and promote websites of all kinds in a faster, more cost-efficient, and more collaborative way. Link

From those who’ve used Webflow personally and professionally, I’ve heard only positive reviews.

On Glassdoor, its CEO has a 100% approval rating, and the company overall is a respectable 4.5 out of 5 stars.

A happy team that serves happy customers can raise money easier than others, as The Hustle reported last month:

Here’s a tongue twister: Companies that code no-code code for non-coders are trending.

Webflow — a software startup that gives businesses tools to build no-code websites — announced it raised $140m, the latest in a series of massive funding rounds for companies in the space.

In a news release, CEO Vlad Magdalin said that after a failed Kickstarter and rejection from Y Combinator, Webflow now has 2m users and over 100k customers across 190 countries. Link

On the topic of money, The Hustle, whose newsletter has grown in popularity over the years, got bought out this week by HubSpot ($HUBS):

HubSpot says The Hustle’s flagship newsletter has 1.5 million subscribers. It also has a subscription offering called Trends and a podcast called My First Million.

“The goal is to build the largest business content network in the world,” Parr tweeted. “Soon, we’ll expand to a variety of mediums on a bunch of different topics and will have really innovative products coming out. We’re also going to hire the best content creators in the world.” Link

“Network” is the keyword here.

In this day and age, the network is everything.

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared on Clubhouse last night, only days after Elon Musk, Ben Thompson of Stratechery tweeted, “Clubhouse is the first AirPods social network.” Link

As a correlative to Webflow, I’m also impressed by the private company Figma:

Figma is a design platform for teams who build products together. Born on the Web, Figma helps the entire product team create, test, and ship better designs, faster. Whether you’re trying to consolidate tools, get more eyes on your work, or collaborate across time zones, Figma boosts creative productivity while keeping everyone on the same page. Link

My personal design skills are worse than my coding skills.

But I can recognize a happy, growing network when I see one.

Especially when one challenges an incumbent like Adobe ($ADBE):

Figma is now over five years old and valued at $2.05 billion according to PitchBook, having raised a total of $132.87 million from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. When Figma launched in 2012 as an upstart rival to Adobe, the founding team felt it was important to allow people to collaborate on designs and work asynchronously, modeling services like Google Docs.

That early intuition has paid off: Figma saw massive growth in the past year as the coronavirus pandemic made remote collaboration more important than ever. During the pandemic, [Figma co-founder and CEO Dylan] Field told [Business] Insider he’s seen Figma used not just for design, but also for illustration, building games, and even a synchronized dance party where participants “danced” with their cursors.

Field says that 2020 was an “inflection point” because the coronavirus has put an emphasis on digital spaces over physical ones. Link

I’m not a stakeholder in either Webflow or Figma.

But I would like to be soon.

Meanwhile, get coding.

Or get designing.

Arrivederci!

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