We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of thousands of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating and building even more productive than before.
At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journeys through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses.
Each week we highlight a member from our community and share their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.
This week we are chatting to Max Joles from Portland, Maine.
Hey Max, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?
I found my way into no-code while taking a year off from work to explore new career paths and travel. I try to stay curious — pursuing challenging and uncertain situations.
I know that I don’t have all the answers, but I’m confident in my ability to find them. That’s a great mindset to have in no-code. My curiosity has taken me around the world on a ship, prompted me to start 2 companies, and inspired me to visit 30 countries.
I joined Makerpad in the very early days when the home page was an emoji of Ben — can anyone else remember that?!
I was drawn into no-code by Webflow and its flexible CMS. From there, I ended up branching out and using tools like Zapier, Airtable and Parabola on various projects.
Taking time off seems to be a common entry point into no-code! When given room to explore new ideas, people have the time to head in a totally new direction. So can you take us through some of the projects have you built in the past and which tools did you use for them?
Most of the time I'm building and consulting on projects for others. Over the years I've built membership sites, complex automation systems, and MVP's.
My favorite tools are Webflow, Zapier, and Airtable. Recently, I've been doing a lot more with code — gasp!
A lot of my project ideas I’ve shared over the last few years are connected to my interests in travel and three core themes that I’ve been exploring for a while now. These are: reducing waste, living off the land and reducing distractions and allowing creativity the room to grow in quiet time.
One project I worked on a few years back is Made By Adventure. In 2015, after graduating college, I teamed up with my friend, Jon Maser, to work on a startup. Our experience traveling the world and interacting with locals in various destinations, convinced us that we could create more impactful group experiences than anything we’d seen on our travels.
We founded Made by Adventure to highlight travel as a force for good. We facilitate epic travel experiences. To date, we’ve launched trips in 5 countries with the help of our non-profit and social-enterprise network partners. It's no longer a full-time project, but we hope to continue running limited trips for family and friends.
I believe adventure results from a little uncertainty and minimal structure. Our idea of planning is to produce a crazy idea, find a trained local guide who can support us, and then look for open-minded people to join. We can design the conditions, but not the experience.
Travel can bring so many good things. It can evoke empathy, bring people together and tell meaningful stories. It’s not perfect, but we strive to be inclusive, considerate, and thoughtful with our approach. I built the site using Carrd and Typeform too.
Another personal project I have worked on is First Step Strategy.
I’m often approached by friends and connections who want to test out a business idea or share their creative work. They usually are non-technical people, who just want some good guidance and recommendations. I’ve spent my whole career working with early stage startups and I gladly share my ideas and time with others looking to do the same.
I created First Step Strategy to provide pro-bono mentorship to makers. To date, I’ve worked with 10 makers in various stages of an idea. From friends and connections to complete strangers, the experience of working with other creators has been rewarding. I hope to be able to offer free mentorship in the future with the hopes of inspiring creativity in others.
First Step Strategy came about because I was inspired by the no-code movement and my Makerpad membership. I challenged myself to build First Step Strategy in under a day. The site was also built and hosted on Carrd and utilizes an embedded Typeform to gather responses.
This project showcased many of the business strategies I share with first time founders and even my own clients. I'm a strong proponent of using available technology, rather than building from scratch. In this situation, an interactive Typeform was far more effective than attempting to design a form from scratch.
I hope to expand this style of peer mentorship at some point. There are plenty of large communities that exist online for makers and entrepreneurs, but there aren't enough small, peer-groups. I believe there is a real benefit of interacting with a group in this way.
You’ve built some great sites with such a simple toolset. So let's bring things up to the current day — what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?
I'm a part-time team member of the no-code agency, 8020. We help companies move faster without code. I’m also a no-code consultant in my free time, I work with businesses to identify and develop technology solutions that fit their business.
I look to uncover ROI opportunities and develop a tech roadmap with immediate returns. These days, I focus mostly on developing high-end Webflow sites. I have a handful of smaller product ideas in the no-code space I'm hoping to test out this year.
It will be interesting to see what things that you build over the next year! Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come?
I want to see no-code used more for citizen science, conservation, and grassroots organizing.
One thing I’m interested to see develop is how the role of the physical community will change in an increasingly location-independent world. Also how can we learn to see nature as a valuable technology in the future?
There are so many ways that technology will change how and where we work from in the future! Right now, do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?
Webflow is my favorite tool! I'm also looking to learn more about Airtable automations in the future.
I wrote a blog post a while back where I cover 16 tools that are in my startup marketing toolbox. There are some no-code tools in there too!
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Max. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon!
Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!