January 14, 2024
I built advanced websites without knowing how to code using AI. Learn how this shift towards AI-assisted creation is changing entrepreneurship and enabling anyone to make custom tools.ai, artificial intelligence, machine learning, no code, low code, gpt-3, chatgpt, custom software, saas, tools, subscriptions, online services, web development, programming, coding, developers, startups, entrepreneurs, productivity, automation, future of work

We live in an age dominated by paid subscriptions for software and online services. As our digital needs grow more complex, we increasingly rely on monthly fees to access the required tools. But an exciting shift is afoot. AI has reached a level of sophistication that can empower non-coders to become tool builders.

In this piece, I'll share my experience leveraging AI to create custom solutions without knowing how to code. You'll learn why this marks a seismic shift in how online tools are built and accessed. Most intriguingly, I'll reveal how this transformation could disrupt the subscription model that currently pervades the industry.

Takeaways

  • AI can compensate for skill gaps, allowing non-coders to create sophisticated software tools by providing instructions and iterating with AI-generated code.
  • An iterative process of copying, pasting, testing, and tweaking AI code enables building complex custom solutions. 
  • If you can envision a software tool you want to exist, AI has advanced enough to assist in making it a reality.
  • This marks a seismic shift, empowering individuals to build tailored tools rather than rely on subscriptions.
  • Entrepreneurs can leverage AI to achieve high productivity with smaller, more agile teams.
  • The subscription model faces disruption as AI allows anyone to manufacture their solutions. 
  • Founders should equip teams with the latest AI coding assistants and reconsider how output is evaluated.
  • Individuals should proactively experiment with AI to get comfortable generating custom solutions.
  • We are entering an era of creative empowerment where ambition and imagination, not credentials, determine what we can build.

 

a small child riding on the back of a robot in a saddle, the robot is running towards a huge screen that has matrix style code on it.

My Journey From Non-Coder to Tool Creator Using AI

I'm not a coder. I don't have a CS degree. But I've worked around developers and digital products for years. This exposure gave me just enough foundational knowledge to envision tools I wished existed. What I lacked was the coding chops to bring those ideas to life.

That was until I tapped into new AI capabilities.

Over a multi-week process, I provided an AI assistant with clear instructions on an online tool I wanted to build. Despite my limited coding background, I created a sophisticated, custom solution by relentlessly copying, pasting, and tweaking AI-generated code.

The result? BongoCat is a website that can write its content by pulling data from the internet. I didn't need a single coding course to make it happen.

My second tool, Chatty Bugger, tackles my need for an automated interviewing and blogging assistant. Once again, leaning on AI to fill the gaps in my skills, I built precisely what I required in just one day.

So, while proficient coders can build tools faster, my experiments revealed that even non-coders can be creators with today's AI.

How is AI Enabling This Shift?

My experience distils into three key learnings:

  • AI compensates for skill gaps. By providing instructions and context, AI can generate quality code or content that addresses needs I can articulate but don't possess the skills to produce myself.
  • Iterative copying and tweaking works. I don't need to understand everything the AI provides. I can incrementally construct a complex, custom tool by repeatedly copying code, testing, troubleshooting errors, and making minor adjustments.
  • If you can envision it, you can build it. The breadth of what AI can deliver is expanding rapidly. If I describe a software solution I want to exist, much of the heavy lifting to make it a reality can now be automated.

a person showing another person an application on their mobile phone. Behnid them is a clean and beautiful futuristic city

The Implications: A More Democratic Future

This newfound ability for non-coders to create tools signifies a pivotal technological power shift. Suddenly, virtually anyone can ideate solutions for their specific needs and bring them to life with minimal coding expertise.

For entrepreneurs, it unlocks newfound agility and autonomy. No longer beholden to investors and substantial dev teams, a few skilled individuals leveraging AI can achieve remarkable productivity and reduce time-to-market.

Enabling ordinary users to build self-serve tools calls the subscription model into question. Why pay monthly fees to software companies when you can construct precisely what you require? Instead of purchasing off-the-shelf SaaS products, we only pay for the hosting infrastructure and AI resources we need to manufacture solutions.

Make no mistake. While achieving full coding proficiency still demands extensive skill-building, this AI-powered accessibility heralds a more democratic future in technology creation. As AI capabilities expand, we morph from passive consumers of tools built by others into empowered, creative builders crafting our technical universes.

Preparing for This Shift: Advice to Founders and End Users

To ride this wave rather than be swept away by it, heed this advice:

For founders: Equip your team with the latest AI coder tools and reconsider how you evaluate individual output. As AI turbocharges efficiency, traditional metrics around the code volume produced will skew.

For end users: Proactively experiment with language models like GPT-4. Ask it to build what you imagine needing, push boundaries, and learn through doing. Immerse yourself now before this technological shift becomes mainstream.

Conclusion: Ushering in an Era of Creative Empowerment

We stand at the leading edge of a new frontier - where CEOs can code, doctors can build medical apps, and teachers can digitize lessons. Job definitions rooted in specific technical skills face disruption.

The doors to creation are opening more comprehensively than ever, thanks to AI augmenting our human capabilities. As we raise the ceiling of what we can achieve individually, we inch closer to realizing our boldest visions.

Take heart that the possibility of shaping one's digital world, not just buying into someone else's, grows more democratic by the day, not through the acquisition of expertise but through its circumvention. AI doesn't call for traditional mastery; it demands a spark of human imagination and willingness to try what previously seemed unthinkable.

So dream big. Then tap these emerging tools to command your technical destiny. A future fueled by empowerment over credentials is dawning. Let us march forward, AI-assisted torch in hand, to illuminate all that can be when ambition and imagination are unlimited.

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