I built my app without knowing a single line of code. It was amazing how quickly I made everything work using AI and other tools.

  • James Brooks is a social media marketer who has turned to AI and no-code apps to create extra income.
  • He built an app without writing a single line of code.
  • Use the AI ​​tool Magai to help whenever he gets stuck using no-code tools.

This retold essay is based on a conversation with James Brooks, 35, creator of Thingy Bridge. It has been edited for length and clarity.

My entire career has been in social media. I mainly work with food brands like KFC, Subway and Taco Bell to create social content and market it. But lately I’ve been losing customers.

Over the past year, the economic landscape has changed significantly. Brands have really struggled due to the rising price of things like ingredients and fuel, and the marketing budget is often the first thing to cut.

I wanted to find a way to create more income for myself while helping these brands. I thought a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product could help brands market themselves using low-cost influencers. But I don’t have any experience in coding.

I decided to build my idea with no-code tools

I’ve always heard of people building apps without having to write a single line of code (people call it no code) and how powerful that could be. I decided it was time to get involved. I used no-code tools as a foundation for my product and used AI to help when I got stuck.

A few days later I had my product: Thingy Bridge. It allows brands to sign up for a monthly fee to connect with influencers willing to promote for free. Many brands can no longer afford paid influencer partnerships, but are happy to run what is referred to as a gift campaign where the brand sends the influencer their product rather than payment.

I used artificial intelligence to help me

Thingy Bridge is very heavy on databases, so I used that AirTablesa lowcode database platform e Do, which helps to connect the services.

I used the AI ​​every time I got mostly stuck maybe, which has GPT-4, as well as some other large language models (LLMs) like Claude, which is good for writing. So I asked Magai how to do things on AirTable.

For example, when an influencer signs up, some put @ in front of their username and some don’t. I went to Magai and asked, “I have a column of data. Some data will have @s at the beginning and some won’t. I want a clean version of that column without the @s. Can you create a formula that I can use in AirTable to do this ?” And it did! Sometimes it doesn’t work, but you just explain the mistake to him and go back and forth.

Thingy Bridge’s backend is mostly AirTable and Make with Magai which fills in the gaps whenever I get stuck. For the front end, I use swipe apps, who build front ends for database type apps and have a WordPress website next to that.

I didn’t need to use AI for the front end, because both Glide and WordPress are pretty straightforward. That said, I’ve heard of people building entire WordPress plugins without coding using ChatGPT, although that’s not something I’ve done.

For me, using AI really came into its own for the more complicated stuff at the database end, which sometimes involved the front end. For example, if I wanted to show some of my data on the front end in a better way (i.e. by standardizing the text), I used ChatGPT to build a function that would allow me to do that.

I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get everything up and running

All of the no-code apps worked very well with each other, and Magai answered any questions I had instantly. Previously, I would have had to sit in a Discord or forum to get these answers like I have with my social media work in the past, but AI removes that wait time.

I launched Thingy Bridge in April and we have worked with many clients since then.

I’ve since made two other no-code products, but neither have been as successful as the first. That said, JournoMofo a platform that helps filter requests from journalists on Twitter was an idea I had on my way home from work, and within two hours I had a working prototype. The next day, I had my first customer who is angry!

What you have to remember, though, is that AI is not creative

Creativity is the magic that you, a human being, bring to the table. AI is not just a magic bullet that will make you a multi-million dollar business you still have to put in the effort and be creative.

But now it’s possible for creative people to build apps without having to write a line of code. I think it is extremely powerful.

There must have been millions of people, just like me, who have always been interested in technology but never had the ability or desire to code. For me, it opened up a whole new world.

If you’ve used AI to create a product or generate revenue and would like to share your story, please email Jenna Gyimesi at jgyimesi@insider.com.

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