"You just need to ship. My products have so many grammatical mistakes, but who cares. I just launched it."
Sharath encapsulates what the no-code movement is all about. He is the potent combination of a thinker and a doer, so much so that he shipped 7 projects in 2019. And not just launched into the void, but actually ones that got noticed on Product Hunt as well as by people he greatly admires.
He moved from India to the US in 2013 and works as a product manager designing apps for a multinational company. Although he has never been able to code himself, he has always been excited by startups and dreams of building his own company.
“You don’t need to wait for anyone. You just need a learning mindset.”
“I tried to start a few startups back in the day but I had too much dependency on finding a technical co-founder to make my ideas a reality. When I discovered no-code I realised I could do it myself, I didn’t need funding or a co-founder to create things. All you need is an idea and a solution for that problem. You don’t need to wait for anyone. You just need a learning mindset.”.
"When I first discovered no-code I decided my mantra would be to ship something, learn something, and see what happens."
Apart from a learning mindset, he has a healthy attitude to failure. “Even if all fails, you’ll learn a tonne making all these things. When I first discovered no-code I decided my mantra would be to ship something, learn something, and see what happens. So many people have ideas but very few execute.”
Ironically his first idea came when he was searching for tools to help him make his first projects. There were so many tools available but there was no single place to find them. So he made Tools for Makers and launched it on Product Hunt. “The reception was incredible, it got in the top 3 products of the day, and I got loads of support from the Product Hunt team and the community. They’re all so positive.”
This gave him a confidence boost which eventually led to him collaborating with one of his all-time heroes: entrepreneur and philosopher Naval Ravikant. Sharath loved consuming his content but found that it was dispersed around the internet in a variety of formats. So he built a site to curate it all in one place. It took him two months to launch, but he had plenty of encouragement from other fans of Ravikant, including Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt.
He then decided to send the site to Ravikant himself in a cold email. To his surprise, he replied and wanted to help Sharath to improve the site and make it a bit more polished. They worked together to change the content so that the right content was showing first. Ravikant liked it so much it was, for a time, linked in his Twitter bio.
Sharath believes “you just have to be honest and authentic when you reach out to someone, and let them know what you’re doing”. He says everyone he’s contacted like this has replied back and helped him in many ways. “This made me so confident that this method works. But you have to be very authentic and honest about your approach. You have nothing to lose. That’s what I told myself, just half an hour of time composing the email. Reach out to people, ask with curiosity, they will reply back and help you”.
"Reach out to people, ask with curiosity, they will reply back and help you”
Using this method he has also interacted with James Bushara of the Below The Line podcast, and Sahil, founder of Gumroad, who agreed to hunt his 4th product Really Good Questions.
Asked how he manages to launch so many projects when many struggle to launch one, Sharath replies: “You just need to ship. My products have so many grammatical mistakes, but who cares. I just launched it. Over time it will be better and better because you’ll be doing more and more.”
His goals for 2020?
“I’m trying to build more sustainable platforms for audiences who will come back again and again.”
Follow Sharath here: https://twitter.com/5harath
His latest project: https://wfhmanual.com/