How To Build a Minimum Viable Product Without Any Code

Joe Procopio
6 min readSep 5, 2019

Let’s talk about how we build a product from scratch with low technology and no code. Not just a mock-up, but an actual product we launch, sell, and grow.

The key is to build a pilot MVP around our core idea. Everything around that core idea should be manual, flexible, and low tech, so that it can evolve quickly as we learn.

I’ll explain why this kind of pilot is critical, and I’ll run through each part of the product cycle and discuss what kinds of low tech can substitute for future high tech counterparts.

Why No Code? Because No Rules.

Here’s a sneaky truth about tech. No one NEEDS technology. In fact, the more technology we have in our lives, the more complicated our lives become. But we embrace technology when it simplifies our lives without reminding us that it’s there. We love technology when it solves our problems and makes our lives easier. We need technology to be able to do those things we can’t do manually.

The mistake entrepreneurs make is applying rules to our tech before we understand how our users will embrace the product, how it will simplify their lives, and why they need it.

The great thing about a low tech pilot MVP is that it forces us to reproduce the manual steps that will uncover those rules. When we do things manually, we get an education on what will go wrong, which of those problems are the most costly to us and to the customer, and exactly how our tech needs to address those problems. Once we have those rules, then we build the tech.

Thus, we don’t want to enforce a lot of rules during our pilot MVP. You may go into it saying something like, “Well, at the free-to-use level I don’t want them doing this yet.” You don’t know that yet. Coding that rule before you launch the MVP is risky and expensive.

Remember, at every turn, technology enables our product, it doesn’t comprise our product.

People: This is your code

Ultimately, technology enhanced products provide the most value by making decisions for us and for our customers. But technology on its own is not a decision maker, no matter how much machine learning you throw at it. Those decisions…

Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at