Back in 2015, I was leading an engineering team at an early-stage education technology startup. We had built an early version of our textbook rental platform, but user adoption was slow and the sales cycles are long when you’re selling college textbooks (students generally only buy them twice per year).
As we debated ways we could grow faster, one of the company’s founders decided he wanted to try something new: he was going to “build” a question and answer platform (like Stack Overflow) for our users. This would allow us to offer college textbooks and original content and discussions that traditional retailers didn’t have.
Like many developers, I was skeptical of using software we had little control over, but after a few years of exploring this issue, I’ve gotten a lot more bullish on low-code tooling. Buying software instead of building it has advantages, especially when your goal is to iterate faster.