ACQ2: The Acquired Interviews

We're joined by Webflow's Co-Founder and CEO, Vlad Magdalin, talking about how he started the company (over a decade, trying three times), how to nail the timing of your startup, and the future of the "no-code movement."

Vlad took his company through YCombinator in 2013, and raised only $3m in the following six years, before closing a $72m Series A from Accel earlier this year. He gives his perspective on why now is the only time Webflow could have worked (not in 2009, the last time he tried to start it), what's changed in browser technology, and how he was inspired by one of the original designers of the iPhone software. Vlad also shares his wisdom for other founders and opportunities he thinks will be available for entrepreneurs in the next five years when robust "no-code" infrastructure is built out.

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“The differentiator between No-Code and Low-Code is that Low-Code makes this implicit admission that in order to really finish a project, I’m going to need a developer. Or I am going to need to know how to take it across that last mile. In No-Code, the aspiration is that for the vast majority of cases, you will not that. Or, if you do, that one or a few developers that can create the No-Code version that abstracts away the Low-Code version and put it into the hands of millions.” -Vlad Magdalin, @callmevlad

 

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Show Links:

Bret Victor – The Future of Programming (youtube)

Bret Victor – Inventing on Principle (vimeo)

Paul Graham – Default Alive or Default Dead Essay

 

Show Bookmarks:

[00:00] – Meet Vlad and Webflow

[04:25] – The first and second evolution of Webflow

[10:30] – The third attempt at starting Webflow

[19:26] – Serendipity and the last iteration of Webflow

[25:50] – Webflow’s Product Market Fit

[30:00] – Webflow Today

[35:53] – Segmentation and the Ideal Customer Profile

[38:52] – The No-Code Movement

[46:52] – How Webflow can change how problems are solved

[48:10] – The rise of Productivity and Creativity Software

[54:50] – How Webflow got to Profitability and Investment Strategy

 

People Worth Knowing:

Scott Cook

Bill Campbell

John Donahoe

Scott Adams

Bret Victor

Brian Chou

Paul Graham

Arun Mathew

 

Companies Mentioned in Episode:

Dreamweaver

Intuit

Stripe

Y Combinator

Corel Draw

Shopify

Apple

HP

Tennis Channel

Quiksilver

Wall Street Journal

Weebly

Square Space

TurboTax

eBay

Photoshop

Wordpress

Google

Superhuman

Notion

Airtable

Sketch

Figma

Atlassian

Qualtrics

 

Episode Specific Terms:

WYSIWYG

No-Code Movement

CMS

Scaffolding

Product-Market Fit

Domain Battles

Web 2.0

Responsive Design

Direct Manipulation

Web Browser as Application Platform

Landing Page

OAUTH

User Authentication

Web Site vs Web Application

Full Stack

Node

CDN

JavaScript

No-Code vs Low-Code

 

Ben and David’s Affiliations:

Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC

Pioneer Square Labs, @psl

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What is ACQ2: The Acquired Interviews?

ACQ2 is Ben and David's conversations with expert founders and investors. Acquired the stories of great companies — and ACQ2 dives deeper into the lessons we can learn from them, often with the protagonists themselves.