Minsar Special Event - Let's take a creative journey
Hello Melvin, thanks for accepting this invitation and joining me for this Minsar Keynote We wanted to dive into the notion of design, creativity and communication so we thought you'd be the best-dressed person for this But before discussing all these subject in detail I wanted you to introduce yourself as well as presenting your company which is a network of artists and creators called NDA Hello Gaetan, thanks for the invitation. So I'm Melvin Bonnaffé and I'm a co-founder of NDA NDA is an agency in which my brother Edwin and Quentin le Dréan. We also work with Alexandre We are a 3D photographer, 3D artists and we work and dabble in the world of fashion, music, and for some high-end customers in the luxury business. We are creators in the sense that we create our assets and products and we focus to use all the potential tool Yes tools at our disposal We utilise them to create dreams for our customer and for ourselves The individuals with We see in the work that you do that you've created a specific style You use 3D for example but if we look into details How did you decide to collaborate all together and how did you create NDA and what is the source of your inspiration I'll answer these questions one after the other My brother and I attended quite a few Artistic Events during which we created storytellings and transformed Galleries into film sets on these sets, the only actor was the owner of the Gallery playing his owner role and in a style where we would question the world of tomorrow and how we will interact with this new upcoming world. So the question revolving around Eternity So what we call Telomerisation or other matter such as industrial cloning What to do with deformed clones, what should they become? and other elements such as as Cryogenics. So we attended several Events while asking these questions So we concluded that if we don't address the issue with a massive amount of documents It won't be sustainable for us and we would have nothing to "sell" We wanted to collaborate with Brands or designers or musicians Or with other creative agencies so we could confronte our vision with and to other people So we decided to launch NDA and at a very early stage we met Alexandre et Quentin fresh out of school and they have the same vision so they joined us and they brought along An alternative vision and new skills And so I'll answer your next question regarding our style the simple answer is WAR We are constantly convincing each other that our idea is the right and only one And that the only ideas that prevail are actioned by the 4 of us So thanks to our discussions, new ideas are created that's how our NDA style lives and strives because we all add our commitments and our discussions Let's circle back to the idea the subject of creativity and eternity I'm interested your view regarding confrontation in a collective yet creative manner What is your collaborative creative technic given the numerous iterations as you mentioned Often one doesn't realise the amount of work involved in a project Starting with NOTHING to the actual finalisation and delivery of the project in its self ...
so what are your tips and tricks that you can share with us today? We come from the "Storytelling business" so we start writing a simple story not a full story but a synopsis from this skeleton, we overlap images in order to create a collective Pinterest then we extract the core of the Pinterest to start the storytelling process then we still have a ton of work around the finalisation So on a technical side, have you ever been confronted with a "we loved to do this but nope not technically possible" issue Do you still try to respond positively or do you find alternative ways? I'll answer by YES and NO When we get a project we generally have no clue on how to tackle it We love a technical as well as a creative challenge We see the overall picture but still lack the "HOW TO" So it's vital to learn and when we are confronted with new ideas such as when you come with Minsar to see us Once again we don't know "HOW TO" but we know we will find a solution We will deliver the project: we are certain each time So yes we cheat and find alternative ways We find a way as we are none-technicians but we are creatives thanks to tool ...Yes we cheat each time thanks to tools we can use So how useful is it that the tools you use are flexible and allow to create and find alternative ways It's not as simple as that I'm under the impression that all tools aren't that flexible but alternative ways are possible and find new ways to use the tools Also, some tools are so vast and have multiple options that its difficult not to find a solution But flexible isn't natively build in any tool A tool is created to be sharp and focused I wanted to talk about your work and focus on what you've created around fashion You said that you've worked in Fashion and Luxury And these industries have to reinvent themselves Due to the pandemic, live events need to be rethought So what is your vision from a creative and technical perspective so we can continue enjoying the fashion industry I think that Covid as trigger new situation and opportunities that have been blocked for years in the fashion industry It's unblocked certain people in the industry who wished to test new ways the Fashion industry enjoys its comfort zone It allowed establishing new norms Even if live events are and will stay predominant in the industry But we saw that alternative ways and formats were viable using interactive films, puppets or Gaming. We created a 3D fashion week and soon we will see events in AR or VR or even XR. These new experiences will grow We know that looking at a simple screen is complicated in order to appreciate fashion One needs to be more in contact It will take time even for XR experiences to see the material or garnet in order to One needs to feel the actual cloth and be in "ambience" of the show and event One needs to feel immersed in the crowd even if you are not present For me, you can live the event by add virtual assets in a real fashion show even if no one is actually around you. So you can add some VR element using an Oculus Or in AR with enhanced element rendering a far more powerful experience See the show and interact and become an actor in the situation and AR will also allow the none elite to participate and be part of the industry It's my personal opinion It difficult to answer to elitist's questions So what's interesting, we find ourselves with these new technologies and projects that allow us to approach an unapproachable event thanks to AR and VR and linked it to the fashion industry, one gets immersed and we see at Minsar More and more opportunities to immerse people, garment and event in experiences But what drives fashion is its elitist status too Making it not always approachable nor affordable So these new tools or technologies might not break the industry but will allow it to find a new meaning or new definition for the future As much as we've seen in the last 10year, social media has contributed the industry to change too by fragmenting what was luxury and how we conceive it today for example almost anyone can buy a part of sneaker Louis Vuitton that wasn't possible 10years ago you created a fashion week in full 3D So what was the creative process? How did you create this project? When did you say Ok let's go? And how did you conceive it? And finally, how did you share the experience for the viewer? We did the Helsinki Fashion week summer 2020 Everything was conceived in 3D, Models were scanned, we create Avatars...
There were shows with mixed scanned and avatars models We had to "Rig" each character, so create a skeleton focus on the walk, the dancing and interaction we also had to work on the technical drawings of the dresses. These are normally sent to the manufacturers We used them to create the garments in 3D then we attached the dresses on the avatars to then create all the different movements (people and clothes) then immerse and create the full desired universe they could have the show anywhere they wanted We woked with Patrick Mcdowell who designed on the garment for the Vatican So we added the Vatican for the show this was a learning curve so we seek help from 3D Companies asking for support and "how to" they all said: it's impossible Impossible to have 30min film in less than 3Months with some many clothes to scan... and we are only 4: and we did it We create a 30min film If we were to redo this project we would create an interactive game allowing communication between all the viewers allowing interaction once the fashion show is over allowing to see each piece of clothing to better understand the actual garment Even interact and engage with the designer And finally, explore the universe that was created. So visiting the Vatican in this case It's really interesting! We realise that with Minsar AR & VR by suppling a creative AR & VR tool It's a tool that transcends narration and storytelling to living the experience and what's impressive is the interaction the interaction is the core focus on these new technologies Before we were in a top-down experience or communication system the idea is still to translate emotions through the chosen means in a static mode and now, we need to better engage with the audience thanks to social media and the new way of sharing content and properly exchange And now having the ability to immerse oneself in the content is the real and true potential of AR & VR We are looking forward to seeing you use the Minsar Studio VR on the Oculus.
it's penultimate VR creative tool All the use case have yet to be discovered We've only created the tool and have yet to see what will be conceived using it and with it, massive changes are on the way, new opportunities to be grabbed: fashion show - specific interaction break some barriers as you said "speaking to the designer" or "discovering the universe" the "behind the scenes" is interesting to discover too Before the innovation was the video backstage Tomorrow it will be talking to the designer or discovering the intended universe and have a total immersive experience For me, the trigger was a flying elephant Dumbo. Walt Disney had a dream to create a flying elephant I want to do the same in 3D Quentin's dream is to full a room of Pokemon and AR allows that that's what started us with Minsar Creating our own monsters or Pokemon and full up our rooms if that's what we desire 3D didn't allow this but Minsar as a tool does Minsar allows rendering new life to assets. Pushing and creating new limits That's what so amazing. Minsar just sits in your phone: at the ready all the time... See it live and move Turn it into something real that accompanies you all the time This is my last question for you! How do you see and conceive the future at NDA I guess we will live in a world where reality and mixed-reality will coincide and cohabitate A world in which, we will be surrounded by incredible asset all around us We will be linked to it as much as we are currently linked to our mobile phones And start walking towards a world where virtuality will become an intricate part of our lives and one day what we consider today as virtual with be part of Reality and that's reality !! Well thank you very much Melvyn !!! Hello Nylon France, I am Inès Alpha, digital artist, I live in Paris and I specialized in what I called 3D makeup. So 3D makeup for me is make-up, but in 3D. Thus it's made through a digital software, therefore, computer generated
images or shapes. So there, for example, it is a 3D makeup in augmented reality. It means that I modeled elements in 3D in a 3D software, that you can apply in real time on your face, through an application on your smartphone. Using new technologies and 3D softwares, digital softwares allow me to create my own reality, to defy the laws of this planet, such as gravity, to create textures that do not exist and which would not be possible in our world, to create shapes and animations that we could not see in the physical world and that always interested me. In short, to make our physical world more fantastic through new technologies. To produce my creations, there is a fairly precise workflow. First, I will model my 3D makeups in a software like 4D cinema, which I also use to make postproduction, I mean HD videos with a hyper realistic rendering. Then when I adapt my creations in augmented reality, I will
go through softwares such as Spark AR, or Lens Studio, to respectively create filters on Instagram or Snapchat. An area in which I have not done yet too many projects, but which interests me enormously, is the field of virtual reality. And there I will use softwares like Oculus medium or Minsar, to adapt my creations to a completely immersive universe, that people will have access to through a VR headset.
So the goal for me, in my artistic work, is to inspire to use all these new technologies and these new tools, to enable people to express themselves in a more personal way, to express themselves differently, to push a little further the world of make-up and beauty in order to see something other than the standards of beauty, that we are used to seeing on Instagram, in movies, magazines, and maybe help people to have a little more confidence in themselves to have fun in a second thanks to their phone. Pop culture has of course greatly influenced my work, I couldn't hide that. I am a big fan, for example, of Final Fantasy. People who know this video game I think will recognize it in my work. I have watched Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball, where there are
many colors, color gradients that we can also feel in my creations. These are things I really do unconsciously. I don't do mood boards with Dragon Ball Z images before making my designs, and of course I am inspired by much more sophisticated contemporary art, but I am much more attached to this culture accessible to everyone, and it is also what interests me in my work. I really have this ambition to democratize the future of beauty, and to make this new kind of make-up accessible to as many people as possible. Everyone can have fun with my designs. Do not hesitate to try all my filters, it's in the tab
with the little face and the little stars on my Instagram account, @ines.alpha. Tag me in your videos, it always gives me great pleasure to see how people have fun and reclaim my creations. Thank you very much Nylon France for inviting me on your plan to talk about my work, and don't forget to wear a mask to protect you from we-know- all-what, but not virtual in this case, otherwise you will not be too protected! Good day, bye bye :) Hello Marcus thanks for being with us for this keynote, we will talk about engagement and the new technologies, we will talk about augmented reality and opportunities but first I let you introduce yourself. Tell me who you are! Thanks, Gaetan The Sun Project is a creative studio specialized in immersive creation with positive impact. So today we are among the first partners of Facebook
and Instagram for augmented reality and Snapchat too. We are two co-founders and we built this creative studio to deploy new technologies and a new way to communicate through what we said just before and well we started two years ago, two years and a half, today we aim to be focused on positive experiences Can you tell us more about what you mean by "positive experience"? I think that the name "Sun Project" reflects well what it means but can you tell us more about it. For sure, we are driving ambition to act on issues of commitment but commitment in both meanings that it is both the social media commitment and commitment as such in the experiences we offer but also a commitment to a positive impact so why positive impact? it's something that means a lot to us and today I think we are all facing it we need to understand the issues and act in a certain way today when we said that we are really into this niche it's because we've already done a lot of cases on this type of sectors for clients or not especially we will talk about it more after if you want but for us, our goal is clear on the fact that we want to push experiences with an impact behind and not without any commitment behind, pretty empty and pretty basic So, from what I heard, there is a quest on doing something substantive and put meaning on all your creations. That's right. The goal is to work in-depth on the meaning and not to stay on the surface on campaigns that are traditional as we are seeing today it's not to say negative things about others. I mean that we work on this important niche
progressively. It's just me being curious here. You have a method to find the meaning because I know that it's often hard when you are at the heart of a project for the person in front of you to deliver the whole meaning or why they want to do a project. Do you have a way to make them comfortable? Yes, we developed several techniques that we try to implement along the way shaped clients after clients après clients according to goals and especially the topics we’re going to discuss. Then there isn't a special technique. I think it depends on the person we have in front of us and the ones we are going to talk to and above all the message behind, we have to push. Actually
we have several methods that we've implemented since the beginning of Sun Project. the advantage is we work with a flexible structure so we can exchange really clearly so there is no barrier between the different people in the studio. Yes, my method is a day-by-day work in progress. Really cool. I have a question that is more for you. How you got there? What is the background that convinced you to build Sun Project and be committed? In brief, I do Sup de Pub. So I did my Master degree there. I came out of there, I don't remember when exactly, I think 2015-2016 something like that. Then I was a freelancer directly
as a social media strategist. I did 2-3 agencies. Then I was quickly a freelancer. Once I arrived there, I told myself that I was going to work in pairs with Mathilde Hauser who is the co-founder of The Sun Project and then we're quickly interested in these issues of commitment and impact and progressively, we had both our backgrounds Mathilde is really creating in the agency and me on the strategic and technical part and along the way, we were interested in commitment etc, and at the same time I got really passionate about augmented reality and I had the chance to be among the first to enter the French Instagram beta to be able to deliver experiences in AR and along the way so we started to grope a little bit and then we realized that it was a powerful medium that everyone has in their pockets and it could go far if we get to create experiences with it gradually as we were focused on it we released a lot of, what we called filters but it goes far beyond the filters, but in any case, on what we worked on we can push it a bit more the tool to its limits that's how we get into the niche of the augmented reality. And then once we've worked on Instagram and we arrived on Snapchat and recently we event release a campaign on WebAR. In all cases, we explore this field that is more a tool than anything else and next to this we put our commitment on the rest and the way we talk about a topic. it's a perfect transition because I wanted to arrive at this question precisely because you use augmented reality what is, for you, the immersive power but also potentially technological, experiential of this technology In fact, I think we can it can go a little in all directions that is to say that AR really allows to push anything into the real world so to make the difference of course with the VR which is also a very good tool for it but that is 800% immersive when compared to AR. Why we chose
to work on this technology is because actually, it allows us, as its name suggests, to augment what we see and what can be perceived today and beyond that it's particularly through the medium that it is important to work. With our background in social media we’ve always had a habit of working on these platforms but it's true that we've needed to go further whether it on a topic or the method to engage etc etc and when we discovered this new "tool" we reach for it and we said to ourself it's amazing the way we can push those different messages and in a completely new way and it's true that in the beginning, we wonder how we were going to bring a special touch whether it through the creative work or strategy on this medium. It came naturally as we continue our social media strategy consulting but bringing this creative and immersive brick and through AR we get today to make experiences which are really really immersive. Today, we typically work
with what we call filters but we don't only do this we have another range of activities. Recently we launched an offer, quite extensive, on immersive décors coincident with all our activities. It's a kind of protocol in AR, it's super fun and it's on Snapchat for now. We try to deploy a lot of thinks whether it is with or without AR but really immersive and with a substantive meaning. You talked about engagement thanks to this technology. What is the difference with other communication channels and other creative tools? what does it mean to you? first, it involves 100% of the user it means that for 70% of the experiences offered, it's often them which are in face cam so the fact of "showing yourself" shows a much more interesting engagement than a simple like or a comment. And beyond there is the implementation part that is to say, once you seek their attention, you are free to offer different inputs whether it's creative or strategic ones.
The advantage is that we get them on a field that they know or absolutely not so we can guide them and after we have the UGC part, so "User Generated Content", the fact that everybody can reshare and make their community live the experience and this is the snowball effect that we seek to create and push because for brands, brands and associations we work with it's always important to be able to generate those users contents we create something and we give it to the community to see how they react it's always a lot of fun. and we have a lot of surprises! What could you advise when you meet brands, clients, projects Why do you advise using this technology? I also imagine that they come to you also for this because you specialized yourself into it What would convince someone to use it? It depends. because today they often come to us because we are certified and we have the background but we are not focused on this technology as I said actually, it always brings an extra for the the client usually comes with its idea in mind and said to us I think about this and that but we are often in the case that they want to use new technology, they see it's accessible and so they want to start. so we always have this really important part of "pre-brief" to refocus on what we want to do indeed AR could be a way to deal with the topic but not always. It means when we recommand AR it's always the extra after, the UGC and all the content generated natively by users. But beyond that, there is always plenty stuffs which make AR attractive and lots of ways to create a beautiful experience with a meaning. So it works well. I wanted to talk with you about opportunities
created for you? Did you see an increase in the requests? as you are truly in the ecosystem of immersive creation, which are the opportunities and requests you had? to sum up, we worked a lot on events before Covid that was impacted a lot with all of this and on this part we had the possibility to go on immersive decors on operation in store and things like that. It was, let's say, the first step for AR to educate the target, the clients etc.. the second step was during this lockdown when we see the demand booming because everyone was on their... I don't like to say that because it's not true not everyone was on their couch, but everyone was at home and when you are at home you tend more to watch whether it's Insta, Snapchat, or whatever so you face all the Stories of your friends, brands etc, etc. so that's decisive when you do it in AR: you are not on a simple brand message that you are going to get exposed, it means, and I give you an example, for example a brand wants to make a communication campaign to announce a contest on its Stories, I say anything. now thanks to filters the advantage is that the brand can do it on its Story. Classic. And it will be able to spread
the news, once people endorse the concept, everybody will want to use it and everybody will have it on their Story ... a lot of people and if everyone has it on their Story, all the people they have on their audience will see it in turn. voilà it's this snowball effect that is super interesting with social media, on Insta, and on Snap. It's always fun to see how far your creation goes whether it's for a brand or an organization. It's quite amazing! Do you have a significant experience you made and you want to share that shows this and powerful in term of what you called the "snowball effect" and you said to yourself it's really insane Yes obviously we've made a lot of them but we have one we made in July for 30 millions d'Amis, we launched the first petition that we can sign through a filter it's a specific concept: each person who gonna use the filter would be able to sign by hand on the filter thanks to Insta and Snap tools We had surprising results, we are still counting them because the campaign isn't finished yet but what is amazing is to go how far it goes today when you do AR especially on social media we can say that the first scope will not be to purchase "payed". Typically most of the time when you do a campaign:
you say ok I'm going to put 70% of the budget on payed media and my message will be played on loop". No today the idea is to push it through influencers and with this brick "influence" allows to restart the machine and we launched it. We thought the concept was cool but we were not expected to have so many sharings. People love the concept. especially the fact that people feel 100% engaged just by doing a story. In 15 seconds you can sign a petition. it was a petition against animals abandonment with 30 millions d'Amis. it was part of the campaigns
that I keep in mind because it was super cool and the client was really satisfied with our reflection and ours. There is another campaign created just before in March-April, we didn't make a campaign with a brand in particular we just wanted to give our support to all the people who worked during Covid pandemic and we co-created the first global filter with a hundred designers on Instagram to bring our support to all workers that when win the front-line during the pandemic and on that we had a big wonderful media who follow us in this story whereas they just run into it by chance, we made a call to know who's in and that's what's great about AR is that there is a really really supportive community benevolent and involved, there are so many stuff that is being done it's the hidden face of the iceberg. and it's true that when we released the operation we had this big media that follows us that makes the operation boom and in 2-3 days, we had 3-4 million views which is a quite big when you said that it's a crumb in the Insta ecosystem whether you are... we are among the accounts having million and million of followers but we stick to the base The concept of this idea is clear: each creator should be able to share this filter on their own profile so we created sorts of templates for each person to be able to reuse it on their own profile etc. The filter was translated into 20 languages. That's quite huge. It wandered around. We had some press release
without any euro for paid media or influence so it shows the effect and the power of AR at that time when everybody was at home and it was quite amazing. The community effect with augmented reality is real both on the creators' side and on users' side, that is to say, people who gonna be ... actually, the community is really present thanks to creators they are the core, we can say that the "providers" of augmented reality, they exist but the way that platforms managed their dissemination by Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook etc. was done with a lot of consideration so there is a powerful community and people get along very well on this kind of topic. They discuss and exchange. It starts with a simple help with comments to "I'm going to send you my files, you can put it open source etc. etc." It's the community. It's like back in the days the Silicon Valley at the beginning
everybody is happy to share what they've done and be able to help without thinking they will be your competitor in two weeks, two months, or two years. So it's really cool. It's cool to see the community growing and that there is more and more creators who get their hands dirty crafting on certain aspects in a handmade way but that's the beauty of this new creative tool, this new medium that's it. It's the fact of always being able to go on fields that are unexploited. it reminds me a lot of success stories but when you watch filter for example on Instagram and on Snapchat it's the same thing since 3 4 years you scrolled filters along the way and you see differences between what is offered and the different concepts and you see that it's evolving that's for the example of filters but it can be in advertising campaigns or content campaigns most of the time these are really phases and for what happens now on social media, it's really interesting when you are engaged in it. I'm fascinated by the fact that one morning you wake up and someone released a concept you like and then you will see all the person who will try to redo it, to twist it but they will do it in their own way and there will be some of them who will copy it but there is this dimension of "copy" unless doing it identically or plagiarism everyone will bring their own touch to get to another level and see that there is a new concept that pops always the research of new ways to engage and always funnier to see on your story. It leads me
to the future, for you, for Sun Project, for this technology because you are part of this community that participate to build and make the technology grow because we are all helping each other and we tried "to improve" I forgot the word in french to improve each other... to improve each other what is the future for you? I think we are in the early stage of all of this I'm going to talk about AR today. I think we can use AR through smartphones etc. and it's really basic for me when we see what big companies did with it. It will be the big war for hardware. Then it will be how we will able to use these experiences because today we do it with a smartphone I think that tomorrow the most important will be how to optimize each experience for each device that is to say we often talk about cars with AR on the windshield, we see this for skier recently with ski masks and more generally everything about the AR glass revolution it's gonna happen in a little while and we will need to rethink the user experience how we can help and like what I said in the beginning you really have the conquest of AR for entertainment with games etc and we will have to keep doing it but here we will enter more into the meaning that is to say how it will help us in our everyday life, how we can interact with brands, people, softwares too we will be able to create. It's what we see today with VR, for once it's with VR
and I think we will be able to do it with AR. It will be the time of the adaptation of the medium with the hardwares and how we can improve, as you said these experiences and make it more "UX" for the users. Thanks a lot for your time, for all those beautiful answers and your hope too for this technology and its community. Thanks a lot, Marcus. Thank you, Gaetan. Hi everyone, thank you very much for being here today to talk about no code.
Today, we're going to talk about a subject which we are particularly interested in, because it's a subject which is extremely popular and is probably going to revolutionize a great part of computer science and how we appropriate computer science. It's the "no code", and to talk about it today, I have the chance to welcome, thanks to Soraya, five guests. But Soraya I'll let you start. Yes of course, thank you, thank you very much for your presence. We will talk about
a subject that we hold dear at Minsar, which is the no code, which is about giving access to technologies that are complex, that are hardly affordable. And more precisely, in the field of augmented reality and virtual reality, no code has been more and more present recently, and we really see 2021 as a turning point in the use of no code, and we really have the will to make creation accessible, as well as experience distribution in augmented and virtual reality. I propose you introduce yourselves around the table. We are lucky to have Emmanuel, from Bubble, Emmanuel I let you introduce yourself! Yes, hello everyone and thank you for having me on this panel. So I'm Emmanuel, originally French, but I have been in the United States for the last ten years, and I have launched Bubble there in 2012. So we were actually pretty early on this sector of no code, but it was not called no code at the time, instead, we called it visual programming.
I think we are on distinctions which are fairly minimal, but so we started in 2012. After 5 years of development, 4 to 5 years of more or less confidential development, we became more visible, so it goes back around 2018, and today we are one of the increasingly important actors of the sector, with a very strong focus on web apps creation, of websites that do something, such as AirBNB, Twitter, that kind of application that people can launch on our platform without code. Hello everyone, nice to meet you, I'm Erwan Kezzar, co-founder of Contournement, and we consider, at Contournement, that we train people to free themselves from technical obstacles, from technical barriers, which normally prevent them from achieving their project especially when they don't have technical skills for making websites, or applications and web apps, that sort of thing. Also for automation, because automating tasks plays a big part in gaining productivity, and therefore we organize paid training sessions that go from 1 to 3 days, on accessible tools because there are also more complex tools but we don't touch them. Also with free podcast content, tutorials and all that. Hello everyone, so thank you for the invitation, delighted to be there and nice to meet you. So my name is Christelle
Cursio, I am co-founder of the agency alegria.tech, which provides services in terms of no code solution softwares, so we create mobile web apps of automation, and internal or external solutions, a diverse range of solutions. Hello, thank you for the invitation, my name is Stanislas Verjus, founder of Comovert, and I support start-ups and companies on digital strategy with no code tools, and I also do training in schools around no code tools. I also take this opportunity to introduce myself as well, I'm the founder of No Code Station, which notably aims at creating a newsletter around no code and trying to better understand this environment that exists, and especially this emerging of no code. In fact I would like to start with that to address our first subject which is that of understanding this emerging of no code. We saw
that it was a very big topic in 2020, and 2021 is visibly going to witness the explosion of these tools, of these no code tools. Thus I would like to have a bit of your opinion, your point of view, because I feel like we've heard a lot about no code, especially because of that story of Coronavirus in 2020, and people stayed home and started wondering couldn't I make some products, how could I do this and that etc. So first about no code, I mean the term no code tool, if we look at Google searches, we can see that it's been increasingly used for three or four years. As Emmanuel said, before, we talked more about visual programming, and there is a big part of the ecosystem which tends to say that the no code tools are these tools that allow, just by connecting to the internet, by creating an account, without installing anything, without anything to configure beforehand, to start working in a hyper visual way and to be able to publish and share their links through a few clicks. Since two or three years you can feel that
first these tools are mature, stable, rich, reliable, secondly, we see that there are projects that started without having developers in the team. So that was a definite proof that there were growing tools which raised funds without originally having developers. But then also there are tools that are, well that are more and more numerous, with agencies that have been starting to propose prod since two three years, online training, so all this set of things, in my opinion, explain that the ermerging of no code has been happening really since 3 or 4 years and with also, how to say it, well all the will and desire that people may have when they have no technical skills, the will to take ownership of the digital web. I have discovered no code tools only half a year ago, which is pretty recent, but I think that what brought that emerging of no code is that there were more and more discussions, creations, and training sessions that were launched as well as agencies that, too, were launched. I don't know if the confinement has necessarily improved or increased the use of no code tools, I know that we heard more and more of it through intense evangelization which made sure that we could put a word on the concept of no code, on a group of tools, and that allowed them to develop, but I'm not sure whether there's a correlation with Covid and the confinement. But it's true that we talked about it more and more, and that is true also for the beginning of this year 2021, and I think that it had a good start and I feel that it will increase again this year.
In the end you have created a platform that is capable of creating no code products What are the challenges ? Is it only a technical challenge, or does it go even further ? Well at Minsar we do indeed have lots of challenges not only technological but more related to use, because in the end augmented and virtual reality are emerging sectors, so we have to prove both the interest of the technology but also of the practices that are related to the technology, and typically a no code platform which is accessible in terms of creation and distribution allows to test those uses and practices more easily, that is to say that we can more easily go from an idea like oh, I'd like to create a showroom in virtual reality, or make a marketing campaign in augmented reality, and then do it much more easily than if there needed to be weeks or months of development with classic tools. We are really going to test which are the best use cases, which are those which work, and it's still an important part of our roadmap in the coming years, so it's a bit different from the classical no code tools more related to web or applications, and thus it takes more time to develop. Indeed more time both from a technical point of view but also in terms of understanding the practices and use cases, to really grasp what are those technologies, what is virtual reality, how does it differ from augmented reality, so these are quite tricky issues, that's why there's an important step of evangelization, as I can see. Exactly, it's actually an amazing
opportunity that allows to easily share and broadcast one's use cases to understand the interest, the relevance of this or that technology, whether it be augmented, virtual, mixed reality, for emerging technologies for which we don't necessarily see, yet, the interest in terms of business. So our goal is to accelerate the adoption of these technologies. On our side I would say that it's a challenge in terms of technique and education, that is to say educate people to use our tool. Use cases are a bit clearer in our case because web is about thirty years old, and if people understand what we can do with web apps and particularly Bubble, the use cases are a more clear. The technical difficulty, for us was twofold. Right now we have passed the first one, so now we are in the second phase. The first phase was to create
a tool that was broadly open. That is a personal philosophy, but we do believe that to really be successful, a no code tool has to be very open, and on this point we are different from other tools that are applied to web, because these other tools make stronger hypothesis about what the user wants to build whereas we tell the user to start from a blank page and do whatever they want. So it took five years to get to the features set, that is to say to all the features necessary to allow people to really do about anything they wanted, and now we have the drawback of that which is technically difficult and that we have to handle, which is handling the complexity. Because when you allow people to do about anything, well they actually do
about anything, and when they do that well we need the tool to adapt itself to these situations even without considering how the platform was built in the first place, and that is rather difficult. The other problem we have is more educational : because the platform is very open, well there's the possibility to do whatever we want and thus to make mistakes, so we have to support our users and accompany them, either directly with our own documentation and tutorials, either with people like Contournement for instance, who teach people a lot, and that requires a lot of work because if people can make mistakes, we also have to explain to them how to fix their mistakes. And that takes time. However the advantage is that there's also a network effect that appears when we have increasing users, and in France in particular, France is by the way one of our key countries in terms of community, which was not the case a year ago. France is now our third
country in terms of revenue, whereas it was 7th not 12 months ago. It gets better because people help each other and inform each other, but clearly it's a true difficulty that we didn't totally solve yet, it's gonna take a few more years! What do people seek through no code, are they just people who want to build what we call an MVP a Minimum Viable Product, a minimal product to launch one's project, or is it necessarily only business, or can it be something else? Also from the point of view of large companies, are they interested in no code and start putting their hands on it or are these tools just products for entrepreneurs in the first instance ? Anyone wants to go ahead to introduce the subject ? Yes well in our case, our clients are professionals, companies of all sizes, it goes from startups to large accounts. What we have noticed so far is that there are clear business advantages : its cheaper to use no code, its faster, and the third advantage is that its customized contrary to a SaaS software for which you buy a licence and in which you'll use only 20% of the features, when we create a no code product we make it on measure, so all the features we develop will be useful in the end for the client. The second very important thing for our clients is the concept of empowerment, that is to say, give power back to non technical people.
Indeed tomorrow, the support fonctions such as HR, finance, marketing or communication, in short all the departments that are not originating from IT services will be able to create their own tools, add and adapt the tools that we provide them, and that is also why they are interested in the no code products. For my part I have more and more complex demands in no code. A lot of people find it out and feel that it's a very quick solution and very cheap so I have a lot of requests for very complicated tools, notably on Bubble where people tell me okay I have 15 days, so you have 15 days, hurry up and do it so I have to explain that it's no code, so yes it's a solution but it's not an end in itself, you don't get that in a finger snap, there are tools that are way more simple to handle than others, and there are tools that are more interesting than others, so there's still this idea that it takes time, and even if it's cheaper, it's not free. And I think that today there's a real reflection to have about no code, which is to say we don't sell the service itself but the expertise and the knowledge on the product, and I think it's extremely important to keep that in mind : I don't sell my work time to develop but rather I sell the fact that I know how to do it. It's not my worktime that I put forward, it's my knowledge of the product and the fact that I can deliver something quickly.
Indeed, it's not only the knowledge of the product or the platform, but also what advice you can give in regard to what the client wants, on that perspective. Erwan ? Well I'm going to talk more about training, because at Contournement we don't produce, we train essentially. However, we organize free 15 minutes counsel sessions during which lots of people come to see us and say "I need this project, so I need to go on WebFlow", because they heard about WebFlow, but we tell them wait, no, if you want to do this you'd rather use Bubble, or you can do it yourself with a very simple tool, a bit constraining but with which you'll go faster like Glide, so it's very interesting to see that in this diversity, and we really have to make the difference between the tools that are very user-friendly and with which you can get autonomous very quickly notably when you have neither time nor technical skills, but which in return will be much more limited. For example Airtable, Glide, Squarespace you can do things very quickly, and you have other tools that are far more powerful and far more advanced, on which you'll need maybe several days or weeks to train yourself according to the project you want to do, like WebFlow, Bubble...Bubble you can also do things
very quickly, at least in our experience, but it's originally conceived to leave an enormous freedom, you're very free with Bubble. And that's why, as Emmanuel said, people can quickly do anything unless they are well guided. So in terms of training, what we see is that there are really two models : there are people who come who want to go very far with no code, and to these people we say "Okay wait...Either you learn several limited tools like Glide or any other and then you assemble them, or if really you want to become an expert, then go with Bubble". But I agree that given the fact that you can deliver faster, the real added value of no codders also dwells in the support, the business, and the ability to understand what problems people want to solve. The idea is not to pay a no codder just to deliver a software, but to use that competitive advantage of no code in terms of speed, cost and autonomy, above all. Since we're getting to it, you were saying that
Contournement deals with training, is it easy to dive into no code? Soraya, I imagine that for virtual reality, you have to know the field which is pretty technical, Emmanuel said that Bubble is originally a software for visual programming, so there's the term programming in there, there isn't the word no code in there. No, the no code is not a miraculous solution, it require a learning, you need to learn to use the solution, and it also depends on the platform you use : there are platforms that are simpler than others, also concepts that are simpler than others. At Minsar, we allow, well, creation is totally different because creation is in immersion. So these are models of creations that are different, we're going to evolve in our physical or virtual environment, so we leave the traditional 2D screen, but to really add virtual, add computing in the very environment. So to get back to the original question, it depends on the project you want to do, on the platform you want to use, and you always have to be curious and go learn, watch tutorials, hence the importance of community as we were saying earlier, and typically we have a beautiful and strong community in France and it's precisely the feedbacks of that community that allows one to learn, to have the right practices for the use of such or such platform. Notably around Bubble I think we can also evoke the beautiful communities of Bubble. Does no code
have to be opposed to code? Do you have to be a developer or not ? In my opinion if one already has technical skills, you may be able to handle no code tools faster, Emmanuel do you agree with this about Bubble? Not really in fact, I think that today 90% of our users have never written code, and sometimes those who did are a bit confused by the choices of terminology for instance, which has nothing to do with code, and they tend to seek concepts of code in our tool, and generally it does not go well in fact! That is to say that they dont necessarily learn faster. About the question as to know whether no code, and Bubble in particular which is a tool I know well, of course, are they easy, well no, easy is not the right term. However it's accessible, and that is the true difference. It's that the code is unaccessible for slightly strange reasons, but the idea of typing code and having to take care of syntax and not forget any comas, that sort of thing that can be pretty terrifying for a lot of people. A visual interface, even though it can be complex sometimes, like you have to know where to click and all, well it's more accessible.
Besides even operating systems, for instance Mac if we start looking at all the features, it's not very easy either, but it's accessible. So the required skills, I would not say that they are technical skills, you don't need to be a developer at all, you need to be rather used to the general softwares that people use about everyday at work, and thus put oneself into the shoes of the person who built them, not in terms of code but in terms of interface, I mean if the user put the button there, it's because it's well-placed there and when you click on the button here's what is supposed to happen. The good news is that I think that a lot of people, with a bit of training (alone or with someone), are completely capable of learning that kind of things, because again we live surrounded by softwares, whether we like it or not, and particularly people who work in companies. I would go even further, and that's quite interesting, for having trained thousands of people to coding, notably people who were very far from coding, or from employment and all that at the time, at Contournement we have our heart set on talking about no codders full stack. Why, because each brick of the stack : the data base, the user interface, the automations etc.,
well in Bubble it does all that, it's a complete all in one software, and then if you decompose that, you can say okay I'm going to do the website with Squarespace, with Airtable I will scramble to handle data base, then I'm going to automate with Zapier, and make a mobile version with Glide, and all that you can do in less than a day, by fiddling it up. Anyway in terms of pedagogy, this approach, whether it be learning Bubble, that is to say an all in one solution, or learning with assemble modular tools combined together which are, on our point of view, more accessible for beginners for their first steps, pedagogically, I am convinced that if you're doing a lot of Airtable, if you want to become a web developer, then you'll understand what you're doing much better, because there we're talking less of code and encoding than of principles of programming, of web bricks, and in this perspective, the pedagogic benefits of no code are pretty amazing. To illustrate this idea, we're starting to see schools in the United States, because that's where we are based, and our platform is in english, or high schools use us not really to teach the production of web apps, because that's not the objective, but rather to teach the concepts of programming, that is to say have students think about the structure of the data base, that sort of things, which, again, are not that technical in fact, but the fact to teach them through no code tools make them much more accessible to students. How does one choose the right tool? When you're a teacher in a high school and that you have to find a tool, do you have to choose one, or choose several? The idea is not necessarily to have the tools compete against each other but to try and see the global possibilities. What recommendations would you give to choose a tool well? To answer your question I'd like to circle back on schools. Today
I intervene in schools and there are a dozen of schools today which teach no code to their students, from bachelor's degree to master, schools in Paris that deal as much with art as with digital, or universities of communication, in Paris, Rennes, Toulouse, and in the north around Lille, so it's true that a lot of schools get into it, public and private, which is interesting because there's this aspect in private schools because they're interested in it, because they heard about it, but we can find it also in public schools and it's very interesting to see no code get inside public programs, so in Toulouse we can evoke the university of management, if I'm not mistaken, and Paris 2nd as well in the Master of Communication, so that's super interesting to see that movement in schools. That's it that was my little parenthesis about that question of schools and how they teach no code, and I think that others will get into it eventually. About the right tool, I personally discover lots of them, I spend about one hour per day on watch on Product Hunt around these tools, I try a lot of them, around 2 or 3 per day, no code tools or others that fall into that scope, there are super interesting tools but very early because they don't necessarily correspond with an offer, but I feel that today a lot of tools that are launching are rather neat, my personal favorite of last year in 2020 was dorik.io, a website that allows to create landing pages, I found it,
on its release, qualitative, it was a mix, for those who know, between Webflow and Card, and I found it very cool, whereas it only was released last July and I started using it in August. It was really good and held up to it's promises, and it was super interesting to use. Besides that there are other tools that are released that cannot necessarily hold up to what they represent. I would say that the right tool is a tool that answers to a need, and after there's also the fact to use it for yourself and to propose it to your clients, and this is a bit more complicated because it's a commitment that you have to keep with a tool that is new, that you're not sure will stay. It's true that
it's hard to find your way in the jungle of all the existing tools. Today there's more than 500 of them that are really no code properly speaking, so what we did is that we built an evaluation grid of the tools to try and see more clearly, and we based ourselves upon several parameters. The first one, of course, is that the features addressed by the tool must correspond to the needs of the project, and then there are other parameters such as the price, or as you said, the longevity of the tool, like if a tool has just been released, can we put it in production for a client, if we don't know if it will still exist in three months, that's a question we have to keep in mind, and there's also stability: are there a lot of bugs in the tool, is there latency, is it often down, are there a community and pedagogical resources around the tool does the tool have a university with tutorials and interactive lessons... For us, all of this, all this criteria must be considered, and that's what allows us, after, according to the features that are necessary, we can focus on one or two tools to put into production. All right so it takes me,
and the transitions are really good here, it made me reflect a lot about what you said Emmanuel, and about our discussion about schools and even in high schools, like some of them are actually using no code tools, there's a question I'd like to ask to everyone of you : tomorrow, will we all be no codders ? Will we all master that kind of tool? Today, well at least in France, it's true that if you want to be a developer in general after high school you go to the university or to engineering school, or there's all the concept of bootcamp which starts to get their hands in there to train developers, but is it possible to think that tomorrow everyone can add "no codder" on their resume? Saying I'm no codder? About adding to the resume, I think that already today we are starting to see more or less credible profiles appear, saying like yes I'm a no codder, I am an expert etc, but clearly that's a skill that becomes more and more important, we can even see job offers that appear more and more, companies that ask for freelance no codders, so the no codder skill is definitely appearing, but "everyone no codder"...It's an interesting question. In my opinion, again about the most accessible tools, if there's an increasing training around that, well sometimes the best way to do something is not to send a powerpoint or a text, it's sometimes to make a small mobile app with Glide, it's maybe to create a small website with dorik so that it's clear at the first glance instead of making slides roll-up. Sometimes, by learning Bubble for two weeks and by doing things yourself maybe one will go faster to launch one's company, rather than trying to raise funds even before knowing whether one will develop something or not. Anyway, when you see tools like Notion for instance, which really blur the limits, Notion you can do webpages, databases...Here you understand what
Coda meant a few years ago, Coda which is another no code tool, they said that we inherited the document and we turned it into a metaphor: paper, tables, all of that have been constituting what we call documents for the last ten years, and today I think that with no code, we're starting to get to formats which are not really documents anymore but more intuitive formats and easier to build, so to the question will everyone be no codder tomorrow there are two answers. From my point of view, it's like learning programming at school or Scratch for instance at Harvard, let's remind that they learn Scratch which is visual programming for children at the beginning of Harvard cursus, that can be important to understand how programming logic works but also how the web is build with which bricks, and secondly, given the fact that creating with Notion or Glide might be simpler than creating a word before long, even with Glide, I'm speaking a lot about Glide but you take a table and you turn it into a mobile app! We have a certified Glide expert here, probably even the only one, it's incredible. So once more, this frontier, the more it gets thin, the more it will open to new skills, new reflexes, and new use cases in my opinion. "Tomorrow, everyone no codder", I think it's also an opportunity to bring more inclusion and diversity in new technologies, we don't talk enough about it, but we know that there's 0.3% of the population that knows how to code, but within this portion, 70% of these people are men, and 80% of these men are white! So in terms of diversity I think we could do a lot better, and even though there should be more feminine codders, the fact to have more accessible solutions will allow bringing more diversity and more inclusion, and have softwares that better represent our humanity. It's really important because
there are still way too many biases in software and algorithms also, for example in avatars. We could see that quite clearly last year with the development of all these virtual tradeshows, we could notice that caucasian males were the best represented because the input data of the algorithms were biased. The fact to add more inclusion and more diversity in the creation of these tools precisely allow avoiding these different biases, so I think that it's also an opportunity and something crucial for this new year. Absolutely and besides in the United States, we didn't launch that yet in Europe, but we have particular programs not only to make the technology accessible but also give access to people who generally don't have access to these tools and training. We launched a pre-accelerator for BIPOC people in United States, which I hope we will launch everywhere, but we start with United States because it's kind of a burning topic this year as you know. It's also really at the core of the no-code project: the idea that we cannot
live in a world where it's only a few hundred thousand people in the world who create the tools that everyone use, it's absurd, and we have to get to a point where the technology can be used everywhere and by anyone, because otherwise we'll see good tools essentially created and used for rich people. There are a lot of places in the world, even in France or in the United States, it's not only in countries in development, where clearly some good apps could solve daily problems and make life easier for people, but they do not because the market is not large enough in these places. About these questions of genre, I think the United States are super advanced on this questions, and I don't know if you did that at Bubble but at WebFlow I read a beautiful article about their day against racism, and about all the things they did, like the possibilities to organize surveys in the workplace about the typologies of people, about the "races", that's how they call that there, also about the genres, and they organize workshops, and there's a huge reflection to have on this. There's also another point that's a bit complicated. I think indeed no code