Before you write that code…
I don’t think the recent spate of articles on building startups without writing code are a fad. Here’s why.
A nice overview: How To Launch A Startup Without Writing Code.
I don’t think the recent spate of articles on or around this idea are a fad. I think that focused customer research, prototyping tools, and many off-the-shelf tools make it entirely possible to prove and disprove product ideas quickly and correctly without ever having a working system. Of course, you can’t fully predict what will happen without building the actual software. Social software, in particular, is very hard to simulate because much of the value is social value which is only realized when many people are using it. (at some point we’ll probably see some sort of group usability testing) Even so, you can know a lot about what you’re designing very early on, and in some cases (as the article points out) you can even start charging people money.
This is part of design growing up. Growth hacking, customer research, customer development, etc…all roads lead to knowing and verifying as much as possible before any code is written.