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Eugene van Ost
Eugene van Ost
Code2 / IT Soothsayer
November 24, 2021
Templates as Means of Know-how Transfer

Templates as Means of Know-how Transferđź”—

“Ars longa, vita brevis,” the Romans would say. “Skillfulness (i.e., learning a craft) takes time, but life is short.” They were right. Life is too short to learn everything from scratch and master everything you took an interest in. Thankfully, humanity found ways to accumulate knowledge and hand it down to the next generations so that each generation did not have to start anew.

One medium of know-how storage that we use in our daily lives is recipes. Every family has a few recipes that they cherish and pass down from one generation to another. These recipes detail the steps to be followed to prepare some traditional dish for a festive day, a dessert for an anniversary, or a soup with healing powers that is cooked every time somebody in the family goes down with a cold. Recipes encapsulate a particular body of know-how that was distilled into basic instructions after much trial-and-error and turn that know-how into actionable instructions thanks to standardized measurements. Two liters of chicken stock, one tablespoon of ginger, a pinch of parsley… Even a teenager, once she gathers the necessary ingredients, can replicate the taste of a soup her great-grandmother would have cooked decades ago without guidance from anyone by just using a recipe.

In that regard, recipes can be regarded as templates that are based on best practices and optimized, repeatable processes. They are means for storing and transferring know-how. In this age of hectic change where we dare to venture into different domains of knowledge we have no expertise in, templates are our shortest routes to success.

Take e-commerce, for example. Despite the recent boom it has been through, this particular activity involves so many diverse aspects that it can intimidate someone willing to try his luck by setting up a website to start selling stuff. It requires technical knowledge, domain knowledge, a network of vendors, and a logistical infrastructure one can leverage, etc. It is not as straightforward as it might look. However, entrepreneurs are not disheartened by this challenge. They know that they won’t have to reinvent the wheel. There is enough know-how accumulated and crystallized in best practices that even the most technophobic entrepreneurs can find their way around in e-commerce.

One company that recognized the power of templates and used them to transform its business is Pitch. The company started off by offering templates for presentations that people like founders could use to pitch their ideas to investors. Hence, the word Pitch.

However, Pitch started to disrupt the consulting industry once it began offering the templates consulting firms used during their presentations to executives. Consulting firms keep their know-how in giant databases of actual cases, which they later leverage to develop solutions for the problem of a specific client. The eventual solution a consulting firm proposes tends to be based on a best practice, which is basically a template customized to the client's specific needs. Pitch offered the same service at a fraction of the cost, disrupting the whole industry.

Starting a business has never been easier than it is today. However, the time and resource constraints still remain. The know-how needed to create an end-to-end experience for customers takes a lot of time and money to accumulate. You need to put together a team of experts or acquire the know-how directly from a consulting firm in areas where you lack the domain knowledge. Then you have to spend time on UI, UX, and data architecture—things you can develop in-house in the long run or outsource at significant cost.

It is safe to assume that no-code platforms will fast-track this process and reduce the costs involved. These tools help entrepreneurs productize their ideas in a short time. No-code templates will serve as pre-packaged stacks of domain know-how that customers will put to use immediately.

We at Code2 think that providing our customers with flexible data models has to be a priority. Because without flexible data models, customers will inevitably run into problems that they had not foreseen at the beginning and may require the migration of data to fix. Data migration, albeit possible, is a risky process since the data migrated may not perfectly map to relevant fields on the new platform. With our no-code templates, our customers will no longer have to worry about such technicalities and instead focus on scaling their business.

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