Interview with Taylor Freund

Taylor Freund

Jeremy: Oh, hold on here. Okay. Wait. Yeah. Okay. I think it's recording. It's recording. Here we go podcast it up. Okay. 

Taylor Freund: Taylor. Welcome. Well, thank you so much for having me. I, uh, I love the show. I've listened to all the episodes that you've posted online so far. Hey, 

Jeremy: okay. 

Taylor Freund: Great guests. I'm so, so thrilled to kind of be on here and talk to you about your experience too.

Jeremy: I want to be grilled sometimes. Sometimes I don't sometimes I don't think it's like back and forth enough when you podcast, whatever, like people just like, I would love if someone threw something back, you know, like, or like volleyed something where it's like, you know, so, uh, you were telling me before we came on here that you're living in Denver and.

Your husband followed you to Denver. Is that what we were 

Taylor Freund: actually kind of the opposite. I think I, him, so I had this, um, uh, yeah, I got it kind of got into software. I was, uh, doing a lot of front ends. So like Dreamweaver was my tool of choice. This was like back like early 2000. Gosh, I want to say like 2008 or maybe even before.

Um, so we were kind of, you know, I was like a webmaster, which was, I had a whole lot of all the passwords and design and develop something in HTML using Dreamweaver and extraordinary time. So I was doing that. And, um, for more of the industrial, like construction type market, um, stuff was like in kind of some of the marketing and sales.

And then I had an opportunity to live in Montreal and I met up with some of the, the Google fiber folks. And I had this kind of, I was still working for Kiewit, but we had this really kind of like fun period of, um, basically working with their, their front end team for Google fiber. And did that internship turned full-time and, um, then I, I met David.

And he stole my heart and I came back to Denver cause he was here doing school and the rest is really history. He's also in 

Jeremy: software. Wait, so he, so he's originally from Indiana, but moved to Denver while, but Denver was your hometown. Right. So while you weren't there, he came there. Oh, come on. If that's not, uh, MTV, 

Taylor Freund: I flew him out to, to Montreal as well.

And so we, we kind of had this like, Oh man, should this get serious? Or should we just, yeah. 

Jeremy: Should I buy your plane ticket or not? 

Taylor Freund: Actually, my dad ended up buying the plane ticket. Hey, 

Jeremy: there you go. Endorsement from dad, right? 

Taylor Freund: Remember that? I was an intern at the time. So we had a whole ton of some cash.

Jeremy: So Pat, so after Google fiber and after your dream, we were days and let's fast forward, quickly to. Today. Right. And like what, you've, what you're doing and no code and what you're kind of how you're like developing things and like using web flow. Um, how, how has your journey changed from then till now? 

Taylor Freund: Oh, goodness, Jeremy.

It's it's exciting now. I mean, this is like the best part. I mean, if you want to be a designer, this is the time to jump in because it is so exciting. You have an extraordinary set of tools. Um, and just, and, and a little disclosure too. I actually didn't work on the Google fiber team. I'm still working in the building.

Yeah. Sorry. I had a kind of full disclosure there. Um, but yeah, you know, I. I positioned kind of a really interesting kind of like freelance journey, which I think a lot of designers that I kind of talked to on Twitter, they, I think they go through that same journey where they, you know, they kind of already maybe a startup from here, you know, there, but then they're kind of maybe doing more freelance work on the side.

Um, so for the last about 10 years, that was really what I've been doing. Um, And we've, you know, slowly kind of, I think back in 2014, I think at the end of it, I got pinged by, um, I wanna say it was like drew Wilson or something. And he made this mention about this new McCall, which was this new set of, it was a downloadable program that you download to your pro to your computer.

And it was. Far better than Dreamweaver. It's like what Dreamweaver should have been. And it was called MOCAD. And so I opened it up and I did this one website, I think, on a plane going somewhere. And I was like, wow, this is going to be really cool. And then shortly after that, I, you know, get on the Twitter sphere, heard about web flow and [00:05:00] I opened that platform up.

I knew that this is what I needed to be putting my time into learning, understanding, um, I mean, what are your thoughts? Like, 

Jeremy: like I was going to say, like you coming from somewhat technical aspect where you like, knew a lot of like how to interact and like, you're obviously a designer by trade. Right. So it's you, I think kind of saw it and understood it.

Like it was built for you, right? Like it is like Photoshop of the web. Right. So like, um, when I first looked at it, I was like, I have no idea what to do there. Cause like I didn't have the tech to technical design chops. I didn't have any technical chops at all. So like for me, it's always been like non-technical.

Um, but also I don't, I have no idea. I built my first web flow, our S our sites and web flow. Uh, and last June, July was my first experience. So like five years after like half a decade after you found it, Right. So like, I'm not sure what the design challenges or what it looked like back and forth, and it's been that long

you're carbon dating yourself. So like you knew, what did you know, like, uh, uh, what the impact would have, it would be just a, your career or everyone else. 

Taylor Freund: Oh, not yet. And, and, and so exciting that, you know, kind of the differences I think, in, in the paths and the journeys to find the tools. Um, but I, when I opened it, it was something like.

This is going to be a tool to be using for WordPress. 

Jeremy: Oh yeah, sure. 

Taylor Freund: I know. Right. I'm so sorry. I'm glad in the, in the web flow team. Um, but yes, that was my, my thought was I was like, Oh my gosh. I found, and I, I remember calling David and I came home from like a day of. Like a coworking spot. And I said, I found this new thing.

It's called web flow. I have to learn it. It has all these buttons. It's all visual. It's Dreamweaver 2.0. And I can export the code and convert it to WordPress. 

Jeremy: Oh, right. Sure. Yeah. Like I like how I like that though. Right. So like, did that hack, or did that work? Oh, 

Taylor Freund: it after hours of coding and putting some PHP in there and some blogs that were kind of half broken and using a CMS that is slightly outdated.

Sorry, WordPress. But, um, but yeah, that was my first two years of using 

Jeremy: flow for years. You used it that way? Well, a lot of my clients 

Taylor Freund: were on WordPress. Okay, how do I start to take, you know, and, and convince them. And I think they're still a type of conversation that, you know, freelancer to clients have of, of the pros of using WordPress or web flow because of co of course they don't see that they just want a website.

Right. Yeah. So there was that, there was the one, 

Jeremy: the one thing I loved about web flow over WordPress. Cause like I deal all my old school, like no code companies in WordPress as well. So like there was an old, uh, There was an old builder. I had him on the podcast, um, Scott from Apple. Do you know that one?

Taylor Freund: Yeah. 

Jeremy: At presser, sir, like it took a, uh, a, uh, a WordPress website and turned it into a native mobile app and just kind of like spun it into that. And the builder was more or less, very archaic. And like it, this was years ago. Uh, but like I used all those old school, no code tools. And then. What WordPress is, is obviously the possibilities are absolutely endless.

Right. But like, it takes more resources to manage it, you know? So like I've noticed that with web flow, I can literally, I almost feel like I can, you can do slightly less, but like, cause you're somewhat constrained at the same time. I feel like I don't have to worry about anything like building and launching something and web flow.

How did you compare and contrast the two? Like I'm going to come up. Yeah. 

Taylor Freund: And you're entirely right. There is this ecosystem of plugins that I, I was already, uh, bought into, uh, just because that was the nature of the web back then. Um, and so, you know, you would have ELA mentor and semplice and these were builder be yes.

Beaver builder. What does the name, what 


Jeremy: the name is Beaver? What a name? Yeah. Cause you're built. I feel like, uh, I feel like they had like the worst brand, but like, it could have been better. I just feel like that, but they also took off really big. Yeah, I think 

Taylor Freund: the name, I think 

Jeremy: that's gotta be the Beaver builder, right?

It's gotta be the name. 

Taylor Freund: And so when we were kind of putting together these clients, you know, these sites for our clients, um, there was this always this onboarding period of testing out all of your plugins, what plugins used, how to log into the WP admin. Um, and so there was this very kind of, and now you, you talk about it and it.

You know, cause now we're on the little bit of the forefront of the no code and it's archaic and all of these different pieces had to be linked so perfectly in order for your site to work, which I think the beauty of web flow in, in bubble and in a dollar and some in Y code, even that's coming out is, is that there's this simplistic nature of everything is all together.

It works when you want it to work. Um, but that took me a little while to convince, um, I think my clients, but then also kind of convinced myself that this was the future was that you build on this platform. You don't just export the front end. 

Jeremy: Yeah. Right. So when did you go from that mindset? So like after two years, was it just like I'm going to, I'm going to start launching everything on web.

Taylor Freund: Oh, that was, that that happened gradually. Um, that happened with my site first. So I decided in my portfolios super into your site. So it's like Taylor Freunde F R E U N And it could even be down. Right. You know, I'm sorry, listeners. Um, having an old 

Jeremy: site. Oh, you're not maintaining 

Taylor Freund: this eye. Well, right.

The portfolios. Slowly transitioned to brand weld, which is our little no-code studio. So if you go to Bergen weld, w E L, um, that would be the latest kind of portfolio items waitlist, but yeah, so that I, I did the portfolio first back then, um, in Webflow. So I found somebody and we actually, I collabed with, uh, his name was Igor, um, or I Gore, um, I Gore at web flow, I think is.

And, and we kind of did this collaboration on my portfolio and we got it up and it, that was then with it attaching to CMS because the CMS to me was as big hurdle in terms of like learning to get through with web flows. Yeah. So I knew that the designer, right? So like how you kind of adjust the CSS properties and you give some interactions to web flow, and that's kind of similar to some of the other builders out there, even bubble.

And that was pretty easy to grasp, but the CMS like attaching something which is, should be so simple. So a content management system, I think that was a hurdle to kind of throw. So, so we collect together and then once that was live, That changed my decision immediately. Once I did it one time that every single client, I either am going to land in the future or maybe have already landed.

And they're kind of in this transition phase to get on Webflow immediately. Yup. And that shifted the model a lot too. Um, and 

Jeremy: it's with the no-code agency. 

Taylor Freund: Yep. No code agency. So brand weld in a sense. And we were, full-time three people, um, back in August and right now we're just, uh, myself and just this past August.

Yeah, we got really busy this year. Um, know, I mean, with the restaurants wanting to be online and there was a lot of local people just around town that, that needed to get up and running. Um, and so we, we hired, um, two, two others and myself. So we were just Webflow all day. Um, I was doing most of the UI UX design and Figma and converting it.

Um, cause they're still kind of old school practices. I know there's some designers now that just. Go straight into web flow. Is that how you do it? Do you, do you go straight? 

Jeremy: I, I, I have gone right from, uh, I think I usually start with like some kind of clonable I think so like, I'll start there and then start putting, I've got to have some kind of like start starting template, right?

Like that's kinda like how I build everything. So like, um, and like at V1, like my company, we. Uh, we made an integration, like talking with the web flow, like CTO, like Bryant. Um, and we made an integration to take a web flow site and to make it a native mobile app. So like, and that is kind of where we started to take off.

Like that is when we were like, okay, cool. So people can like protect their screens. People can bring in their e-commerce items. And then we just like, Sell, like, it's like, there's a stat out there. Like this, the reason why I came up with this, which was like, you're three times more like a view, you'll have three times more sales.

If you have a native mobile experience, like period. Right. It's just engagement. It's it's around. Um, there's this another stat with like push notifications that you can't have, like on a, on a site, right? Like it's, uh, people are 10 times more likely to open a push notification than they are even an email.

So we started going in this more and more and more going. Okay. So we started like building this deeper integration with web flow and then it just became where we would take a web flow site, CMS, like content. Uh, and then throw it in our builder and then push it native mobile for like small businesses.

And then it just kind of like took off from there. So like, um, we'll have to talk more in depth about that, like offline, 

Taylor Freund: offline for sure. Or online.

Okay. Space is something that I, um, regrettably haven't dove into. So I've only published, you know, one, a dollar app and it's not published yet. I had to take it down for some things. Um, it's called track my and. That 

Jeremy: was my 

Taylor Freund: Right? I have, I have the domain 

Jeremy: anywhere if I type it in, no, 

Taylor Freund: I'm just sharing these dead links for your audience 

Jeremy: is going to say we have so many dead links now.

Taylor Freund: I'll put, but the beauty code Jeremy is that I'll put something up right after this call and then we'll have something. Maybe they can go ahead and see some screens, 

Jeremy: but you want to know what I think? I think this is, I think it's funnier to put in dead links and the like, here are the dead links she brought up.

Taylor. I think that, that, that's what I love about doing this. I think so many people like worry about being fucking polished, that they never do something. Right. They never launch, they never they're like, Oh, I got to fix that one thing. Or like, I got to do that one thing. This is it's it's like crippling.

If then those little things just add up. Right. There's just constant. They're like, Oh, I got to do this, these now three things on this one thing. And then these 18 things on this other thing, and you're like, Oh, it's just easier to watch Netflix. You know, like that is kind of the mentality that's happening right now.

So like outside of you doing your, like your no-code agency, um, which has grown to how big now, like client-wise. 

Taylor Freund: So, Oh, so we have currently right now, 18, uh, clients that we, um, I want to say sponsor. So it's like a collaboration, right? Because so much of what web flow does is create this, um, very organic nature to building a website.

So if you remember from, from WordPress, Um, you know, the conversion and then there's like an SEO component. And then all of a sudden, after a year it's launched, well, what flow is not like that? And you mentioned, you know, being polished and you've probably seen this where we do, which is a little different, is that we'll sit with the client and say, well, what is priority?

So we probably, you know, probably a homepage sometimes it's not, sometimes it's like an about slide with like a, you know, some type of slider for, for VC, you know, funding. And so we, we look at kind of servicing our clients is more of a, uh, ongoing type of relationship because that's, that's where web fo is intended for.

Because now, since it's so visual, you can kind of highlight and see an AB test very quickly on what's successful and maybe what needs to be a little. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's a pain in the butt because you get this client that comes back every other day and wants to change 

Jeremy: it. Like when do you, I think, like, I think that's, I think that's kind of important when people start to like, build like new businesses or new ventures.

Um, one of the easiest ways to like, stay in the game is like building like a service layer on top, right? Where like that customer needs you or that person needs you. It's not completely scalable. Right. But like, if you actually have that, you're staying in the game and all you need to be in business tomorrow is to just be in business tomorrow.

You know, like you just need to have a business tomorrow. Yeah. So like knowing that, um, I think is pretty great. And I want to get, uh, I want to get your last, your, your take on this, this one last thing I want to cover, which is the trends you're seeing in no code in general, right? Like good and bad. So we'll take it.

I'm gonna, I'm going to start off with my bad first. Like what, I'm, what I'm taking a, no-code what I'd like to shit on. I've got too many things. I want to shoot on a no-code. Um, but like, You see this uppity nature and no-code right. Like you're almost seeing people that essentially are creating a gateway to it, right?

Like, or a barrier based upon like their knowledge and not teaching enough or like showing people enough or caring enough. Um, there's this stat out there that's like 96% of people don't know how to navigate a CMS. And like, for me, I'm like, those are the people I want to help. Or like, those are the people, right?

Like the, the small people, the me, right. Like, I didn't know what I, what I was looking at when I first discovered Webflow. Right. For instance, and that it's, you're kind of seeing like, Oh, I rebuilt this game in Webflow. And it's like, terrific. Great showcase of your abilities. That is pointless for no one, like it's pointless, everyone's going to see it.

Right. So like, um, that's one of my most annoying things that like, I see what is, what is, what's an annoying trend that you see in No Code? That could be the same thing. It is 

Taylor Freund: it's similar. It's it's taking, um, it's taking too many steps forward to, to make one simple step happen. So, um, design systems is a really good, um, and that actually might be, um, The next kind of like segue into a little bit of what I'm doing today, um, which has changed from last year.

So not so much client facing now I'm actually building out some design systems and some tables, um, and I will drop a link that actually is a live link. You guys, codeless So codeless um, is, is live. And so you can see. See, I'm a little bit of the design system that we are putting together.

Um, and there'd be a couple of templates, but one of the things that I think the challenge is in, in web flow is a technical challenge. And so when I, when I kind of, sometimes we'll get a client that maybe a freelancer has worked on prior. Um, and maybe it's a ghosted freelancer, you know? So the freelancer stopped talking to the client, which is a really.

Real big thing happening in no-code where these freelancers just kind of go quiet and I don't blame them because granted, some of these clients are, are a pain in the butt because they constantly want to change things. Um, but you know, there's, there's when you get into kind of, sometimes they're build, they're using a lot of classes that are just, you know, the beauty of working in bubble, working at a dollar, working in V1, working in flow is creating kind of a, um, A design system that fits you, you know, at brand world, we call it D div, like so D hyphen, and then we'll type the name of the div container or action.

And so then when you're looking at the layers and is so nerdy, but like, there's, there's some things there that if you just settled down. And type in, you know, what you want to do within the, the nice, big, beautiful white screen. Um, and you kind of just narrowly just type in one little div, and then you just use that same class over and over again.

So that would be my big pet peeve because I deal with that a lot. I correct that a lot. Um, a lot of sites we rebuild because they're built with thousands of diff container type, like. Items or texts one text to text three, text four. 

Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah, you're right. That's a good one. So like, lastly, the last, by the way, I'm on a brand weld brand, which is fucking gorgeous.

By the way. So like, I love this, that you're clearly an amazing designer. Um, which just, I absolutely, this is just wonderful. I love this. So like, uh, everyone check [00:24:00] out that live link brand co. Yep. Okay. Well, I don't have the go anywhere or 

Taylor Freund: no,

Jeremy: no, no, no. Do that. Yeah.

Great. I love that. That's what you'll have to come back on. So lastly, uh, what's a tip for no coders that you give away. Like a good little. Tip to star a highlight of what they could do. Anything like to help them succeed. And NoCode.

Taylor Freund: start, start with a pen and paper or. Yeah, start with a pen and paper and just draw some boxes.

And then just getting started with web flow, try to replicate those boxes inside web flow, very color coded. They don't have to do anything because then you understand the nature of HTML, which is a box and a box in a 

Jeremy: box. Yeah. I love that. That's a good one. I that's actually good advice for me. Like, I, I think part of this is me learning how to be a no coder.

Cause like I go in and I just start breaking shit. You know what I mean? I'm like, did this work, that work? You know what I mean? So, uh, thank you so much for coming on. We got a couple of links, send me some stuff and I'll, I'll toss it up and then you'll have to come back on and we'll have to update some people here in the next few weeks.

That'd be 

Taylor Freund: awesome. Yeah. I can't wait to, uh, you know, talk more about kind of what you guys are doing and hopefully then codeless market will have its first template up too, so we can 

Jeremy: perfect. I look forward to it. Thanks Taylor. 

Taylor Freund: Thank you so much. 

Jeremy: Okay.

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