There’s a video game I like a lot. It’s called Celeste. The game is a 2D platformer about a girl who wants to climb a mountain and faces a lot of insecurities while doing it. Actually, the antagonist of the game is a physical representation of her fears and anxieties, which is pretty cool, I think. The game, though, has something that makes me think a lot. And it doesn’t have to do with its narrative (which I love) or with its mechanics (which I also really enjoy), but with the player losing the game.
You lose A LOT. And here’s the thing: Celeste has a death count. By the time this entry was written I had died 4052 times in a relatively short game, with just one level left to finish it. 4052 DEATHS!
But instead of this death count being discouraging, it actually make my failures feel...smaller? Does that makes sense? I think it does. It means I tried a lot. And it means that in order to overcome the obstacles I faced, I had to be creative. I couldn’t do the same thing that killed me over and over again.
For some reason, that thought resurfaced when I saw this tweet:
I think it has the same vibe, right?
Like, people try to build their businesses, right? And statistically it’s more likely to fail than to succeed with them, and that’s sad and frustrating. But what if it wasn’t? What if you could just brush off your four thousand deaths? your business failure, or failures? It would just push you to pursue other projects, or even the same project with a different approach.
Normally, you fear failure when you are super invested in what you’re working. And you should care about your project, if not, why make it in the first place? But maybe you are also afraid to fail because you are betting everything on just one method to succeed, or you are super rigid about what you want, and if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be left with nothing.
That feeling is normal, in part, because it takes a lot of time, effort and money to bring to life your original vision. “If I fail, then I will have wasted years, or thousands of dollars, or even a degree”, you think. That’s nerve-wracking. But if you could do like Madeline, Celeste’s main character, and try infinite times, would it be less devastating to fail?
That is what No-Code tools are allowing more and more each day. No-Coders Club stated it clearly: You can iterate cheaply and quickly. You can climb the mountain even if you die 10,000 times. You can pursue new endeavors even if the previous ones weren’t successful. You launched your web page and the following week a racist group with your same color scheme became viral? Iterate, change, don’t spend weeks telling your software developer how you’d like to modify it. You were about to start an uber-like business and your country decided to declare these apps as ilegal? Iterate, change, think of something else and test it in a few days.
There were times when I died in Celeste because of dumb mistakes: I didn’t jump when I needed, or walked in the right direction. But the parts where I struggled the most were when I kept doing the same thing over and over again and still died. I needed another approach to get to the other side or open the lock, but I wouldn’t see it because I would be stuck in my way of doing it. Once I let that go, things would start flowing and falling into place again. With No-Code you can afford having multiple tries, multiple deaths and, who knows, perhaps an eventual victory. So be like Madeline, be flexible, be open to change, persevere but know when to see differently. Climb the mountain.