May 27, 2019

AskIH: Who here has bought a SAAS boilerplate template to quickly launch their startup?

Geoffrey Callaghan @irishgeoff

Someone asked me yesterday if I would sell them my base source code and css template for one of my startups

My tech stack is node.js, mysql, ejs, hugo static generator (for the blog) and a bootstrap theme I purchased from themeforest. It has your standard features, login, registration, password reset, email confirmation, authenticated protected routes, "wiring up the theme", form validation, a clean data access layer using plain SQL (no magic code anywhere).
I suppose this would save someone around 200 hours (5 weeks) of coding and and of hair-pulling to get up and running.

To be honest, I'm a career programmer but It never crossed my mind to sell my code as a "starter project".

I want to throw this out to the IH community. Who has bought and used a starter app in the past? And should I bundle this up and sell it? Maybe I should be a little more direct. Who wants to buy some code?

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    Regarding deployment, I could spin up a new instance on digital ocean and pass that on. I have to give this some more thought however. Maybe I should create a SAAS as a SAAS :)

    I would need to create some documentation to let the developer know where everything lives etc and how to run it.

    And about keeping it up to date, well its a starter application so the buyer would have to be a nodejs developer, take it as it is and create new features on their own. This is just a simple way for them to buy 5 weeks of grunt work.

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      5 weeks of grunt work.


      Yeah, there's a lot of boilerplate with Node. Just being a runtime, it doesn't have the generators or db migrations you get with an MVC framework (e.g. Rails, Phoenix, Laravel, etc).

      Even though the majority of my webdev work as an employee was with Node, it's hard to think of a case where I'd use now as an indiehacker. For those who simply don't know anything but JavaScript, and don't want to learn, your project could be a great time saver.

      I've actually bought a rails-based template from someone on IH. It wasn't up to the level I expected, it was missing the critical feature I wanted and the documentation wasn't that great. It was still worth it just for seeing how the author structured certain things, like their Tailwind CSS component-based components. It was priced in the $50-$100 range, at least when I bought in beta.

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    I've used: (PHP not Node) on a couple of projects and definitely saved a lot of time at the beginning. Can make it more difficult if you don't fully know how everything works later down the road.

    The biggest time sync for you will be writing documentation, and providing post sale support, just keep that in mind when you price it 😀

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      I've heard a lot of good things about Spark in the past. Do you know it pretty well these days?

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        Yeah. One is pretty vanilla just used Spark out of the box and didn't make any customizations, but the other one required making some updates and additions.

  3. 1

    That's a great idea. Even as a programmer myself, this would save me a ton of time because I use boilerplate code over and over again.

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    Hey @irishgeoff,

    Great question, I think there is a lot of "developer ego" at play when we think stuff like this isn't valuable to others. But it really is!

    I recently wrote a blog post about some Rails Boilerplate solutions.

    I know you're stack is Node.js, but I list one that is open source, "Limestone Accounts" which would give you some ideas about how they do their documentation and showing the developer where everything lives.

    Also listed are a few other paid solutions. You might like to poke around their sites and get a feel for the market and who they are selling to.

    I've done a lot of research in this space and would be happy to answer any other questions you may have!

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    the questions I would be asking is:

    • how do I deploy it

    • how do I keep it up to date

    • how do I use it (documentation)

    I’d need reasonable answers to this before I went down this path.

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    I will and do. My latest project I built in Webflow, but I've bought wordpress templates for testing MVPs.

    I would love to buy something with bare bones set up, but documentation is key to all this.