May 10, 2019

Business idea, what do you think? 🤔

Gershon Ballas @gballas

Hi fellow indie hackers,

I have a business idea for which most of you are the target audience, so I wanted to get some feedback.

I’m guessing most of you who have developed tech products spent a good amount of time initially setting up the project and writing a lot of boilerplate code (like user authentication, payment, connection to DB, connection to email account, integration with Docker, easy deployment to AWS/Heroku/DO, logging, etc.)

So my solution is to offer a online setup wizard, or via a CLI tool, that will let you easily setup your backend with a stack of technologies of your choice, i.e. your choice of language, library (express for node, flask for python), your choice of DB, IDE, etc.

The idea (at least at first) is for it to go along with all the ready-made frontend projects there are (like Creative Tim @ among others). This way, they could literally have a project running in 5 minutes, including easy deployment, user-authentication code, payments/subscriptions, email setup, debugging that is sure to work in their IDE of choice, and all of that ton of code that everybody seems to re-write every project.

The business model would be to charge a one-time fee for such a setup (say, $99).

This is kind of similar to AWS AppSync but will create a project that includes a lot of boilerplate code that doesn’t exist there (user-authentication for example among other things).

What do you guys think? Did you guys have a hard time setting up initially? What services did you use (if any)? And would you consider such a service?

    1. 1

      That's pretty sufficient for most things I would think haha

  1. 2

    As software dev, I've got a pretty good routine down for starting apps (using rails/heroku/postgres) and can get them going in less than 15/20 minutes. I'd say the most tedious parts are gsuite, setting up domain, nameservers, mx records, finding a theme/ getting that theme integrated, the administrative stuff stuff. I would love something that just sets that all up for me.

    It sounds like you are going more towards the technical setup and personally I don't think I would pay $99 for that.

    1. 1

      thanks for the reply. I always prefer hearing negative feedback rather than positive :)

      I agree that development of the web-server itself is a non-issue nowadays with rails/flask/django/express, but what I'm trying to focus on is boilerplate code. when you start a new web-app, do you code the user authentication from scratch? do you use a boilerplate? if you use a boilerplate, how good is their user-authentication? (do they allow multiple users per account, logging in using google/fb, etc.)? what about other "mundane" things such as payments etc.? I guess my goal is to create a boilerplate (in python for example) that will be really extensive and easily-extensible and much better than all the ones out there available on github for free, and simply charge a fee for the more extensive version (I'm planning on having a free version as well).

      what do you think? would you pay for something like that if you wanted to get a project started ASAP?

      1. 1

        Ok, I do get the value of boilerplate code more than the web-server setup. If it is up to date, abides by language standards, easy to implement and cuts down the amount of time I have to code, I would consider paying for it.

        To answer some of your finer points:

        • Payments/Subscriptions - I would use (always relearning the stripe api)
        • Authentication - prob not, it's pretty easy with rails and very feature full ( check the clearance gem)
        • Oauth, pretty easy with rails but maybe
        • Email is easy with rails

        Also, just came across this the other day -

  2. 2

    Why do you ask the same question again?

    1. 1

      Maybe he didn't get proper reply previous. Nothing wrong in asking again.

      1. 1

        It's wrong when you do it the same in the exact same way - he even didn't change his text (just several words). I don't think it's a good practice to ask the same questions - for the community itself, because it decreases the whole value.

  3. 1

    I did few sites with Firebase +React + Bootstrap Theme with authentication and other features. I believe it takes a good amount of rework Everytime. If you can provide a few quality themes(along with authentication) and basic features like user account page, password reset, ... $99 is very good price especially compared to customizing templateforest firebase admin themes(which will cost me more than $1000).

  4. 1

    Basically, I just use Firebase now to solve this problem.
    I get:

    • auth
    • serverless fns
    • hosting
    • real time db's
    • constant investment from google to improve their services.

    For the low price of $0 (until scale starts)

    Yes, it does force you down certain design paradigms, but the trade-off is well worth it IMO.

    Hope this gives perspective.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the reply. I knew of spark, didn't know gravity though. Gravity seems interesting but doesn't do anything for deployment and it also only lets you use their own frontend (at least out-of-the-box). laravel spark uses PHP....

      as a software developer, would you be interested in such an end-to-end solution that even includes deployment? or are you fine just using whatever template off the internet (free or not) and just figuring out deployment using AWS/herokue? in general do you feel that starting a new project from scratch and coding all of this boilerplate code is pain point (or do you see that in one of your friends/colleagues)?

      1. 1

        Gravity will come with some sort of templating engine you can use.

        Deployment wise unless you're building a complete new hosting service, docker has worked perfectly for me.

        Another kind of example is

        That is one of the best ones I have seen, used it many times. Saves a lot of time.

      2. 1

        Gravity seems interesting but doesn't do anything for deployment
        What would you do for deployment?

      3. 1

        It’s a good idea, because there is an existing market of products and people buying them. So, if you execute it well, it well sell. You can follow the story of right here by searching this forum. If you have a more complete solution, go for it!

        1. 1

          yup, that's a good way to look at it. thanks.