While doing research for my upcoming book on how founders validated their SaaS/app ideas, I've identified a number of indie hackers who were able to create an MVP due new technology & platform changes.
Take Zencastr ($12k/mo), a podcast recording tool. A new browser change allowed them to build their MVP in the first place.
...this was right when browsers started allowing developers to access microphones and process audio.
This new technology in the browsers created opportunities that no one had utilized yet, so I decided to take a shot at it.
Last week, Cloudflare announced not one, but four major new features that could disrupt 3 industries and make building your Minimum Viable Product significantly faster and cheaper.
If you use Amazon S3, your biggest
headache expense is the outbound transfer. Last week, CloudFlare announced R2 storage where they totally eliminate\* the bandwidth fees and only charge $0.015 per GB of data stored per month.
That's even cheaper than DigitalOcean, which charges $5 for 250GB storage and 1TB transfer.
MVPs made possible due to this update: Anything that has to do with transferring lots of data. Say you have a product idea that required an average of 50TB outbound transfer per month.
With Amazon S3, you'd pay at least $4500 a month. With DigitalOcean, at least $505. With CloudFlare, well, it could be less than $10/month (it only depends on how much data you have stored).
Edit: There's an ongoing discussing about Cloudflare's zero-rate infrequent storage operations, which CloudFlare says will be "significantly less per-operation than the major providers." According to one HN user, "per operation charges, even if at the same level as EC2, would still be substantially cheaper."
Cloudflare announced "WebRTC components", an API for WebRTC using their global edge network. WebRTC is the technology behind many real-time apps (think apps like Zoom, FaceTime, live streams and so on). For WebRTC to work reliably, you need several components like STUN/TURN servers which can be expensive (take a look at Twilio's pricing, for example).
Cloudflare's WebRTC components will basically make this free, allowing you to offload TURN and STUN to their own huge network.
If you're not a developer and want to use something that's more nocode-ish, CloudFlare also announced "Stream Live", a player that allows you to do live streaming/recording for $5 per 1000 minutes of video storage and $1 per 1000 minutes viewed.
MVPs made possible due to this update: Anything requiring real-time communication (one-to-one meeting apps, group calling apps, social video/gaming/sports, interactive apps and so on.) CloudFlare said they will raise the level of abstraction for their WebRTC API so you can think in terms of "participants, rooms and channels" instead of low-level details like how to configure the connection in the first place.
Welcome to the Web 3.0, where your software is decentralized and your users' data truly belongs to them.
Web 3.0 also unlocks the Metaverse, a place where we trade in crypto and have NFTs as intellectual rights.
The only problem: Running and setting up the infrastructure for Web 3.0 apps is painful. Accessing it via the browser is (almost) impossible.
Cloudflare has announced their "Distributed Web Gateways" which should solve these problems. Developers will interact with HTTP calls, which CloudFlare will translate to PFS or Ethereum functions, while adding Cloudflare added-value services on the HTTP side.
MVPs made possible due to this update: Any application based on Etherium and smart contracts that you want to make more widely available and get more users.
Availability: These features are in beta and you can apply for early access (the instructions are at the bottom of each announcement). They will, however, become widely available soon enough, causing a flood of innovative SaaS and mobile apps (hopefully yours will be one of them!)
Btw, if you liked this article, you'll probably like my Indie Hackers series. I focus on identifying trends like these that can help grow your startup every week. To get them via email, feel free to subscribe: