October 17, 2019

How do I find a profitable SaaS ideas, without looking at my own problems?

Aaron B. @GeroviVaper

How do I find a profitable SaaS ideas, without looking at my own problems?

  1. 13

    You are on indiehackers. There are tens of interviews of Saas founders who share their MRR and their story, basically saving you weeks of mistakes.

    Then, you can just copy a popular solution at 60-80% and cut the pricing 2-10 times.

    You can look at owler for companies that got funding recently and revenue of non-public companies (pretty accurate).

    You can go on review sites and see only negative to reviews of a specific product category, then build a product without that problems.

    In my opinio, the "look at your problems"advice comes from a distortion of reality. You hear founders of huge companies (apple, microsoft, facebook to name just a few) that started solving their own problem. In some cases, it is true, in many others is a PR story. I started my company to make a shitload of money doesn't sound well, so founders invent a new story.

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      Negative review strategy is a pretty neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

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      Never thought to look at negative reviews of other products. That's smart!

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        Thanks Luke. It something that I have been doing for a couple of years and in some cases you can built an MVP with just the negatives of another product. Plus, you know who to target and exactly what to sell them.

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          @Luqa, really like this idea! Would you mind sharing where you tend to look for reviews? Also, have you been able to get something off the ground using this?

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            It depends on what you are trying to build. I can't code so I focus on low-code products that I can build with no-code tools and services.

            I look in the app store and play store, plus google reviews, but you have almost unlimited alternatives like firefox and chrome marketplaces for browser extensions, getapp or capterra for Saas, amazon for physical products and non fiction books. Shopify marketplace is another emerging place for developers.

            In addition you can search with google for product name+review or opinions. Look at blogs that allow user comments and you will see a lot of negative reviews there.

            In 2016, I wanted to review Blinkist (the book summaries app) and saw lots of people complaining that it wasn't in Italian (I am Italian). I built a clone where I published 1 then 2 book summaries per week, reached 2k paying users and a $6.6k MRR in about 7 month. Basically all of it was profit (about $50 monthly on email marketing and bubble, that's it. It was my first successful product.

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              Wow, almost 7 dollars a month! With 2k users! $0.003/month, truly a race to the bottom! 😂

              Congrats

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                Thanks a lot for the valuable contribution!

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              Thanks for all this. This is incredibly helpful!

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      Nice points there, but isn't it bad to have a "race to the bottom" (regarding the pricing)?
      Someone will copy probably you and lower the prices.

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        First of all, if you are a solo founder as I suppose, it will be really hard to undercut your pricing and provide a product that offers the same quality.

        Second, the lowest the pricing, the lowest it is the incentive to switch to another product. For example, heap cheapest subscription costs $500 per months. If you provide me a, product thst does the 60% of the work for $150 I can have an incentive to try it. On the other hand, if you offer a product for $19 most of people won't care about a product that offers 60% of functionalities and saves them $10 per month.

        Third, if you want to make this strategy work, you need to understand what is the key features. A lot of Saas have 10+ features, but 80% of the users use only 2-3. Find them, people will be happy with you and won't change.

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        Selective hearing. Nobody says to undercut your competitors forever.

        It's a strategy in the beginning to acquire users. As you grow your product with more features and learn how to target the right niche/problem set, you raise your prices accordingly.

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          Nobody says to undercut your competitors forever.

          Jeff Bezos says something close—"Your margin is my opportunity".

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            There's always a smart reply to everything :)

            Also, not many people building Amazon's so why apply Bezos's advice universally?

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              Also, not many people building Amazon's so why apply Bezos's advice universally?

              Maybe those who do have a desire to shoehorn things into blanket "all/none, everybody/nobody, always/never" types of binary groupings? I'm not sure. 🤔

              I certainly don't think everybody should try to adopt Bezos's strategies. I also wouldn't consider him to be nobody, though. I just tend to shy away from absolutes when it comes to complex domains like business.

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                100% agree with you. Also I feel I diverged from adding value by providing more ideas, and instead kind of took a criticizing tone which doesn't help anybody. For that, I apologise!

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                  All good! I always assume the best when seeing text without vocal / body language cues. Especially with the smiley, it was very amicable!

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          Will you raise the prices for existing users or only for new customers? And also, how do you inform existing users, if you want to raise prices?

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            It's a choice you have to live by. My choice was to grandfather existing users and instead create new higher tier plans with lucrative features, which if they wanted access to, they would have to switch plans/upgrade to the new plan.

            This strategy has worked so far for me. May not work for everyone.

  2. 6

    What I wish I done before building a product that solved my own problem let only one that didn't, would be to build some content for an audience I like that have money to spend, aka not musicians.

    I would create a newsletter, blog or podcast. Not to make money but to gain an audience. While doing this you would see problems and have an audience to actually see if it is a problem worth solving (big enough and willing to pay).

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      spot on here. there are a number of businesses out there now that just a newsletter - with sponsors.

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      Well, but let's say I start a blog. How can I know, that those people will be interested in my product?

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        That's the whole point you don't have a product in mind, you learn from them what products they need. That way you don't end up building something they don't need and you don't waste your time.

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          I meant that your blog needs some content. Lets say its targeted for devs or marketers. Your product can only be a product, which solves problems for devs or marketers?

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            Targeted at devs create content for devs. If you like teaching aim at junior level, if you like getting into the details aim for more complex problems.

            I created https://saaspages.xyz/ for marketers.

            I would create useful content for them.

            Edit: just re-read it. Yes each audience has a ton of problems, pick one you like or are a part of. Will make it much easier to create good/great content.

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      "build some content for an audience I like that have money to spend, aka not musicians" Really interested in this assumption you've made, and before I tell you my side of the story I'd be interested to know why you think musicians don't have money to spend.

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        Just from anecdotal stories I heard on podcasts :) they spent years building for them and then swapped and had a lot more success.

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    I second @Luqa advice.

    Additionally, you can take something for which there's proven market demand, and make a product that is targeted at a specific group of people.

    For example, Nathan Barry did this with ConvertKit, John O'Nolan did it with Ghost, etc.

  4. 1

    How does everyone capture business ideas and what framework do you use to evaluate them?