Product Development March 4, 2020

Open SaaS development from scratch: why and what

Zencentric

Recently I launched SaaS Forge, the Python SaaS boilerplate and now it's time for selling it (please don't tell me that I had to sell it before I create it, I would probably agree but it's too late :-\ anyway).

It's not an easy process and the content marketing has never been fun for me. So, I decided to try something different: instead of writing SEO-appealing but stupid articles like "18 ways to do blah" I want to create a real use case for the boilerplate and tell indiehackers how it's going in the real time.

It means that every day around 9:30pm (when I usually finish working at the computer) I will post the next report about what's done, how much time I spend, which problems I faced etc. If everything goes well (at least I would able to finish the project) I'm going to create a separate post describing this use case. (Note: it's going to be a side project).

Now, the question is - if this is an interesting idea for you, indie hackers? If so, what type of content you would prefer to see?

Currently, I see only one type: text with pictures but maybe you have better ideas. For example, it could be a compilation from screencasts but I'm not sure if this format is good (and how to do that, but I can know :).

The next question is what I'm going to build. After some researching and listening to my inner voice (I rely a lot on it :) I decided to create a service for collecting feedback. I know there are a lot of players on the market (like Nolt, UserVoice, and others) but the market itself is huge and I believe there is enough room for everyone. Also, this time I have a marketing plan. I'm not going to sell it before I build it but at least I know what to do as soon as I have an MVP.

Why did I choose this type of service?

I had several criteria:

  1. The SaaS should not invent a new market or product (check)
  2. The business model should be pretty transparent (check)
  3. The service should not require any complex or expensive technologies (check)
  4. The service should not require creating any content upfront (check)
  5. I should like the idea (check).

What will be the product?

I'm going to build a super-flexible, super-easy-to-use SaaS that would allow to create and run your own feedback collecting board in 5 minutes. Also, it should allow you to perform the simple analysis of collected data and have several views to show them. (So, as you can see it's kind of MPV because I have tons of other ideas but they are beyond MVP - let's see how it goes, I'm going to implement them if it goes well :).

That's it for now :) Stay tuned :)))))

Thanks!

  1. 6

    The way I see it - You are not able to do marketing and that’s why you are trying to do more development. I face the same problem. I don’t have a solution.

    1. 1

      I'm facing this problem too. I've decided to tackle this issue head-on and am documenting my progress if you want to follow along.

      https://www.riknieu.com/i-dont-know-anything-about-marketing/

      Hope it would be helpful to you :/

    2. 1

      You don't know what I'm doing therefore, you can't judge me in this way. Another thing I was not probably clear enough that you missed the point.

      I AM doing marketing in many other ways (even if I don't like it), and this post and this idea is for marketing too.

  2. 2

    There are typical answers to this,

    • sell before you make it (as you expected that)
    • find the a problem and solve it
    • build an audience first
    • create a landing page and start collection e-mails
    • etc. etc.

    I am a developer myself and having the same dilemma: I tend to build first.

    To balance this, recently I am trying

    • not sell it to a market first
    • not build an audience first

    but

    find 1 (one) single person that is interested in your product and would use it.

    Focus on that person and that person only, build it only for him/her.

    If you are on the right track, you will get a good product because you built it on real needs and real feedback, and also, that person will be the first person that will start doing marketing for you, without even realizing it!

    well, that's the theory :)

    1. 1

      Is it the norm to sell a product like this before you make it? What happens if you can't meet deadlines? Demand? etc

      1. 1

        I do not mean "selling" literally. if you can, it's great though.
        but it needs to be somewhere between "oh this is nice I would buy it" (they never buy) and actual paying.

  3. 1

    Just stumbled upon this series of yours (started from day 5 backwards ) and I have to say I love it so far.
    Looking forward to seeing how it all turns up.

  4. 1

    What customer pain point are you solving?

    1. 1

      People having any kind of business want to have feedback from users. What can be improved? Which important features the product lack? Maybe there are bugs? Or maybe their end users have some nice idea?

      I have my own business and I want such a way to listen to my customers. Not everyone is ready to write me email, so I suppose the voting would be easier.

      So, this is my personal pain point.

      As end user, I sometimes complain about the product or service but I don't like to write them email because usually I have back "Your opinion is very important for us" and other crap, so I would see if there are people who think the same way as me and hope it would affect their opinion and roadmap. If I see a service has some public feedback board I trust such business more.

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