April 5, 2020

I failed at my first SaaS

Charles-Eugene Loubao @cloubao

Hello 👋🏾
I haven't posted an update in a while...
Micro CRM lost its first paid customer last month. We are not getting much traffic. People sign up but never use the application..

I think I may have made a few mistake with my app.

These are the few things I learned from this experience

Here's a list of things I wish I did before writing my first line of code

• Understand the problem you are trying to solve. Find why the problem exists, solutions are out there and why they don't work.

• Find your target customer (niche?) talk to them and understand their struggles. They will help you understand the problem you are trying to solve even more and it will help with marketing your app.

• Look for your competitors and find something to differentiate yourself (unfair advantage)

• build an audience. For me this is probably the hard part. I did not think of that early enough and when the time to launch came I had no one interested enough to use and give me relevant feedback.

• Have proper roadmap of what features are important

• don't give out too much for free just to get users. I was offering a 30 days trial which now I see wasn't the best option.

I probably didn't do a few more things right but these are the things that I was able to pinpoint with this project.

My next project will not be perfect but I have put more planning into it this time ! We will see how things will go :)

  1. 6

    Sorry to hear that it didn’t work out. The main thing is that you’ve learned and will dive right back into another product. Even getting to one paying customer is a great achievement for your first SaaS!

  2. 3

    Sounds like a great learning experience.

    CRM is super saturated. So many things must be done right to compete.
    Good luck!

  3. 3

    We all fail with our first SaaS. Take your learnings into account for your second attempt.

    1. 3

      I running my first SAAS too, your reply scares me a little bit 😅

      Btw, thank you @cloubao for sharing your experience.

      1. 3

        Don't be discouraged. My experience might be different from yours good luck !!

    2. 1

      Thank you @stephan85 🙏🏾

  4. 2

    You came to this conclusion too early. Just 5 month passed from the launch.

    From the podcasts here on IH I see people spent sometimes years. Of couse you need a feedback during this time. This is the thing you've probably failed with, not the product.

    Btw, did you use it yourself? I mean "...the problem you are trying to solve". I don't see how it was better then a regular contacts list in any mailer.

    Actually, just today I was thinking about CRM for a school. But there you should track many events, each in correspondence with a person or a group of persons (classes). And yet I consider it as "very simple". Was it possible in your CRM?

    Charles-Eugene, could you, please, share how much time you spent building this product?

    1. 1

      Hi Dimmi. I started working on Micro CRM November last year. Maybe I should have persisted a little bit the in the last month with everything I learned I realized I wasn't solving the right problem.

      Now that you say it I didn't get proper feedback back then either. Since so many things didn't work my gut feeling was to start over from a clean slate (when I get back to the CRM space)

  5. 2

    Thanx for your post, lots of great learning for the next one, keep us in the loop 👍🤩

  6. 2

    All counts. Be in positive spirits. Cheers!

  7. 2

    Given what the CRM market is, you're giving up way too soon. At this point with the insight you've gained, it might make more sense to move on to something else, but that's up to you to decide.

    1. 1

      Hello @hostedmetrics 👋🏾. There is a lot of variables I didn't consider originally with the CRM market and my marketing skills and design skills (as you can see on the site at the moment) are not the best. I am not completely shutting down the site but rather sharpen my entrepreneurial skills on another project and eventually gain more experience and come back stronger on this

  8. 2

    Only failures generate new information. Take what you've learned, make corrections, and take another swing.

  9. 2

    Ah sorry about that! I made many of those same mistakes in my first two attempts at products - you're not alone! Good luck in your next project :)

  10. 2

    You learned many many things, so that's a win! Failed by first startup / SaaS also and it informed so many things afterward.

    Your idea was good, I'm seeing a company doing something similar around the Personal SaaS trend like Superhuman for emails but for Personal CRM: http://folk.io/

  11. 2

    Just about Every market is saturated at this point. So what? It does mean there is a market. Is that better than building a market?
    So why give up?
    Yes, everything you said are all common “should have done”...!
    But funny thing is both successful founders and failed founders have the same exact list! Really.

  12. 2

    Hey, thanks for sharing your learnings! Wish you all the best in your future attempts.

    I have also launched a no fuzz CRM, which is mainly for SMBs. Aiming for the ones that do not use any digital tools yet to organize their day by day operations.

    I would be really interested to know what did you do in regards to marketing microCRM.

  13. 2

    You didn't failed, you have learned a lot from your mistakes.
    No one will teach you how to build a successful business, even if you pay them.

    To succeed you must be different and in front of the competition with 2 steps.

    Think of what the future should look like. My vision is that everything will be interconnected by the systems & machines. We, as the people, will have limited interactions, everything else will be done my the machines.

    Think about adding a feature to solve all the CRM tasks in an automated way for the future systems/machines to interact with your product.

  14. 1

    You didn't fail, you progressed by adding experience to your learning curve. Very good insights!

  15. 1

    thank you for this awesome insight! How does one go about "building an audience"? Is it like messaging and connecting with people and convincing them 1 by 1 to be a fan of your brand?

  16. 1

    It's hard, but you need to be persistent. How long have you launched?

    1. 1

      It has been 5 months :/ not a long time I know, but I was assuming, if its not making money by now, it might never make money

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