The cost of not using your own product.
Welcome to the “on SaaS and Sales Automation” newsletter. This newsletter is my personal notebook as I continue to build my first SaaS and learn from my mistakes.
Whether you own an agency or a SaaS or, still planning, these notes will serve you as a reminder of what not to do and what you do, the right way. I’m not a master of something, I’m a jack of all, I have not created a unicorn 🦄 (just yet) and I never worked for as big SaaS companies. I created my own path and I learn things every day. I spend a lot of time reading, researching, and discussing with the people who have done it and then try it myself. If you ever feel this is not useful to you, feel free to unsubscribe.
So, let’s get started!
Everyone talks about building products and focusing on marketing and sales, well, that’s definitely true. You need to build the right product and give all your time and energy after product to sales and marketing. We often miss the most important part of the process of building a SaaS, it starts with one question — Am I building something that I’m going to use every day? or you can also rephrase this to — Does it solve my own problem first?
Build something that you’re going to use every day
This is one of the most important pieces of advice that goes unnoticed when you’re building. As an entrepreneur, we’re always looking for scalable problems to solve. We often think of what problem someone is facing and start building. That’s the wrong way to build a SaaS. It should always start with you, what problem you are facing in a situation or every day and how can you solve it. If you start building with this approach,
- You will always love the product and continue to invest your time without actually getting bored.
- It solves your own problem so even if people are not willing to buy it, you’re going to use it for yourself. You didn’t waste your time on building something people never wanted.
- When you’re focused on solving your problem first, in most cases, with some changes, it can solve problems for a large group of people or a niche.
Ok, Vikesh, this is all good but there are hundreds of SaaS and tools that solve other people’s problems.
Yes, I get it. There are tons of companies and unicorns that solve the problem of the people, not theirs. But, if you go back to the early days, it all started by solving a problem they faced or a problem that X (>1000) of people were facing.
What if I’m building something that I don’t use every day?
In this case, spend a lot of time validating your idea and the first version.
- Make sure you have a good number of people (> X ), who are willing to pay for your product. ( X depends on what you’re building and for who. For Enterprise it can be 100 and for B2C, it can be thousands or more.)
- Get your early adopters on a discounted monthly or yearly subscription as soon as possible. This will speed up your product feedback and short-term roadmap. Don’t sell your product on a marketplace or to someone who is not your ICP, it will kill your startup.
- Focus on the numbers, churn is the major parameter. If you’re building something that works and people want it, you should see less churn. People try and then cancel, it can be a product problem (more on that in a separate post) and if you have a working product but users are still canceling, it be either a wrong ICP or you have built something that no one wants to use.
I hope you are making a note of this. We often know everything we need to know but we need to be continuously reminded about it, to avoid the mistake.
Why am I writing about this?
I’m writing this in my notes before when we started TexAu, we were using the product here and there but not every day. When we went out in the market, sold the product in the marketplace, and started working on it we are using it every day and we know everything we need to build.
Later we realized we built many things that are simply not stable and we had a huge demand but the product was not scalable so we had churn as a major problem. I know that based on the interests and demand, we have validated our initial MVP and there is a huge market for it.
Now, we are rebuilding some of the things that we should have built in a better way from the start. This is something we realized when we started using our own product heavily.
It’s just like when you cook — you don’t know if it’s good until you taste it.
Now we are building our new version, which is so powerful, so well created, and scales to millions of users if we need to. I will share more on TexAu V2 when we are close to our launch 🚀
I hope this will the future entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey. For more notes and updates, please follow notes for my future SaaS.
Feel free to send me a DM on Twitter or comment on this article to discuss this.
Originally published at https://www.vikeshtiwari.com on April 6, 2022.