Do you know any one man SaaS app that are profitable?
I'm asking this because I'm considering starting a SaaS app as a side project, and I'm looking for some inspiration.
I built both with the stated goal of bringing in recurring income while minimizing the amount of time I actually spent "working". As such, I had plenty of time along the way to bootstrap via consulting work and to travel and otherwise lead an interesting life while the product businesses ramped up in the background.
They're both ticking away nicely now, to the point where it's Officially Silly to continue working for anybody else, ever. As a result, "work" hours are defined as the ones where it's raining, the kids are in school and I've been mountain biking recently, or it's been sunny for a week and I need a rest day. Even with those constraints, you'd be surprised how many new features get shipped.
I mention this side of the business by way of convincing anybody sitting on the fence that it's probably worth giving this whole SaaS thing a try. It really doesn't impact your life in the way a "startup" would, can be done while still doing gainful work for others, and doesn't take much in the way of capital investment.
But if and when it starts paying dividends, it does in fact get as good as it seems it should.
Thanks for sharing your 2 projects! To be honest, I'm surprised that a few simple projects like that could support someone! I'm completely new to this, and was wondering if you could break down some numbers for me? Like: how many users, where they come from, what you think is the total market, how much of that you currently capture, and any growth hacking or marketing you did?
Thanks a lot!
Thanks for your story. I absolutely agree that this whole buzz IS INDEED worth giving a try.
I am a part of a very small team, working on a SaaS app and I know how challenging it gets when there are so few people around.
But it's also a huge advantage - nobody can really limit you.
Good luck and all the best!
How do you monetize W3Counter? I'd imagine you compete directly with Google Analytics, which is free.
I hear a lot of customers clamoring for the old school pay for listing, get inquiries via emails method, particuarly after the big guys in the space are stumbling: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/homeaway-vrbo-service-f...
It's not my main focus atm though!
I paid for the app before it went to a subscription model and it's perfect. Nothing more and nothing less than what I want in bookmarking app.
I am responsible for uBlock Origin (the other uBlock is abandonware), and I haven't received anything from you. In any case, my answer would have been that I am not responsible of the content of 3rd-party filter lists, and in the current case you would need to contact malwaredomains.com, they are the ones listing you as malware.
I've got a small plugin that I've been struggling to get traction with (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-content-calendar-lite/). Would be very interested to know what you've done to get users.
I mostly work on it one day a week, when I have a super maker schedule day and code for like 14h straight. The other days of the week I answer support emails and sometimes write blog posts. Total time these days is about 20h/week, and if I want to it can easily be 4h or less.
I've written a bit about my experience getting to here:
In some senses it worked fairly smoothly for me, but I'm not assuming it's easy. Some basic advice: (the posts above elaborate on some of this)
- do things that don't scale
- charge people from the beginning: ideally get 10 people to literally send you cash for their first month's subscription before you do much work--message friends directly rather than setting up a huge sales site
- then gradually automate it with software,
- (before you get monthly payments running on your app, you can run them with moonclerk (which uses stripe, so it's a seamless transition))
By following these principles, you know that at each step of the way, you're building something that people will pay for, because you have people paying for it. This also forces anyone you talk to for advice to take you more seriously.
Feel free to hit me up on twitter @Malcolm_Ocean with questions or just to connect :)
I'm not associated in any way other than as a user - Just the first things that popped into mind.
For years he ran it by himself, eventually hired a couple people to help him out, and then sold it for $575M in cash, keeping about $500M for himself.
Building a profitable sass business lies in the ability to understand your market, the problem your product solves and execute on sales goals. Learning how to do that takes a while though - you generally don't get your business legs for a while.
I'd be happy to share tips if you want to connect: katzgrau at gmail
My background was always in that space and about 3 years ago I started to teach myself to code. Albeit not great but enough to probably land a job as a junior full stack developer if I ever wanted to.
I think the canonical example of this was someone like Patrick McKenzie, I remember when I first came across him a while back and being blown away at what he could do with just a little bit of marketing knowledge and some code.
I look back on many of the things he would suggest to SaaS businesses for example now and while they were no doubt "clever" very few of them were actually complicated ideas from either a marketing or engineering point of view. Those kinds of things are entirely within your reach.
I don't want to trivialize the marketing side of it but honestly I feel like you could EASILY learn enough concepts within under 2 months that you could apply to everything you ever worked on again forever. I'd also make the argument that if you are in the one man SaaS space that would be a very profitable and very worthwhile endeavor to embark on.
The founder writes about their experiences here: http://cushionapp.com/journal
Also the guys at Quotientapp.com are just 2 dudes bootstrapped - and multiple times bigger than MinuteDock.
World's your oyster - it's a hard slog just grow slow and steady and you'll get there.
Got started scratching our own itch basically. Needed time billing software that integrated with Xero for tracking consulting work, was nothing really available at the time. Also hated traditional timesheet/timecard approach, hence the slightly different take on the user interface (twitter-esque time entry)
Built something using Xero's API which was in beta at the time, and then slowly grew off the back of that through friends/colleagues liking the product, word of mouth & channel referrals (Xero had a landing page for their 3rd party integrations).
We also engage closely with the accounting/bookkeeping community, so we get a lot of referrals through accounting providers who need software for their clients that integrates with their back office accounting packages. Repeated the same process with other channel partners (QuickBooks, MYOB, etc.).
It's definitely been a long slog - no hockey stick growth yet.
Would say that sales & promotion is one of our WEAKNESSES to be honest - I'm very much a developer who has fallen into trying to manage this kind of stuff. Always open to ideas, suggestions and feedback :-)
So if I understand it correctly, integration & being featured by Xero was the leverage the product needed.
Commando.io is SaaS that helps companies and people manage their servers. Think distributed SSH with a full audit trail, versioned scripts (call them recipes), and automation (full API and scheduling).
> Commando.io is SaaS that helps companies and people manage their servers
I'm not sure if I want the tools I use to manage my production servers to be managed by one guy. What if things start breaking and you're not around?
Can you share some tips on attracting new customers? the marketing aspect
Both were created in 2015.
I seem to pick up new users pretty organically, and it's been running for over a year now.
For example, I use a VoIP tool quite often (almost daily). There are a lot of backends that can be used, like Twilio. The only thing is the front-end (ofcourse, it's not all front-end but you know what I mean)
I've been burning up knowing that if I were to have such a SaaS app, it will really do great.
Any suggestions on how I could start that up?
Before you start your first SaaS, read this:
I'm great with ideas (like everyone lol) but mine are practical and definitely niches. Logic, and Usability are my strengths. I can really chart out a great experience.
Currently running a successful & profitable marketing agency where the "grunt" work is done by contractors. Wondering if developing a SaaS app can be the same...
If you are looking for SaaS inspiration, maybe it's better to start with sales & marketing (Between January 2014 and January 2016 the number of SaaS companies grow from 947 to 3874.)