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Ask HN: Idea for SaaS?
12 points by altern8 on Oct 9, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments
I've been wanting to start a new project for a while, but I'm totally out of viable ideas.

I would like to create a SaaS of some sort, that could eventually allow me to make $1000/mo.

Is there someone smarter that me that could suggest something cool?

Creating a SaaS that makes a couple grand a month is really easy. Extremely easy.

The problem here is that you want a "cool" idea. SaaS is inherently uncool. Its the antithesis to something "cool" like an Oculus. SaaS is soul crushingly boring.

The easiest lifestyle saas businesses go like "scrape this website, present the data, sign up people who think software is magic".

Then understand compounding. Google it right now and ponder on it for a couple hours. Understand that no matter how abysmal your growth may be, it will always end up at a pretty neat number that you can comfortably live on, after a couple months.

1k/month is 10 clients. Its impossible to not find 10 clients if write some software that is not complete ass. You don't need something cool. Just write anything that remotely adds value to someones business and tell them its 100 bucks. Then when they're signed up, ask them how to make it actually useful.

The problem is I find it hard and expensive to get traffic coming in.

So what if I find a useful app but it is getting 5 visits per day?

My personality is not terribly compatible with the type of marketing that I see some people do nowadays like social media stuff or dumping an ad about their startup as a Quora answer or writing "How I learned blah ..." posts on medium.

While I really like the attitude of it being easy to do, I have personally found that the difficulty lies in finding those actual business problems.

Find a dad, or some uncle, or some person that is 50+ and always whines about this one thing at his job that has always been done this one way that is really annoying.

Make that go away.

Business problems are easy. You live in a bubble of software awareness that most people don't have access to. Normal people are not aware of how easy to fix these things are.

The other day I made hundreds of internet marketers drool over displaying a "(1)" in the title like Facebook does when you have new messages. Literally 2 lines of javascript and we all know how to do these things. I could easily sell a $20/month subscription to this and just pretend it was difficult.

A major part of my girlfriends masters thesis right now is sifting through data - manually. We solved that problem by invoking the dark arts:


import pandas

data = pandas.read()



4 months of work done in a single instant.

What we do might as well be called magic. Normal people very much don't get how easy their problems are.

SaaS Inspiration

@DHH Startup School Talk (2008) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CDXJ6bMkMY

This is the most inspiring SaaS talk, I still listen to it once a month or so for inspiration.

You'll have to find the right idea, one that is interesting to you and still solves a B2B pain point that you'll enjoy solving.

Do you have any experience working with businesses where you can build a SaaS to make something easier for them?

Basically you're looking to build something for a business that provides them value that they would sign up for and willing to pay you money to use.

You can see what others are having success with here: https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses https://baremetrics.com/open

I always recommend listening to StartupsForTheRestOfUs.com.

You don't need to aim for $1k/mo, almost any niche can grow to $10k/mo or even $100k/mo. So don't limit your dream.

There is also https://nugget.one/ that will send you an idea per day and has a community support/discussion to help you execute on the one you choose to pursue.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Why such small thinking? Why not work on a new project that might make you $100,000 a month? Sure $1000 is more likely (zero the most likely), but why aim small.

I'm probably not the only one but aiming for something that is small enough that I ca run on my own and it makes little enough that only pays for me is more attractive to me than to make more money but then have to deal with hiring people and so on.

You can run a $100,000 a month business on your own if you choose the right area. Even if you think this is beyond you, then aim for $10,000 a month.

What HN users wish for may throw up something you find worth doing.


Github equivalent for non-techies? Too many excels of varying version getting passed around via email still.

It's the idea that is hard to come up with, not the implementation. I'd be surprised if anyoune would give you the answer you expect.

Just look for things people are complaining about, and build solutions for them.

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