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Ask HN: How to find profitable SaaS or Software ideas?
8 points by tommydoke 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments
All of us have software ideas and projects we want to work on or currently working on. I know it is said that scratch your own itch and execution matters, yet there seems to wide array of software where CRM, Sales, DevOps etc. type of software made repeatedly and sold for millions year after year.

My question is how to do market research and where do I collect data for software projects? Getting 5-10 or 40 users, although hard, can be done with hard efforts. Making it sustainable seems really hard.

Where do I go about learning user demand and create products that ultimately end users or companies would pay for?

How do I conduct user research? Any tools, tips, methodologies that worked for you?


My personal preference are ideas arising out of "problems" that are a must have for your target customer and not nice to have. the Reason CRM, Sales, DevOps etc type software are successful because they are always needed by their target customers. They are also known as "Boring" Ideas which actually translate to "Proven ideas that always work as long as execution is great".

The problem with "boring" ideas is that they are done many times already and in order for you to find your "niche", you have to have some interest and ideally, experience in the niche you want to work on.

Paul Graham has a nice little essay about his perspective on this: http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html .

It's pretty lengthy so I would suggest pondering over various sections and re-reading it after a while to let it all sink in, but a helpful primer nonetheless.

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