More than a year ago I decided I would write an ebook on building Micro-SaaS businesses. I was really enjoying the experiment in radical transparency, sharing the metrics and details behind building my own small software company on blog. Readers were enjoying the long form blog posts and I felt I had enough material that was genuinely new and interesting to put together a longer writing project. On top of that I saw several folks having some real success with ebooks, and having just read Nathan Barry’s Authority ebook about selling ebooks, I also thought it would be cool to try out a new business/revenue stream.
After a ton of thought and feedback from friends and readers, I’m killing the ebook project and moving the content over to my blog, where it will be available for free. You can start reading the first three chapters now here.
Because I like to over-share. Here are the main reasons why I decided to kill the project despite really not wanting to give up on it.
Justin asserted on Twitter that SaaS is ripe for disruption. SaaS founders, like myself, piled on arguments against the theory in a fun exchange. What follows is a thought-provoking article with a lot of great points but a dead wrong conclusion.
In this post I’ll tackle two specific, very good, questions he raised:
If you are currently bootstrapping a software business (whether you intend to raise VC later or not) should you be thinking first and foremost about SaaS? Yes, absolutely.
Is SaaS losing appeal relative to other software business models? Nope.
First I’ll look at some of Justin’s specific arguments, then I’ll add some support for my counter-claim: not only is SaaS not about to be imminently disrupted, but the software industry as a whole is inexorably shifting towards the as-a-Service model.
I gave a short talk on Micro-SaaS businesses at the B2B Rocks conference in Paris (July 2016). I really had fun with this presentation since most of the conference program and attendees were focused on venture-backed, enterprise, “big” SaaS topics. The full video is below. Big thanks to Alex for organizing and inviting me.
There are a million books and blog posts on how to get startup and business ideas. Many people think the biggest road block to successful entrepreneurial life is having that one great idea. Once you get even a modicum of success, lots of people will start asking you about how you got an idea like that, and for any tips and tricks on how to “come up” with a similar idea.
The concept is extremely tantalizing and sounds so imminently teachable that it’s a favorite tool of lifestyle business spammers everywhere. 7 Step Guide to Profitable Business Ideas. Join My Webinar on Finding Your Dream Business Plan.
But this is entirely the wrong way to think about it.
First of all you should be coming up with at least five possible business ideas every day. This part should be basically effortless. People trying to sell this part are scamming you.
If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur at all you should innately be looking around you at your life and the lives of others, thinking what are their problems. What are their desires. What do they spend money on. Which of those things are broken or could be done massively better or cheaper or faster. You should be constantly thinking this way. It should annoy people who spend a lot of time around you.
If you’re not doing that, you’re probably not going to be an entrepreneur… sorry. It’s okay. There are lots of other great life paths but this one isn’t for you.
There is one common exception to the rule. You might be hung up on one idea, and that stops the process of thinking of new ideas. It’s cool, you just need to build yourself a better meat grinder.
The secret to coming up with a successful business idea is putting hundreds of ideas through the meat grinder.
I never set out to build a robot army. But today, there are at least a dozen little robots who do my bidding on a daily basis. Between managing my personal life and running my Micro-SaaS Business (Storemapper), my robot army does drudgery while I sleep and makes my life a little easier and more productive. Here’s how you can build one yourself. In Part 1 I’m just going to look at the robots that required no coding to set up, later I’ll do a post about all the little custom scripts I’ve got running on Heroku Scheduler.