How To Build a SaaS Product

Tools You'll Need
Success Story

With over 4 billion people connected to the internet, the market for software services is among the largest in the world. And as more of the global economy is being run on the internet, the need for software services that improve people's lives is higher than ever.

But that's not all. The costs of building and hosting software services have dropped dramatically over the last 10-20 years. This means successful SaaS products can be built at a far lower price point than ever before (big thanks to AWS), and can serve niche audiences and customers that were previously not accessible.

Marc Andreessen has an interesting anecdote in his famous essay 'Why Software Is Eating The World'. He says:

In 2000, when my partner Ben Horowitz was CEO of the first cloud computing company, Loudcloud, the cost of a customer running a basic Internet application was approximately $150,000 a month. Running that same application today in Amazon’s cloud costs about $1,500 a month.

It's worth noting that Marc's essay was written in 2011, and software hosting costs have fallen much further since then.

Why Software Hosting Costs Matter

In 2000, building a software business meant searching for a large audience with lots of money to spend. How else could software companies support themselves in the face of $150,000/month hosting costs?

But today, any niche obsession can be turned into a profitable SaaS business. And that's exactly what Yannick Veys and Samy Dindane have done. They've started a SaaS business called Hypefury, which helps people tweet more often, and get more out of the tweets they write.

But Yannick and Samy aren't the only ones focused on building apps for niche obsessions. Platforms like Product Hunt and Indie Hackers now host communities of thousands of independent software developers doing exactly what Yannick and Samy are doing. In fact, Yannick and Samy first met through the Indie Hackers.

How To Start Building a SaaS Business

If you're a developer, skip over this section. You've already got the tools and knowledge to build software products. It's time to build.

If you're not a developer, you're in luck. It's no longer a requirement for building an incredible software business. How do you build a software tool if you can't code? One of two ways.

  1. Learn to build apps with no-code tools. While knowing how to code is helpful, not knowing how is no longer a roadblock. Tools like Webflow and Zapier are powerful, easy to learn, and can help you launch a product in hours, instead of weeks. Education platforms like Makerpad and No-Code MVP have a ton of lessons and guides for learning how to build products without code.
  2. Find a founder who can code. Indie Hackers is where Yannick and Samy first met. They've got a community specifically designed for you to meet potential co-founders. AngelList and Product Hunt communities are also great places to find entrepreneurs looking for a co-founder, or talented developers looking for help scaling their project.

Launching a SaaS Business

Getting traction and awareness for your SaaS business can be hard. As the barriers to building a SaaS business have dropped, the number of SaaS businesses fighting for your attention has skyrocketed. To break away from the noise and get your first wave of potential customers, launch on Product Hunt. Every day, the Product Hunt community votes on the best products of the day.

On Product Hunt, it doesn't matter whether you've got a large following or how you built your project. Think of Product Hunt as an idea meritocracy. More often than not, it's the best idea or execution that wins the attention of Product Hunt's massive community.

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