I want to start a SaaS business, but I don't have a product idea yet.
When starting my last SaaS, my co-founder Tom and I knew we wanted to tackle Taxes for Freelancers and Small business owners in Germany. That was a great starting point.
But now, I don't have any constraints, which makes things a lot harder.
My current thinking is building for SaaS founders. Here is how I got there.
I looked for communities that I belong to
There are many advantages to starting a business in a community I already belong to. I experience similar pains to others in the community. I also know where I can find like minded people.
I listed the communities I belong to as part of my personal or professional life.
I am a dad with small children
It's a pretty unique opportunity for me to start something in this space. I am part of online dads communities and I am feeling a LOT of pain as well as excitement while raising my amazing children.
For now, I decided not to go down that path. I might revisit it again in the future.
I have hobbies like surfing, DJing, and playing the guitar
Honestly, since my children were born, I can't say I am taking any of these hobbies seriously. Probably not a good place to start :)
I am a product manager and a developer
These could be great starting points. Both are professional communities through which I can grow a successful business.
I started my career as a developer and transitioned into product management during the last few years.
Deep inside, I felt that for me personally, engineering and product were means to end rather than my desired profession. What I really enjoy is building awesome products and seeing how people benefit from it.
I wasn't sure I could build a successful career without specialising, so I specialised in engineering and then in product management.
Which leads me to the next option.
I am a SaaS founder
I co-founded 4 products, and worked on many others during my professional life. It was always my passion to create new products, and I don't see it changing any time soon.
I get inspired when I speak to other SaaS founders. I also feel like I have inspired a few of my developer friends to co-found their own SaaS products.
The advantage of building for SaaS founders is that they are very active online. The downside is that it is a fairly crowded space.
SaaS founders are spending money on professional tools. They don't have huge budgets like high growth startups, but they tend to make decisions faster than larger enterprises.
So I decided to go for it and build for SaaS founders.
SaaS founders is a very broad definition. I will have to narrow it down.
Finding a narrower definition than "SaaS founders"
To stand out, I will have to choose a specific niche within the "SaaS founders" community. I am not sure what that niche will be, but I have started to actively think about it.
Following my strengths
I am pretty good at coding, but I don't think I am exceptional. I am also pretty good with people, but I was never an exceptional manager. I have a decent eye for design, but I never really specialised in that.
There are few areas where I think I am world class at. For example:
- Creating high quality user experiences exceptionally fast
- Listening to people and emphasizing with their problems
- Researching which tools or libraries will best fit my needs
As I observe SaaS founders pains, I see that I am immediately attracted to solving problems that I am good at.
Observing discussions in the community
I am actively observing discussions in SaaS founders communities, like r/SaaS, Saas Growth Hacks, and Indie Hackers. I am starting to form a picture of the different type of problems SaaS founders experience.
Every once in a while, I try mapping all the information on a diagram like this one. I am hoping that in the future this will help me to decide that I want to focus my efforts on one of this niche circles.
Want to share how you decided which customers you want to build for? Feel free to start a conversation with me on Twitter @nirshub