Rule 1: Find customers first
With SaaS, most of the time risk is not tech risk. The risk is mostly market risk, meaning “can you find a market for this product?”
The reason the risk isn’t tech risk?
We’re developers, building software is what we do. While some SaaS products are more technically challenging than others, they are generally not impossible.
Finding a market that doesn’t exist? Closer to impossible.
For my current project, I’ve DM'ed several of my favorite builders on Twitter and asked for feedback on a one-pager of my product. I’ve gotten tons of great feedback already (great meaning “it’s impacted my roadmap”).
After I create a demo, I’m going to focus on getting five presales before shipping the finished product.
Rule 2: Build with tech you know
Speed matters on SaaS side projects a lot. Building with tech you know will help you be more efficient.
If nothing else, I’m consistent. My earliest blog post covers this exact topic:
All of my side projects that focus on profit will always be in React/JS land for this exact reason.
Rule 3: Tackle the right problem first
When you set out to build a new product, you’ll find tons of problems you want to solve. How you prioritize these problems will determine if your project succeeds or if you burn out and don’t ship a V1.
How to pick the right problem/scope?
There’s plenty of good thoughts on this already:
On my new project, I’m not 100% certain I have this right yet, but only time will tell.