Self Help

Do zero ao Faturamento Como criar uma SaaS lucrativo em menos de 7 meses - Português (gerada automaticamente)

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Matheus Puppe

· 17 min read

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  • The speaker is discussing how to go from zero to revenue with a Software as a Service (SaaS) business.

  • They will share their story of how they did this with their most recent SaaS project, going from zero to revenue in 7 months.

  • They have over 20 years of programming experience and created their first SaaS almost 20 years ago, before SaaS was common.

  • SaaS is growing quickly as more small/medium businesses need to digitize and find solutions to problems that SaaS can provide. SaaS provides recurring monthly revenue.

  • Common challenges for programmers starting a SaaS include lacking ideas, not knowing how to validate ideas, uncertainty if an idea is good, how clients access/pay for the product, etc. This creates barriers.

  • The speaker will provide a method for generating ideas, prioritizing them, validating if they are worth pursuing, and selling ideas/projects.

  • They will share how they used this method for their most recent successful SaaS and how attendees can get their guidance to start developing ideas and pursuing SaaS entrepreneurship.

  • They began by sharing about their first SaaS from 2004-2005 that managed church websites and generated $400 in revenue but had challenges being in a niche market.

So in summary, the speaker aims to help attendees overcome barriers to starting a SaaS by sharing their proven method and experience building multiple successful SaaS products.

  • The person’s first SAS was a website for evangelical churches, though they were not evangelical themselves. It was basic and required a lot of manual work like creating payment files.

  • Their second SAS was an LMS system for education and livestreaming but it was very large and complex, requiring a lot of support and computing resources. It took 2 years to develop.

  • They realized large, complex systems are not viable commercially. Simpler, focused systems work better.

  • Their current SAS that generates around $17k per month started as a simplified version of the LMS, focused only on specific niches like pet shops and childcare. It has been running for over 8 years.

  • Other SAS projects included an e-commerce system that took 2 years to develop but they failed to sell it as they didn’t speak to customers during development.

  • A smaller web/mobile sales app integrated with an ERP system generated $700/month as it significantly reduced costs for clients.

  • The key lessons are to keep SAS simple, focused on solving specific problems, reduce costs for clients, and regularly test new strategies like different customer segments. Large, complex systems require too many resources.

  • The person invested a lot in marketing, sales, and product courses as well as doing several immersions to develop a software project (called a “saz”) over 9 months.

  • They went to Silicon Valley and did a startup course where their team won headphones. This helped them learn how to validate ideas and turn them into projects and products to sell.

  • Testing ideas and failing is part of the learning process. It’s important to learn from failures rather than giving up. Speaking to potential customers early also helps validate the project.

  • Failed projects can still be useful - they can be used to sell other software services or the idea could be adapted for a different market.

  • The goal is to have multiple small software projects generating income without huge costs, using experience and what was learned from previous projects.

  • To generate ideas constantly, investigate problems in society and how businesses work. Look at what successful startups are doing differently. Discuss ideas with others and get outside inspirations from stories and documentaries. Practicing these idea generation techniques will help develop more ideas over time.

The letter talks about how consistently doing a business podcast and moving around a lot (watching YouTube, documentaries, talking to people) will generate more and more ideas.

They describe how they got the idea to gamify exercise and diets after watching a documentary about Duolingo’s creator. They started thinking about how to apply the same gamification to workouts and diets.

They encourage listening to other people’s ideas and having conversations to spark new inspirations. Asking people how you can help them today is a good way to generate insights.

It’s important to try things out and have experiences to share, as people will want to share ideas with someone who has a track record of success. Even just trying a little better than average can make a difference.

Good ideas come from movement - writing, watching, conversing. But good execution comes from practice. Organize your ideas and use complexity, urgency and potential return as criteria to decide what to pursue. Things with lower complexity and higher return/urgency are better choices.

Research competitors and adjacent markets to evaluate ideas before committing to them. The goal is to balance complexity, return and urgency when choosing what to execute.

  • The speaker discusses how it’s important to find adjacent niches related to your business idea, using the example of pet care being adjacent to child care.

  • They explain the concept of “fio de research”, which involves conducting interviews or guided conversations to better understand a problem and potential solutions. It’s important not to create biases in the questions.

  • Respect people’s time when conducting interviews. Since you benefit the most from the research, it’s fair to pay for their time in some way, like buying them a meal.

  • Moving from initial ideas to minimum viable products (MVPs) requires choosing ideas based on complexity, potential return/scale, and urgency.

  • For the MVP, the goal is to minimally solve a problem people will pay for, to start validating the business model. Don’t focus on extra features initially.

  • It’s better to execute ideas with minimum resources so you’re not dependent on investments. Learn through testing price points, payment models, and other hypotheses with customers.

  • People will often suggest extra features for the MVP like an app, but it’s better to start simple with a web version before adding complexities. Validate the core idea first.

  • The person understands how the web works and that nowadays it is not possible to do everything through complicated web or WhatsApp solutions.

  • The goal is to test hypotheses with an MVP by solving a customer’s problem and getting paid to validate the business model. Technologies should enable fast testing.

  • Features like password changing were only added after identifying user needs, like many people losing passwords. Solutions should be simplified.

  • Start manually if needed to validate hypotheses before building software solutions. Forms or WhatsApp may work better than software initially.

  • Choose technologies that facilitate fast testing. Notifications can start through WhatsApp/email before building apps.

  • Problems should be painful for users so they indicate the solution to others organically. Communities help too.

  • Focus on validating the business and user problem before overengineering solutions. The goal is to get validation, not perfect architecture. Work pragmatically.

In summary, the discussion focuses on the importance of testing assumptions quickly and pragmatically with real users before building full products, in order to validate problems and business models. Starting simply and leveraging existing tools is recommended over overengineering initially.

  • The person referenced getting approved simply for that, so they don’t really remember it. People like to recommend things they find good, so they recommended Nubank to around 20-30 people when it first started.

  • When the product is good and solves a real problem, it will gain recommendations and initial customers through word of mouth. Those initial customers/users interviewed need to become real customers for the solution to be validated.

  • One of their early interviewed customers ended up becoming a major client who can’t live without their services now. It’s validating to reach customers you initially aimed for.

  • Don’t worry too much about how to charge - as long as the money moves from the customer’s account to yours, find a payment method they’re comfortable with.

  • Focus on problems that have real urgency for users to be solved. This level of early success is not normal or conventional - it takes executing many ideas to find one with this level of fit.

  • An MVP will have issues - focus on validating your hypotheses rather than perfecting everything. You can focus on being paid over perfection.

  • Projects with more restrictions tend to have more creative solutions. Less experience can also breed innovation.

  • Identify the 20% of effort that gives 80% of results - for example messaging integration significantly moved things forward.

  • Common mistakes include focusing too much on non-essentials like branding and technology decisions before validating customer fit and value. Start simple and keep iterating based on what helps reach customers.

  • The person developed a SaaS (software as a service) project together with a friend in August 2022. They started by doing interviews to understand the problem and come up with initial hypotheses.

  • Their goal was to build an MVP (minimum viable product) over the holidays in December 2022 but they didn’t have time. They continued working on it and managed to launch initial versions before Carnival in February 2023.

  • They had their first user on February 2nd 2023 and the first transaction between users about a month later. By June 7th they had received their first payment.

  • As of the conversation, they had over 600 users, 31 paying ‘B’ users, and almost 1200 transactions. Their recurring monthly revenue was projecting to be $2500 in September, without any proper sales and marketing yet.

  • At this stage, it’s mainly run by the founder and co-founder in their spare time. They will likely hire a full-time employee soon as it grows in complexity.

  • They are experimenting with pricing to find what works best. It’s good to test things while still small.

  • Some key tips discussed: focus on building the minimum viable product as soon as possible; don’t over-customize early on unless it’s truly needed; web is generally simpler than mobile to get started.

In summary, it outlines the process one founder went through in developing their SaaS project from initial idea to early growth over the past months. Key aspects discussed are timing, features, pricing experiments, and running a small startup.

  • The person recommends focusing on building a native mobile app only if there is no other choice, as it is difficult and there are few reasons to do so. Otherwise, it’s better to start with a web app.

  • For building a SAS (software as a service), they recommend using TypeScript with Next.js/React, as it gives good control over the code and avoids bugs.

  • To get people to know the solution, it’s better to think locally/regionally at first, as it’s easier to have direct contact and understand user needs. But globally can also be considered.

  • For early customers, things like contracts and payments don’t need to be formal - just send access by WhatsApp. Focus on communication over formal processes initially.

  • For support, be upfront about any issues and give realistic timelines for resolutions. Work on issues off hours if needed. Prioritize communication over complex responses.

  • Multi-tenancy depends on how the solution is structured - it could isolate users or allow interactions. Technical approaches vary.

  • It may still be viable to develop a solution for an existing idea, by doing minor differentiation or focusing on a different aspect.

  • To validate an idea, find ways to reduce risks like ensuring there is a market, people will pay, and the business model is sustainable. Conduct interviews/research.

  • The next step is to learn more about their Simpleus methodology for generating, prioritizing and executing ideas in a structured way through practical exercises.

  • The mentorship program aims to help programmers develop and execute their best ideas by prioritizing them in an organized way. It will teach techniques for mitigating risks and errors when executing ideas.

  • It is intended for programmers who want to create a recurring revenue stream through programming, even if they don’t have clear ideas yet. The goal is to help participants discover, develop and validate ideas.

  • The first week will be an introduction, followed by exploring existing solutions in the market in week 2. Weeks 3 and 4 involve organizing, developing and prioritizing ideas, then starting execution.

  • Week 5 covers sales techniques like funnels, landing pages and paid ads to start generating sales. It also discusses international sales.

  • Week 6 is a demo day where participants present the projects they built. There will also be two additional post-mentorship meetings to continue supporting execution and sales.

  • Key points covered include idea generation, prototyping techniques, prioritization methods, development best practices, and selling the product or service both domestically and internationally. The goal is to help participants take an idea from conception to execution and sales.

  • The mentorship program aims to help participants launch their own SAS projects by providing technical training, support, feedback and accountability over multiple sessions.

  • Participants get one year of access to the Fusçe Master training content. This will provide a technical basis to build SAS projects in JavaScript and React.

  • They also get 3 months of 50% discount on the Code English language learning course to help with international sales.

  • There will be a WhatsApp community and direct access to the mentor for support and project updates.

  • The goal is not just education but execution - participants must come to sessions with progress on assigned tasks.

  • For founders, the rate is 4 payments of R$897 or R$3,497 upfront for the mentorship plus all bonuses like additional sessions and access to future revisions of the training content.

  • One project mentioned is PalpiteBox, a SAS disguised as a customer feedback tool for businesses using Google Sheets integration.

  • The mentor believes replicating or directly competing against large existing solutions may not be the best approach due to required resources and preference is given to ensuring participants can launch independently without external investment.

  • The speaker recommends negotiating contracts without a lawyer first, then tightening them up with a lawyer later if needed, especially for a first contract. It’s not necessary to be too formal.

  • They offer to share the contract template they use for their SAS businesses to help others. The main things a contract needs to cover are what will be delivered, responsibilities, and how payment will work.

  • It’s okay to change prices or contracts over time as long as the customer is communicated with. Prices get adjusted all the time.

  • When pitching an idea, it’s important to show it’s not too complex to launch an MVP, has potential for scale, and there is urgency. With the right pitch, something can be done together even if the speaker can’t execute directly.

  • Time restrictions often lead to the best solutions. The speaker’s day is busy between different businesses and tasks. Success requires prioritizing and structuring your schedule and routine.

  • For a question about renting software vs licenses/support, both can work but the offerings need to be clear and concise for the customer. Integration and complementing existing solutions were also recommended.

  • In general, the speaker advises focusing on low-complexity ideas that can start quickly rather than worrying too much about the most lucrative niche, as opportunities can be found anywhere. Testing different approaches is important.

  • RP or role playing is important to integrate with rather than fight against, as it is difficult for them to change games. The best thing is to integrate and not argue.

  • It is best to minimize customizations in software since they can become bugs or alternative flows that cause issues. Customizations also make code maintenance more difficult.

  • Speaking directly with clients is sometimes avoided since larger companies have account managers or product people to communicate. But for one’s own business, speaking directly is fine.

  • Simplicity is important when deploying code to production to avoid errors. Versions can be deployed quickly to fix problems rapidly.

  • Ideas for startup businesses can come from observing where people currently use worksheets instead of software, indicating a need. This helps generate more ideas over time.

  • Selling to businesses is generally preferred over consumers since businesses focus on increasing profits or reducing costs, making them more open to paying for solutions. Consumers compare more to streaming services.

  • Following data privacy laws like LGPD means only collecting necessary data for operations. Excess data collection increases risks if issues occur. As a SAAS, one is a data processor and the client is co-responsible for privacy.

  • An e-commerce store could be considered low complexity, depending on the market. Niche e-commerce targeting specific problems can be opportunities. Ideas sometimes come from observing a partner/friend’s specific issue that likely impacts others.

  • The person was discussing different types of online businesses that could be built as SAS (software as a service) models, such as e-commerce stores for makeup, jewelry, etc.

  • Integrating a SAS solution with other business systems like inventory management or accounting can add value if it solves real problems for the customer.

  • When looking at new technologies, think about how it could reduce costs, increase sales, or make processes faster for customers.

  • Charging an upfront “investment” fee to build out a custom SAS solution is problematic - it’s better to charge a setup fee or first client discount instead.

  • If you don’t have any contacts in the target industry or market yourself, it will be very difficult to build a SAS solution without better understanding customer needs and problems. You may need to find another idea.

  • Mentorship programs should include multiple in-depth sessions over many hours to truly help people develop their SAS idea from initial concept to execution and sales. The goal is to teach people to generate their own ideas independently.

  • Pricing a SAS needs to be aligned with the size and scope of problems being solved for different types and sizes of clients. Overly complex pricing can discourage sales.

  • The person is discussing different pricing models for a software or service based on number of monthly page views/access. For example, R$500/month for 1,000 views, R$600/month for 2,000 views, R$800/month for 10,000 views.

  • They note this can get complex and it may be better to charge a success fee, like R$50 for each sale generated. Or have a tiered/progressive pricing plan.

  • It’s discussed that charging per access may not make sense as access is cheap nowadays. Better to tie pricing to actual value/results like sales.

  • They provide an example where they charged a client R$100,000 setup fee plus R$5,000/month to build them a SAS, without explicitly calling it a SAS development fee upfront.

  • Having a PDV (point of sale) system in the cloud is discussed, with pros being accessibility but con of internet outages causing loss of sales. Redundancy strategies would be needed.

  • WordPress, Wix, Joomla are mentioned as popular CMS platforms but having security vulnerabilities potentially. Integrating or rendering sites statically could help address this.

  • In general emphasis is on starting simple, testing ideas empirically, understanding customer pain points, and improving over time through feedback and experimentation. Sales and marketing skills are also highlighted as important for any business.

  • The speaker discusses launching a dating app and the importance of marketing, sales, and validating the idea with potential customers before building out a full product.

  • They describe how they closed down one of their previous startups called Sasuke. The last customer cancelled and this provided an opportunity to finally shut it down since they had wanted to for a while.

  • Four specific products/startups were owned by the speaker and partners. After the partnership ended, the others did not want to keep one of them called Sasso, so it returned to the speaker who then decided to shut it down.

  • As a solo founder, all the good and bad news is the responsibility of that person alone. It’s important to consider how to communicate closure of a product to customers respectfully.

  • They discuss the importance of contracts and clearly defining terms like “lifetime” plans.

  • People should only listen to advice from those actively doing things themselves, not from non-builders who criticize. Failure is part of the learning process.

  • Being involved in a paid program like Simpleus keeps people more committed than free options. It pushes one to actively build something of value to justify the cost.

The speaker apologized for their voice breaking. They said it was nice to share a little more about the topic and it was cool that their last drawing partner could join. They said it’s good to leave the live recording so they can look back on what they did. They thanked everyone from the bottom of their heart and said to send messages that they will help with. They will also share links in WhatsApp groups. They encouraged people to like and comment after the live, and to bombard the comments section. They asked people to write about their lesson from the live in the comments under the video when it’s posted on YouTube. They want to share good things and see people’s learnings in the comments, which will make them very happy. Finally, they said they will see everyone in the Simpleça group or in the next video, and thanked everyone with a good rest.

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About Matheus Puppe