The Arduous Marathon to SaaS Profitability
I thought it would be great to gradually start documenting more of the things I'm doing, because others might find some of it interesting, and for me to reflect on later.
Why focus on SaaS at all and not startups in general?
I have done my fair share of exploring what can be done in the world of startups. However, one major weakness is what you are left with when things don't go according to plan.
Let's say you seek out investors to fund your startup, and your role is to hire the right people to develop your product, while you are guiding them in the direction you want to take the business. If the startup fails the only real skill you are left with is that you become better at pitching investors. That is fine if you are ok being a sales man, and do a lot of hard selling to get a well paid position. But I have realized that I would rather do something else if a startup I'm working on fails.
Another way of running an early stage startup is as an 'indie maker'. Indie makers mostly focus on running startups by becoming developers themselves. The great thing here is that if your business does not succeed, in the worst case you will become a better programmer. At the time of writing this article, programmers are highly paid. One argument against this long term is that programming will become less valued, because of more automation, but I think that proves the opposite. As systems become more complicated, and there are more of them, we need a bigger workforce to maintain this technology. In the future we will probably get AI that is good at maintaining infrastructure based on code, but that is far away from now.
So what is the plan?
I have recognized that regardless of how much market research you do, it's difficult to know if your project will fail or not before you launch it. Therefore, the best way of bootstrapping a startup would be to launch as many high quality SaaS businesses and see what kind of result you get. So much of creating a successful business hinges not only on hard work, but timing and reach. Someone launching the exact same idea at the right time or to an existing audience can gain traction, and you might fail even if both services are good.
I'm launching 12 startups in...
Because I have other commitments than only working on startups, I will do what I can to launch one every month, but it will probably take more time.
To reach SaaS profitability for a project that I also enjoy working on, it will be a marathon not only a journey. Journeys can go all sorts of places, but consistency is key to gain any sort of traction.