Video Thumbnail

How I created a profitable SaaS Product in 63 days - as a side project


Thanks a lot for jumping into this video i'm pretty sure you were either curious or skeptical when you saw the title. But it's actually not an exaggeration i recently launched feed hive a tool for content creators i started working on the mvp on the 28th of november 20 and had my first paying users after exactly 63 days. And yes i did this while working 40 hours a week with two clients as a freelance consultant so how the hell did i manage to pull this off stick around i'l share some great tips on productivity management promotion and growth all right before we get started here let me just set the scene feed hive is not the first sas product that i'm launching let's go back to february 20 my friend. And i created a challenge we called it 100 days of tech startup inspired by the twitter trend 100 days of code but instead of writing code for 100 days we were going to launch a sas product in 100 days all inclusive for. 100 days straight i was pouring all that i had into my product i was grinding the best i had ever learned and when launch day finally arrived nothing happened no one gave a damn about my product i got close to zero traction on it i had collected a small list of early users by email and barely anyone signed up i posted on beta list product hunt reddit boards indie hackers still no one cared it was just drowning in all the other products with a similar lack of interest i had to almost drag users into the platform by force to be fair the product actually do have active users today.

A dedicated audience

Of mistakes but the biggest one was underestimating the value of having an audience at that point i had around 250 followers on twitter. And i barely used linkedin needless to say it was disappointing seeing my hard work dissolve into the void i started reading books there were three books that changed my mind rework by the creators of base camp the lean startup by gary griez and 1 million followers by brendan kane these books made me realize how important a dedicated audience is so i decided to build one. And i made it my primary goal to grow a dedicated following as fast as possible with focus and hard dedication i managed to grow my twitter account from around 800 followers in mid-june to 32 000 followers today roughly six months after i made a public announcement about feed hive in its tweet on the 3rd of january this year and a tweet announcing the beta launch again on the 6th of february with almost 3 000 likes on these tweets in total it was very clear that this was going to be a different story during january feed hive got mentioned countless of times a lot of people were very interested in this product so the lesson learned here you need to create initial hype and interest around your upcoming product if you don't have a large follower account yourself you need to find people that have i can say with almost 100 certainty that your product is going nowhere without this factor get early users and feedback fast.

Get early users

Yes you've probably heard this before most likely many times but it's because it's crucially important it's probably one of the single most important factors of lean startup don't just build a way you need validated learnings from actual real-life human beings that can be potential users of your product through twitter i invited 20 users in already 12 days after i started developing feed hive the application didn't do a whole lot only very basic functionality. And it was full of bugs i created a small focus group on twitter in a group chat. And i have been talking to these users almost daily not only did they provide invaluable feedback and catch 90 of all the existing bugs but a lot of them also came to fall in love with the product and are some of the biggest advocates today it's very clear without having this group of users on board this early feed hive would have most likely completely missed the target in fact this is the reason most tech startups fail they end up building a solution that no one likes to a problem that no one has so the lesson learned here start creating awareness about your product early partially by onboarding early users as fast as you can don't be afraid if your product looks like junk and it doesn't do all the things you'd like believe me by building your product together with early adopters you will save yourself tremendous amount of time and you will be much more likely to hit the target.

Reuse everything you can

Reuse everything you can i have built fee tive on a technology stack using abs and react two super popular solutions the biggest takeaway here is that there are so many awesome libraries out there that can save you a lot of time i've used chakra ui for the frontend and avs amplify and appsync for the backend and a lot of small libraries that were already made and ready to use it's going to be easier to implement and typically also easier to scale so do yourself a favor and use as much of this as you possibly can in addition to that i also got a great habit of reusing my own code from previous projects i encapsulated small modules that could easily be reused templates for landing pages utility functions authentication modules and so on i also got into the habit of reusing some of the code that i've been writing during my work as a consultant remember it's not appropriate to use solutions that you do not own the ip off. But it's mostly okay to take individual small code snippets approaches and general know-how that you gain from your daily work of course make very sure that you know what you are allowed to take but in general if anything you do outside the project can yield any artifacts that you can take advantage of do so and get into the habit of spotting it.

Spend time on marketing

Spend time on marketing this probably goes without saying if you don't market your product you will never get users i have spent a good deal of time creating initial hype around feed hive this includes making promo videos demos and examples screenshots i've shared a lot of insights details about the technology stack user statistics and revenue it's popular to build in public people love it they get curious and they want to get inspired to build their own take advantage of that keep people in the loop share your progress and don't be embarrassed about sharing the negatives as well people rarely judge they actually really appreciate the openness about it another great idea is to use the power of open source one of the core modules of feedhype is the api client that communicates with the twitter api this client is open source and has almost 500 stars on github this has multiple benefits it's indirectly creating awareness and directing traffic it outsources part of the development to the open source community and most importantly it helps other developers and that reflects super good on you as a founder keep it organized.

Keep it organized

Be super tight with your schedule i'm a huge fan of using todoist in combination with trello i write everything down categorizing prioritizing and scheduling it. I can really recommend spending time grooming your task board keep it updated and make sure that no quick thoughts slip away write everything down as soon as you remember make sure you spend your time optimally i use a pomodoro inspired technique to keep my focus high while working i can also recommend daily mindfulness it doesn't need to be more than 10 minutes but it can really help increase your ability to focus.

Hard work

Hard work yes we're not going to get around it i've been working a lot in these past two months counting all hours including working as a consultant i have put down around 80 to 100 hours every single week this is not healthy and i wouldn't recommend doing this on an ongoing basis but for a limited period of time it really helps if you can buckle down some serious work it can also help if you can make a few sacrifices for a limited period of time it's not healthy to sacrifice sleep but again for a shorter period of time you can sleep a little less than you ideally would see if you can cut 30 minutes or maybe an hour per night on average ideally i need to sleep 7 hours every night but cutting 30 minutes to an hour has helped me get in extra work so as an example i typically get up around 4 30 am and start working on feed hive then i switch to working for my clients from 8 am until 5 pm then i continue working on feed hive until 9 30 pm and getting ready to sleep at around 10 pm i'l add to this that i have an amazing girlfriend who has been incredibly supportive she has been doing most cooking groceries and housework in this period even though she's busy running her own business this has enabled me to keep full focus on the work and if you have a partner that's willing to exchange periods of doing most of the boring stuff at home that will certainly help alright let's.


Just do a quick summary here build an audience this is a great investment even if the product you're working on right now isn't going to succeed get user feedback as fast as possible this will save you a lot of time in improving your product finding bugs and making fast decisions reuse as much as you can anything from existing libraries code snippets that you wrote in other projects or at work to the extent that you are allowed of course spend time on marketing put aside a significant time every day every week to do marketing this part can end up determining your success entirely keep it organized spend a good deal of time putting everything in structure and make sure that your time is spent as optimal as possible hard work get ready to put down hard work remember you shouldn't neglect your health but doing less workout eating less healthy and sleeping less for a shorter period of time is going to be okay just don't make it a habit and remember to listen to your body i really hope you enjoyed watching. And i hope you got a bit of inspiration for your own sass product keep an eye on my youtube channel because i'm sharing tips on business sas products and tech regularity and if you didn't already please give this video a like and remember to subscribe for more see you soon you.

πŸ‘‡ Give it a try