It is time build a new product! I have decided to share every step on my journey of building SaaS products to keep myself accountable. Long gone are the days where I would spend days/weeks/months coding something, sharing it on ProductHunt or IndieHackers and have no form of traction. Now we are doing it the right way!
What is the right way? I don't fully know yet but my past experiences showed me that I need to focus on a few things before building my MVP:
- Find a problem
- Identify why the problem exist
- Find the people experiencing that problem and ask them how they are solving it (customer interviews)
- Try to build an initial list of early users, get feedback from them and refine my MVP
With this is process in place let's get to work
Existing bookmark solutions allow me to save links in folders, tags etc but one issue is to remember to come back to the application and open the links. The other problem I have is that when I read articles, watch videos or find interesting content online I want to take notes and save snippets for quick reference.
How are people solving this problem
I have actually done some customer research this time and got some insight on how people are solving this problem at the moment:
- People are using basic note apps as a bookmark manager: The problem with this solution is that you have to build a system around the note app to keep everything organized. Example of apps people use for that are Google Keep and Apple Notes, Bear, Notion etc
- People are using existing bookmark apps: Apps like Raindrop, Pocket and Instapaper. This solution works if you want to save your links and organize them in folders or by tags but they don't help you come back to your links later
- Developers are building their own apps: On developer forums I found that other developers tried to solve this by building a custom solution. However not everyone can code.
My bookmark app will offer all those 3 things under the same roof: organization, notes and reminders.
- Bookmark apps: Pocket, Raindrop.io, Instapaper, etc: Save links but forget about them
- General purpose apps: Bear, Notion, RoamResearch: Save links and notes but need to build your own system to make it work
- Reading list reminder apps: Mailist.app (so far it's the only one that I found): Reminds you to read links but offer no organization capabilities
- Excel and Airtable: Anybody can do anything in those 2 apps but you need to find time to build a system that works for you. It can be cumbersome.
What have I done so far
Building an audience by going on forums, Twitter, IndieHackers, HackerNews, I am asking people how they are solving these problems and trying to get some insights. I then try to contact some of the people that answer to build a list of early adopters. So far this have not been very successful: not everybody replies
TODO: I need to find a different way to connect with my audience
This audience-first approach is not going well so far. I have no following on Twitter and other platforms so I have tried the creepy way by contacting people directly. This is not working for me because first, these people don't know me and second, they don't care about what I have to say. I see everywhere online that you have to build an audience before building a product but to build an audience you need at least people that want to listen to you
I have also created a landing page with an email form that I will share on Twitter and other places to try to get some early users. However with no following on social media it will be hard to get traction
I have built a design prototype on Adobe XD of what I think the app would look like. However I think I over engineered and don't like it this so I need to go back to the drawing board
Next update will next week!
Thanks for reading