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GOLD! Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th )

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by eliquid, Oct 14, 2017.

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  1. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    When building an app intended for enterprise users, do you know of a way to validate a user is not posing as a company, perhaps with an API? Or do you just handle that with manual approval for each new account?
     
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  2. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Not sure I understand what you mean.

    Are you trying to turn away customers ( that are companies with an API ) from using your enterprise focused SaaS?

    If so, why?
     
  3. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Let me try to clarify, the app is intended to display data that is company-specific. The userflow is any user with an account can create new entries in the database. Because each user should be a corporate entity, I want to make sure that if someone from Microsoft (or whatever company) makes an account that the user is actually a representative of Microsoft.
     
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  4. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I
    I think this may answer my question:

    Enterprise Authentication Mechanisms — MongoDB Manual
     
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  5. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Ok, so a couple of ways to do this.

    For one, I would ban usage of any free email account used to sign up. That would restrict a lot of users that say they are with company X, but truely are not potentially. Most, if not all, real corporations will have a domain they use for email. Most real employees won't be using a free email address for their company.

    Now that leaves just someone from company Y pretending they are company X.

    There are services to help with this too, where you monitor the IP of the user and backtrack who owns that IP. It's not a fool proof way to verify, but it can cut down issues if you used a "layered" approach to drilling down who is who. Clearbit is one such company that can generally tell you, based on IP, what corporation owns/uses the IP the user signed up with. Of note, this would probably work OK with large companies like LinkedIn and Google, but not small companies.

    Past that, you could verify the company name on the credit card used to pay and a few other possible small tweaks. Again, all in an effort to keep layering solutions before narrowing down to manually calling and verifying people.

    .
     
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  6. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Awesome, I will definitely integrate this in the authentication plan. Thank you for the detailed insight!
     
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  7. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You could also integrate LinkedIn.

    Services like Intercom will take a users email and pull up their twitter profile, linkedin profile, etc. Im not saying to use Intercom, I am just saying there is tech out there ( like ClearBit ) that can pull this up for you, for use.

    Now in your CRM, you could look at signups and check out their social profiles ( Twitter and LinkedIn ) and see if they actually work at that company. It's not 100% foolproof of course, but I highly doubt someone goes through the trouble of making a fake twitter and fake linkedIn just to use your service.

    If they did, well they are going to end up figuring out a way to use it anyway in the future ( like paying someone at company X to get access ).

    .
     
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  8. Gutzofter
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    Gutzofter New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    What granularity of raw data do you normally want to log?
     
  9. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I typically start with timestamp and page URL ( can be tricky if you use ajax or pages where URLs don't update ). From there is grows depending on certain things.

    For example, I might have a couple actions on certain pages that I can't determine unless I record button or click actions that DONT change the URL.

    Example:
    If someone is on the USER SETTINGS page ( I know this via the URL ) and then they jump to the SUBSCRIPTIONS page, I know they did this via a link from the USER SETTINGS page. How? Because my USER SETTINGS page has a link to the SUBSCRIPTIONS page. I don't really need to log anything about that. Pretty Simple. Unless you know the URL by heart, you are clicking over so this is pretty easy to know and understand.

    However, if someone is on the USER SETTINGS page and then they update their name and credit card, that doesn't generate a new URL, so I need to start tracking button clicks or form updates now. This is when I need to think about whats on that page and what I want to track on that specific page that I can use later. I could log everything on that page, but I sit here and think, "do I really need to track them updating their name or email" - most of the time that answer is going to be no. So I end up not tracking it with the system.

    But lets pretend they are on the SUBSCRIPTIONS page instead. They go there and they look at the prices and features of the subscriptions they could enroll in or change over to ( upgrade or downgrade ). This doesn't generate a new URL for me ( if they look them over and click to view more ) so I ask myself if this action ( recording it ) would be valuable and if I really need to track that. The answer is YES, because this could be someone wanting to CHURN possibly, but it could also be someone wanting to upgrade to a higher plan and I need to gently send them an email or in-app message about why they should upgrade ( via automated marketing ).

    How granular you get really depends on how your system is setup and what actions happen on those specific pages.

    Anything that even remotely touches on revenue ( churn or upgrades, etc ) always gets looked at first and designed out first, then you start working through other things like -
    • Wow, the last time this user logged in was 9 months ago, what's the problem?

    • This user just signed up 3 days ago and spends a ton of time on this one page/URL/feature, are they stuck?

    • This user is hitting a URL they have no permission to be visiting, how did that happen? Where were they before this URL?

    You could get really deep in the rabbit hole here if you wanted. But I tend to find each case is different. However, I think things that deal with revenue, support, and onboarding should be the first things tackled and looked over. From there, its going to get really custom.

    .
     
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  10. 404profound
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    I thought of another strategy. Can you email the prospective user a link to create a profile, but not expose the link on the public interface? The only risk would be if the user shared the link with someone, but idk why they would do that.
     
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  11. KennyAronson
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    First, I want to thank you kindly for sharing your experience.

    Second, I was wondering if I could ask your advice on a few things.

    This past year I have really gotten into entrepreneurship. I have learned a ton about marketing, sales, copywriting, product design, and a little bit of web development.

    I have an idea for a SaaS which could solve a huge problem in the higher educational system which I want to sell to instructors, course creators online, and students.

    This idea would essentially deliver messages from instructors to students on a periodic basis. I would like it to come in the form of a mobile application users could simply log into.

    I have experience in materials engineering and education, analytical skills, and a small amount of python programming, but I haven't yet created a mobile application.

    With your expertise I was wondering what advice you would give for the following questions:
    • What platform or framework would you recommend for the creation of this application?
    • What are the first steps I should take?
    • What resources or tools should I use to learn what I need to learn?
    • Anything else you wish to add based on what I have said?

    Thanks and I can't wait to read your answer. :smile2:
     
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  12. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You could
     
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  13. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I havent done a ton in mobile, so I am at a disadvantage to give you a lot of info on it.

    However, if you know python already.. I would stick with that for now to build it out as a MVP and then figure out how to turn that python into a mobile app. PHP has Zend studio for that, and lots of 3rd party software can turn Json and HTML into a mobile app for you.

    But the important thing is to start with what you know to get it to MVP ASAP.

    As far as first steps, is this something you have good authority and knowledge in? How are you going to sell this? It's not the instructors or students ( who you mentioned ) who will buy this, but mostly likely the schools themselves. Have you talked to and identified the the right key decision makers at the universities and colleges to get their feedback and interest level in something like this? If not, why not?

    You are going to have to sell the key people at the Uni's on using this, which will trickle down to the professors and students as a benefit.

    Get an MVP going, line up key people at the colleges and universities, pitch them, and then listen to what they say afterward before you go any further to make sure you should spend time on this.

    .
     
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  14. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I would actually walk in-person to local schools. Probably after school is out (3p) or before (8a). All the emails also should be public, so that makes your life 100% easier.
     
  15. Solid Snake
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    Solid Snake New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hi @eliquid, great read ITT.

    The product I am looking at making has decent competition so far, but the subsector itself will grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 38%+ from 2019-2025. So I conclude that there is still room for more players, and a lot of changes in dynamics still to capitalize on.

    I do not have domain experience in the field I am interested in, but my father works in one of the niches in the submarket I would be selling to. The question is, how can I identify unique "gaps" or inefficiencies that other companies have not placed their focus on? Or is this just a matter of choosing an "angle", as you stated earlier?

    So in that case, I would need to do competitive analysis, and then find which angle the competitors haven't chosen, correct?

    I am planning to do a thorough discovery session phase with my father and will use the following as a template to follow: https://clearbridgemobile.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-product-discovery/

    Any tips in differentiating myself and finding unique angles? Best regards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019

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