• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. The forum software will be upgraded on Sunday May 26th and may not look normal during the transition. Some functionality may be offline. This is TEMPORARY and is expected to last up to 8 hours.
  2. Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

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

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

Tags:
  1. 404profound
    Online

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $6,887
    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?
     
    eliquid likes this.
  2. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    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
    Online

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $6,887
    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.
     
    eliquid likes this.
  4. 404profound
    Online

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $6,887
    I
    I think this may answer my question:

    Enterprise Authentication Mechanisms — MongoDB Manual
     
    eliquid likes this.
  5. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    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.

    .
     
    404profound likes this.
  6. 404profound
    Online

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $6,887
    Awesome, I will definitely integrate this in the authentication plan. Thank you for the detailed insight!
     
    eliquid likes this.
  7. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    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 ).

    .
     
    404profound likes this.
  8. Gutzofter
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Yucaipa, CA
    Rep Bank:
    $18
    What granularity of raw data do you normally want to log?
     
    eliquid likes this.
  9. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    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.

    .
     
    f0reclone and Gutzofter like this.
  10. 404profound
    Online

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $6,887
    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.
     
    ruzara5 likes this.
  11. KennyAronson
    Offline

    KennyAronson Contributor

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $112
    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:
     
    ruzara5 likes this.
  12. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    You could
     
    ruzara5 likes this.
  13. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745

    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.

    .
     
    Josh Baranski and Andy Black like this.
  14. LeoistheSun
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    609
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southern Cali
    Rep Bank:
    $2,828
    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.
     
    eliquid likes this.
  15. Solid Snake
    Offline

    Solid Snake Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $121
    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
    eliquid likes this.
  16. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    Sorry I missed this. It's been a combination of me being on vacation and not checking in on the forum much the last month or 2.

    By far the best way to find the gaps and the unique angles and USP is to have domain authority.

    I am not saying you have to have it to sell and make money, but having it makes a ton of difference in helping you.

    Without knowing the market really well on your own, I feel there is no real way to discover this unless you have a lot of people around you, that do have domain authority that you can lean in on.

    Thanks
    Jason
     
  17. adiakritos
    Offline

    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    214
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $1,103
    I'm doing your process. I bought the other tests you suggested and I took the enneagram and 16 personalities tests. I also took the Tony Robbins DISC profile test. I'm going to track my results over the next month and take the tests three times a week so I should have 12 sets of 3 tests to go off of.

    I'll add in the other test that should be coming in the mail soon as soon as I get it.

    Also definitely want to get a very clear, objective awareness of what my REAL values are so I'm not just a reed in the wind.

    So far, my life has revolved around studying, working a programming job, and then again working at home on my business doing more programming and talking to people through the internet. I got a coach with the Tony Robbins company for a year, and my coach uses my DISC profile to coach me. She seems to know me quite well by using the profile. She knows how to speak to the things I care about. (This confirms your theory on how you can use these assessments to create ads Eliquid).
     
    eliquid likes this.
  18. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    Nice, let me know how it goes!
     
    adiakritos likes this.
  19. Adrien Msx
    Offline

    Adrien Msx New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Rep Bank:
    $52
    Hi @eliquid !

    I'm an owner of a SaaS which works pretty good. I developed it on my own (code and marketing) and now I kind of have "rich" problems...

    I'm not good on the server part. So, my question is where did you host your software to be able to scale infinitely (1000 users to 100 000 users without having troubles)? AWS? Dedicated server?

    Or maybe you only made desktop software?
     
    eliquid likes this.
  20. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    Congrats on the success.

    To answer your question:
    • Multiple VPS's at Linode.
    • A couple at Digital Ocean

    .
     
  21. Elbert Dockery
    Offline

    Elbert Dockery Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    132
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    Rep Bank:
    $794
    Thank you everyone who is participating in this via answers and questions. Both are helpful. My questions are:

    • How do you offer upsells with a SAAS company?
    • When is a good time to sell for a nice valuation? What processes are needed to be put in place to reduce fees during the M&A?
    • SAAS multiplier is about 3-5x?
    • When building your website how did you/would you incorporate a iOS and android version while still remaining on a subscription service or would that be another pricing model?
     
    eliquid likes this.
  22. Adrien Msx
    Offline

    Adrien Msx New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Rep Bank:
    $52
    Thanks! I appreciate it!

    Good luck for the future
     
    eliquid likes this.
  23. brief
    Offline

    brief Contributor

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $207
    What's your approach on building a SaaS product? How do you balance your own (creative) feature ideas and the needs of customers? What's the ratio here?

    Thanks!
     
    eliquid likes this.
  24. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    So throughout this thread in multiple places I talk about domain authority. That's the whole basis to the answer I would give you here for approach on building and also the features ( mine vs customers ).

    I build a lot of my own features first for 2 reasons:
    1. One, I have domain authority and use my own product. Thus I am one of my own target customers.
    2. I think Henry Ford said 2 things.. "If I would have gave customers what they wanted, it would have been faster horses", and "You can have any color as long as it's black". Even if he didn't say it, someone did and I live by that because of #1 above.

    I do listen to the market though. If I see people churning or not using specific features in the SaaS ( or asking about features ), I will build it in when I can obtain that info.

    However, first building it out.. it's largely everything I want and plan. Once built and people are in though, it becomes what they want based off that. Kinda like tweaking to their needs. But the core functions were something I needed/wanted first.

    .
     
    brief, Andy Black and Jello like this.
  25. eliquid
    Online

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

    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    6,442
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $50,745
    1. Upsells could be many things. One could be different plans. Base plans don't contain XYZ, but higher plan do. Upsell that in your customer journey. You can also offer services like data retention, white labeling, concierge service, api, etc as an upsell if you want. However I tend to offer "everything" for a price ( all options ) and then move people up in plans based on "usage" limits.

    2. I don't know about this. I don't build to sell out. I build for cash flow and the option to be later handed off to others full-time while I build another cash flowing SaaS and rinse and repeat mainly. So I am not the best to ask this. My goal would be to be an absentee owner in each SaaS and taking the cash flow from each. Not to sell any of them. At least not unless it was a substantial amount done in cash and I would then be 100% removed from it.

    3. See above, but I typically think it is higher based on SaaS listings I have seen sell before at broker sites. I could be wrong since I don't plan to sell and thus can not really speak about this. I am just going off what I have seen on broker sites.

    4. If your service and audience can use an app, by all means include it in WITH your price. If you don't, a competitor will. My SaaS didn't really lend itself to an app because of how our data is and graphs are made, but if your's lends itself to that then by all means include it with the pricing, not with new pricing. Give your users the option to use the app and web-based for the same pricing.

    .
     
    Elbert Dockery likes this.

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page