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DaRK9

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Two things that we're doing in my project that help are: automatic test coverage, and plugging in a bug reporting tool.

For the front-end e2e tests (end to end), we're using cypress.io. Cypress has a lot to love about it form a developer's perspective... using it seems to actually make recruiting easier. Capybara is another good test automation option, like @csalvato mentioned. Lots of stuff exists out there that is already written... you just need to add your tests, and any time you push new code you have confidence that the things you're testing for aren't going to go wrong again.

For bug reporting and info collection, one thing we're using is sentry.io. Basically if something goes wrong, usually an unexpected situation in the app (we tested assuming you have customers, but you deleted all customers and went to page x), instead of just failing silently in weird ways you get a nice pop-up that says "whoah, sorry we messed up. Can you tell us what you were doing here?" As soon as we put this in a beta user sent us a report... we would not have even known there was a bug without it because the situation escaped our automated and manual testing. Got a bug report, developer was able to respond by email within an hour letting them know we're on it and pushing a hot fix. Ta da.



I agree with this, although I see people get by with redneck engineering bootstrap coding for their MVP and I don't see any problem with that. I've totally done it. But as your project matures and money comes in, it's definitely worth allocating some of that toward automating the tests, improving the code base, putting in bug reporting and other tools to help with users, etc. At least, that's my opinion, but I think it helps scale the business and keep the owner and other team members from getting stuck as career bug-squashers. Currently I'm working on a project where we start with a more mature "done rite" code base, but that's possible because we took the time to do the previous project right (after doing it "good enough" and then reinvesting).
Really liking what I see in Cypress.io

I binge code and it doesn’t always look the best but it works and I’m strict about versioning. Great to see what other polished people are doing.
 

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csalvato

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For the front-end e2e tests (end to end), we're using cypress.io. Cypress has a lot to love about it form a developer's perspective
Paying for a testing framework is a new concept for me. What would you say the key benefits are, from your perspective, over well accepted open source solutions like Capybara (selenium-based) or Puppeteer (chromium-based)?

EDIT: Looks like this is open source too...? I'm interested in hearing your take on this, because when most auto QA test suites get to a certain size, they become flakey. Still valuable, but they often have false positives.
 

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So, as much as I would like to claim genius for knowing about this stuff, my team adopted Cypress on their own. They found Sentry too. I discovered how much other developers love Cypress when I posted a position in a local developer Slack for a temporary e2e test writing pinch hitter to increase our coverage.

So I have not personally written an e2e test for the project. But I do know Cypress helped get us test coverage quickly, and whatever the cost, it's cheaper than hiring good people and giving them kludgey tools. Mr. G and others seem to like the syntax and ease of use more than anything... like how when you go from C to Ruby you just kindof love Ruby for what you can do with it in a few, simple readable lines.

I think Cypress abstracts away asynchronicity, for example, and it supplies an easy way to make http requests directly. I imagine there's nothing it's doing that you couldn't do with another framework, or from scratch, but someone already wrote this and it's an ease of use improvement over older testing frameworks, along with whatever architectural advantages it might have.

If you really want to know about it though, I'm not the one to tell you from a technical perspective. You could talk to one of my team and they could tell you a lot more.

PS: Left to my own devices, I would have been using Capybara. I have no way to say whether that's better or worse, but Cypress makes my team happy.
 

csalvato

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So, as much as I would like to claim genius for knowing about this stuff, my team adopted Cypress on their own. They found Sentry too. I discovered how much other developers love Cypress when I posted a position in a local developer Slack for a temporary e2e test writing pinch hitter to increase our coverage.

So I have not personally written an e2e test for the project. But I do know Cypress helped get us test coverage quickly, and whatever the cost, it's cheaper than hiring good people and giving them kludgey tools. Mr. G and others seem to like the syntax and ease of use more than anything... like how when you go from C to Ruby you just kindof love Ruby for what you can do with it in a few, simple readable lines.

I think Cypress abstracts away asynchronicity, for example, and it supplies an easy way to make http requests directly. I imagine there's nothing it's doing that you couldn't do with another framework, or from scratch, but someone already wrote this and it's an ease of use improvement over older testing frameworks, along with whatever architectural advantages it might have.

If you really want to know about it though, I'm not the one to tell you from a technical perspective. You could talk to one of my team and they could tell you a lot more.

PS: Left to my own devices, I would have been using Capybara. I have no way to say whether that's better or worse, but Cypress makes my team happy.
Thank you for this! :smile:
 

csalvato

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It’s only me and one other dev. I’ll look into that, so far I have some automated backend QA but nothing to test for breaks in the browser. It’s all direct.
Apologies for calling you a rank amateur then ;)

@Rabby has me over here investigating moving my suites over to Cypress. It looks pretty legit.
 

DaRK9

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Apologies for calling you a rank amateur then ;)

@Rabby has me over here investigating moving my suites over to Cypress. It looks pretty legit.
I’m by no means pro, or clean though. Haha. My internal and external api, db and user functions testing is automated but that’s it.

Yes I played around with it last night and I really like it.
 

fmob007

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I want to start a project, but I can’t figure out how to deliver my service.

I am going to connect two different parties selling courses, ebooks, software etc in the same niche. I want one of them to include the other one’s product as a part of his offer and take some profit from both sides.
What I can’t figure out is how to setup and automate the payments.

Do you happen to know of any softwares that I could use?
 

aeden

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I want to start a project, but I can’t figure out how to deliver my service.

I am going to connect two different parties selling courses, ebooks, software etc in the same niche. I want one of them to include the other one’s product as a part of his offer and take some profit from both sides.
What I can’t figure out is how to setup and automate the payments.

Do you happen to know of any softwares that I could use?
Maybe try Stripe Connect for the payment part? Stripe Connect: Payments platform for marketplaces & platforms
 
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eliquid

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I want to start a project, but I can’t figure out how to deliver my service.

I am going to connect two different parties selling courses, ebooks, software etc in the same niche. I want one of them to include the other one’s product as a part of his offer and take some profit from both sides.
What I can’t figure out is how to setup and automate the payments.

Do you happen to know of any softwares that I could use?
Besides what @aeden mentioned with Stripe Connect, I was going to say this sounds just like an affiliate setup.

Why not set them up as affiliates of each other, with you being the "affiliate network" making the payout ( and being the middle man ).

You could do this with a lot of affiliate software. One such I can think of is iDevAffiliate
 

fmob007

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Besides what @aeden mentioned with Stripe Connect, I was going to say this sounds just like an affiliate setup.

Why not set them up as affiliates of each other, with you being the "affiliate network" making the payout ( and being the middle man ).

You could do this with a lot of affiliate software. One such I can think of is iDevAffiliate
Thanks for the reply.

I had thought of that. Still I can’t figure out how to set this up, because there are three parties involved and only one doing the selling.

I referred to some affiliate softwares and they couldn’t help me.

Let’s say, I am the affiliate network. The middleman. And there is a guy selling a product on his website and has agreed to include the other guy’s product in it. Do I make a program to earn a commission per sale from the first guy, and another program afterwards to send a percentage of that commission to the other guy?
Or is one program enough?

Sorry for asking all these questions but it seems rather complicated.
 

aeden

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Thanks for the reply.

I had thought of that. Still I can’t figure out how to set this up, because there are three parties involved and only one doing the selling.

I referred to some affiliate softwares and they couldn’t help me.

Let’s say, I am the affiliate network. The middleman. And there is a guy selling a product on his website and has agreed to include the other guy’s product in it. Do I make a program to earn a commission per sale from the first guy, and another program afterwards to send a percentage of that commission to the other guy?
Or is one program enough?

Sorry for asking all these questions but it seems rather complicated.
This sounds a bit like a variation on the bundling concept used in software bundles (like Humble Bundle) except for educational products. It sounds like the difference is you want the bundling to be added to someone else's educational product. Am I reading this correctly? Have you considered testing out bundling directly?
 

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fmob007

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This sounds a bit like a variation on the bundling concept used in software bundles (like Humble Bundle) except for educational products. It sounds like the difference is you want the bundling to be added to someone else's educational product. Am I reading this correctly? Have you considered testing out bundling directly?
Yeah I suppose this is a form of bundling.
The difference is that I want the product to keep being sold to the seller's website (sales channels), to keep its brand identity and marketing.
 

lobo

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For someone looking to build a SaaS , how did you go about finding ideas? I know you mentioned you built softwares in your industry (Dig-marketing), but what if you're not in an industry and are looking for ideas?

I know it would be easy to solve problems in an industry you are involved with, but how do you source out these 'problems' if you're not in an industry?
 

banjoa

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For someone looking to build a SaaS , how did you go about finding ideas? I know you mentioned you built softwares in your industry (Dig-marketing), but what if you're not in an industry and are looking for ideas?

I know it would be easy to solve problems in an industry you are involved with, but how do you source out these 'problems' if you're not in an industry?
I don’t have a Saas but general principles apply.

1) Scratch your itch

2) Niche version of existing Saas. Example Shopify for florists.

3) Repeatable freelance & consulting work.

4) Build ontop growing platforms. Baremetrics built on Stripe.
 
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Yeah I suppose this is a form of bundling.
The difference is that I want the product to keep being sold to the seller's website (sales channels), to keep its brand identity and marketing.
What you do is, the person selling the product you sign them up as the "advertiser" in your affiliate network.

The person that does the selling, is the publisher in your affiliate network.

When the publisher makes a valid sale, you charge the advertiser the set fee commission and give it to the publisher, minus a little for yourself.

Should be pretty easy to set up
 
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( Jason Brown )
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For someone looking to build a SaaS , how did you go about finding ideas? I know you mentioned you built softwares in your industry (Dig-marketing), but what if you're not in an industry and are looking for ideas?

I know it would be easy to solve problems in an industry you are involved with, but how do you source out these 'problems' if you're not in an industry?
Building in your industry is the only sure fire way I know.

Sure, you can find success not building in your industry. Sure you can fail building in your industry.

But lets move away from that....

How do you know whats a good problem?

I eat chili. Lots of it. All the time. Consider eating chili "my industry".

When I taste other people's chili, I know what's good chili and what's bad chili. When I encounter bad chili, I know what's needed to fix it most times because chili is my thang.

But I don't know good Pad Thai.

I don't eat it a lot and hardly anyone around me serves it. Pad Thai isn't "my industry". I have limited to no experience with Pad Thai.

If I encountered bad Pad Thai, I wouldn't know it.

Someone else would have to tell me it's bad and then I would know I have a problem. But I don't know how to fix the bad Pad Thai or if/when I made good Pad Thai since I don't know Pad Thai well and it's not my industry.

While I could still go out and solve problems for bad Pad Thai, I don't know if I actually fixed it since it's not "my industry".

I don't know if there are really "problems to fix" with Pad Thai. Since I don't really know it. I could say based on some limited feedback that customer X or Y said so, but I don't really know. And as a builder of over 7+ SaaS products now, I can tell you that customers DO NOT KNOW what they want and most will not even tell you.

If I solved problems for an industry I am not an authority in, I just end up building a crappy "me too" product with no real UVP.
How can I have a real UVP if I am not in the industry?

Can you still make money and a living serving up bad Pad Thai and being a "me too"? Sure. Look at all the insurance agents, home builders, real estate agencts, bankers, etc of the world. Look at all the copy cats on Amazon and rehashed digital downloads and courses of the world.

If you are looking to get by and never really grow/scale. Go for it. But I guar. you will struggle coming up in it and struggle when things get rough.

Chili though.. I can speak that language and I know just the right simmering temperature and I know when I have made it good, because I'm up in that shit all the time and I know how to fix a bad pot of it. I have built in UVP with chili anytime for lots of different reasons

Something doesn't taste right, breaks, or a customer expects a little more than I originally thought with my chili, I can do it since I know inside and out. I couldn't that with Pad Thai. I would be at the mercy of others to tell me for a very long time while I figured it out, which can cause determental results to me, my business, and my customers even.

It's something I can build a real brand around.

You can do like @banjoa said:

I don’t have a Saas but general principles apply.

1) Scratch your itch

2) Niche version of existing Saas. Example Shopify for florists.

3) Repeatable freelance & consulting work.

4) Build ontop growing platforms. Baremetrics built on Stripe.
Their number 1 is basically what I told you to do, build it for yourself and your industry.

Their number 2, how do you know Florist really need a new niche Shopify solution, or any solution. Are you a florist? How do you know when you have done enough, or not enough to solve their issues? What happens in 6 months when someone copies you, how are you going to handle that and pivot when you don't know Florists needs?

Number 3... This at least gets you closer to an industry, but how are you going to help say plumbers repeatably when you don't know anything about their needs?

Number 4, what are you going to build on top of Stripe ( or any platform? ). You basically back to square 1 again because you don't know what to build and for whom since you have no industry to back up your work, claims, and needs.

You belong to some industry already. You just need to find it.
 
Last edited:

NMdad

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You belong to some industry already. You just need to find it.
Chili vs. pad thai. That analogy is spot on.

What's your chili?

Also, you might be able to be in a sizable sub-niche. Using the chili example, Texas chili is completely different from New Mexico chile. There are often problems in a sub-niche, and solving those could give you an inroad to the larger niche.

I've worked in my niche (which is a sub-niche of a larger niche) for 20 years, and 2 days ago a client gave me 2 ideas for SAAS products that I'd never considered.

There are ALWAYS opportunities.
 

Kevin88660

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Building in your industry is the only sure fire way I know.

Sure, you can find success not building in your industry. Sure you can fail building in your industry.

But lets move away from that....

How do you know whats a good problem?

I eat chili. Lots of it. All the time. Consider eating chili "my industry".

When I taste other people's chili, I know what's good chili and what's bad chili. When I encounter bad chili, I know what's needed to fix it most times because chili is my thang.

But I don't know good Pad Thai.

I don't eat it a lot and hardly anyone around me serves it. Pad Thai isn't "my industry". I have limited to no experience with Pad Thai.

If I encountered bad Pad Thai, I wouldn't know it.

Someone else would have to tell me it's bad and then I would know I have a problem. But I don't know how to fix the bad Pad Thai or if/when I made good Pad Thai since I don't know Pad Thai well and it's not my industry.

While I could still go out and solve problems for bad Pad Thai, I don't know if I actually fixed it since it's not "my industry".

I don't know if there are really "problems to fix" with Pad Thai. Since I don't really know it. I could say based on some limited feedback that customer X or Y said so, but I don't really know. And as a builder of over 7+ SaaS products now, I can tell you that customers DO NOT KNOW what they want and most will not even tell you.

If I solved problems for an industry I am not an authority in, I just end up building a crappy "me too" product with no real UVP.
How can I have a real UVP if I am not in the industry?

Can you still make money and a living serving up bad Pad Thai and being a "me too"? Sure. Look at all the insurance agents, home builders, real estate agencts, bankers, etc of the world. Look at all the copy cats on Amazon and rehashed digital downloads and courses of the world.

If you are looking to get by and never really grow/scale. Go for it. But I guar. you will struggle coming up in it and struggle when things get rough.

Chili though.. I can speak that language and I know just the right simmering temperature and I know when I have made it good, because I'm up in that shit all the time and I know how to fix a bad pot of it. I have built in UVP with chili anytime for lots of different reasons

Something doesn't taste right, breaks, or a customer expects a little more than I originally thought with my chili, I can do it since I know inside and out. I couldn't that with Pad Thai. I would be at the mercy of others to tell me for a very long time while I figured it out, which can cause determental results to me, my business, and my customers even.

It's something I can build a real brand around.

You can do like @banjoa said:



Their number 1 is basically what I told you to do, build it for yourself and your industry.

Their number 2, how do you know Florist really need a new niche Shopify solution, or any solution. Are you a florist? How do you know when you have done enough, or not enough to solve their issues? What happens in 6 months when someone copies you, how are you going to handle that and pivot when you don't know Florists needs?

Number 3... This at least gets you closer to an industry, but how are you going to help say plumbers repeatably when you don't know anything about their needs?

Number 4, what are you going to build on top of Stripe ( or any platform? ). You basically back to square 1 again because you don't know what to build and for whom since you have no industry to back up your work, claims, and needs.

You belong to some industry already. You just need to find it.
This post is good that it deserves a cash donation option. I am a huge believer in picking a field and grind for years.
 

CDM

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If you code something and it doesn't catch on, you can always try to sell it on Flippa.
Wow. I was totally unaware of the resource before. Maybe just what I needed!
 

NMdad

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Hey, Jason!

I've gotten significant interest/validation for a B2B SAAS concept from a handful of my consulting clients, and want to hire someone to develop the web app.

I'm not a software engineer, but have solid SQL & VBA/vbscript skills, and have a working knowledge of HTML.

My goal is to own the SAAS--not become a software engineer. I do not want an equity partner (given problems with equity partners for past projects); I want to hire someone.

The SAAS will need to--among other things:
  • query, retrieve, & write data from/to an on-premise Microsoft SQL Server database
  • display reporting/metrics per user-entered parameters
  • send emails (from different users at each customer's domain (joe@XYZcorp.com, sally@XYZcorp.com; bob@ABCInc.com, mary@ABCInc.com), attach files to the emails, use customer-defined templates for the email subject & body)
  • generate & save pdf files
The basic architecture will probably be something like:
user <---> SAAS <---> customer's on-premise SQL database

However, since I'm not a software engineer, I need to ensure that I have full access to & control of the code & documentation (so that the SAAS & all its architecture can be maintained, upgraded, etc.).

What would you recommend? Hire a main developer, and a 2nd developer who can do code & documentation reviews?
 
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Hey, Jason!

I've gotten significant interest/validation for a B2B SAAS concept from a handful of my consulting clients, and want to hire someone to develop the web app.

I'm not a software engineer, but have solid SQL & VBA/vbscript skills, and have a working knowledge of HTML.

My goal is to own the SAAS--not become a software engineer. I do not want an equity partner (given problems with equity partners for past projects); I want to hire someone.

The SAAS will need to--among other things:
  • query, retrieve, & write data from/to an on-premise Microsoft SQL Server database
  • display reporting/metrics per user-entered parameters
  • send emails (from different users at each customer's domain (joe@XYZcorp.com, sally@XYZcorp.com; bob@ABCInc.com, mary@ABCInc.com), attach files to the emails, use customer-defined templates for the email subject & body)
  • generate & save pdf files
The basic architecture will probably be something like:
user <---> SAAS <---> customer's on-premise SQL database

However, since I'm not a software engineer, I need to ensure that I have full access to & control of the code & documentation (so that the SAAS & all its architecture can be maintained, upgraded, etc.).

What would you recommend? Hire a main developer, and a 2nd developer who can do code & documentation reviews?
More than likely if you hire someone with a good background and review ( upwrok prior work, etc ) you won't have any issues. The main should be able to document and keep everything together for you.

But if you want to be sure, then yes hire a 2nd person to go over the code WHILE the main developer is working on it. If you do it after, it can become costly as they try to figure out what the main dev did.
 

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