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I’m a software developer in need of something to build

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Guidance

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I’m a software developer and while I am always looking for things to build that could be profitable, it seems every single product that I look to improve has already reached a level that covers most tickboxes. For example, I looked at the accounting and finance industry, but the modern day SaaS software is already at the top of its class and nearly impossible to outcompete.
I really don’t want to give up and accept that there is nothing. Could anyone please help me or provide pointers?
 

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CaptainAmerica

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Here's something I need: a CRM with multiple pipelines for different partners, since I'm a multichannel sales rep. Here's the rub: I want it color-coded. Apparently that's too hard. I'm color blind, so I don't even need all the colors, but it's still not something that's done. Not on Trello, not on Evernote, and certainly not on Pipedrive or HubSpot.
 

Jon L

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find a small niche and see if you can write some custom software for a particular client. I did that recently.

As it turns out, there's not really software out there that focuses just on this niche. There's a ton of software in the broad category, but not much that focuses only on this particular client's needs. What that results in is that software that would work for my client has features that he doesn't need. These extra features cost money: they make the product more difficult to produce, so the developer needs to charge more for the product. They also make the software more complicated to set up, which increases the amount of money it takes to set the thing up.

In my client's case, we built a system for him that did what he needed for $15k. He'd already spent $15k on licenses for another software package, but would have had to spend $35k on hardware and services to get it running. He abandoned that product in favor of our custom system.

I'm now selling this custom system to other similar clients.

What you should NOT do is try to compete with software that applies to broad categories of customers, unless you have a few million dollars, or a team willing to work for free for a few years. Don't create FreshBooks V2, a SalesForce clone, or what not.
 

Val Okafor

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I’m a software developer and while I am always looking for things to build that could be profitable, it seems every single product that I look to improve has already reached a level that covers most tickboxes. For example, I looked at the accounting and finance industry, but the modern-day SaaS software is already at the top of its class and nearly impossible to outcompete.
I really don’t want to give up and accept that there is nothing. Could anyone please help me or provide pointers?
I was in a similar situation, at one point I have 34 domain names registered with GoDaddy representing the Software ideas I wanted to build. In the end I realized it doesn't matter, I just need to put a stake on the ground and run with it. And I did and I doubled down on building a Field Service app/SaaS for Contractors.

What types of products have you worked on in recent years in your 9-5 job? What types of Software can you create app vs websites? Even products with marginal improvements are good to start on, if you stay with it, over time it would become phenomenally better if you don't quit?

If all else . fails, start with the most mundane type of app/software like Notepad app. Sounds so simple, until I tell you that this simple highlighted Notepad/Journal app made $55K last month!

29999

So start something, any thing Todo List App, Invoice App, Kids Chore App, Salon Appointment App, it doesn't matter, you will learn a lot, grow a lot, be valaueble to a lot of people eventually and make a decent income.
 

Creep

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I have an AI program without UI that never got finished. It allows guitarists to automaticly get tabs + midi files from a clean audio source. Still needs some code to avoid crashes though.
You can have it and sell as you wish if we can split sales/license.
 

SebastianNZ

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@Val Okafor . Wow! What inspiring advice. For a long time, I've had this mindset that apps are at the top of their class already and itterations and improvements aren't worth persuing unless you move into an untapped market. I would never have thought another text/journal/evernote type app would still see success in what looks like a saturated market.

@Val Okafor, do you get organic growth or did you need to market your app heavily? I am a huge believer in 'if the product is good and executes its job well it will succeed' but I don't have any experience in App store market places.

Thank you for sharing.
 

Saavedra

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Niche specific examples for dynamics 365: deployment platform that handles version history on solutions. translator tool that doesn't take ages to import.
 

roguehillbilly

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Find a problem you have that can be solved via software, or start doing more things so you have more problems that can be solved via software. All the problems are not solved. "The world is not ideal"
 

loop101

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I’m a software developer and while I am always looking for things to build that could be profitable, it seems every single product that I look to improve has already reached a level that covers most tickboxes. For example, I looked at the accounting and finance industry, but the modern day SaaS software is already at the top of its class and nearly impossible to outcompete.
I really don’t want to give up and accept that there is nothing. Could anyone please help me or provide pointers?
Did you read MJ's books? They cover this topic pretty extensively.
 

GSF

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A Roblox game, it can even be full of bugs and glitches, they all are. My bf's kids die for Robucks lol
Lol so true my kids love roblox
 

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Sebastya

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There is always room for a better mousetrap. I'm sure if you look around at the problems in your own life, you can find something relatively quickly.
 

Val Okafor

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@Val Okafor . Wow! What inspiring advice. For a long time, I've had this mindset that apps are at the top of their class already and itterations and improvements aren't worth persuing unless you move into an untapped market. I would never have thought another text/journal/evernote type app would still see success in what looks like a saturated market.

@Val Okafor, do you get organic growth or did you need to market your app heavily? I am a huge believer in 'if the product is good and executes its job well it will succeed' but I don't have any experience in App store market places.

Thank you for sharing.
That is not my app, I am not there yet. But I have my finger in the pulse of the industry. You have to start with paid adds, the cost per install for some app is less that $0.10, you need to get to a certain level of installs, daily usage, retention and revenue for ASO (aka organic installs) to kick in.
 

FAZAN

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Nov 1, 2019
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find a small niche and see if you can write some custom software for a particular client. I did that recently.

As it turns out, there's not really software out there that focuses just on this niche. There's a ton of software in the broad category, but not much that focuses only on this particular client's needs. What that results in is that software that would work for my client has features that he doesn't need. These extra features cost money: they make the product more difficult to produce, so the developer needs to charge more for the product. They also make the software more complicated to set up, which increases the amount of money it takes to set the thing up.

In my client's case, we built a system for him that did what he needed for $15k. He'd already spent $15k on licenses for another software package, but would have had to spend $35k on hardware and services to get it running. He abandoned that product in favor of our custom system.

I'm now selling this custom system to other similar clients.

What you should NOT do is try to compete with software that applies to broad categories of customers, unless you have a few million dollars, or a team willing to work for free for a few years. Don't create FreshBooks V2, a SalesForce clone, or what not.
Hi, can you tell me, in your case:
1. did you work with the client on your app meaning did he provide input, design, requirements?
2. How did you come up with the price and will the price be the same for your first client and all the others?
 

Jon L

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Hi, can you tell me, in your case:
1. did you work with the client on your app meaning did he provide input, design, requirements?
2. How did you come up with the price and will the price be the same for your first client and all the others?
It was a project that I quoted $10k on. The system he bought before this custom one, he purchased for $15k. he was going to incur an additional $35k in setup costs.

So, with the limited budget, I worked very closely with the client and built it to his exact needs. (Not his exact specifications ... my expertise is in developing specs based on the client's needs. Unless they're software development managers, clients should never dictate specs, basic architecture, etc. )

Price was based on him saying, 'hey, can you do this for $10k?' I said, 'yes, as long as we keep it simple.'

Future client pricing:

This is a point of sale system, so the majority of the income will be taken from credit card processing fees. This means that I can reduce the cost of the system to next to nothing. I'm thinking something along the lines of a $1500 setup charge, no software charges, plus credit card processing, which the customer pays anyway.

For clients smaller than the first one, I can charge just the setup fee. For clients his size or a little larger, I could charge $10k or so for the software.

A key point in this is that the first client is interested in helping me sell the product to other similar stores.

overall design stuff:
Having a client to work with is crucial unless you're an expert in the market you're going after. You could build something for an intended audience, and they end up saying, 'hey, you forgot about the fact that we have multiple separate businesses that need to run on this thing, but all be under the same umbrella, sharing a common configuration.' That would be a major oops ... its something you could design for out of the gate, but adding that requirement later would make a mess of things. ... Landmines like these are all over the place in a system where you're not a subject matter expert.
 

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