In this TL;DW series, we’ll extract the essence of this YouTube video by Rob Walling – 7 New SaaS Ideas You can Steal.
Rob Walling is a serial entrepreneur, author (3 books about starting companies) and investor in (100) startups. The SaaS ideas he shared are not from himself; they are from different sources ie. Twitter and slacks (ie. Tinyseed, MicroComp Connect Slack etc.).
One thing to note is his disclaimer is that the SaaS ideas are not validated. Meaning one should not scrap an idea here and start coding; feasibility study must be done ie. is it within your capability area, is there a market etc.
Here’s the original video :
That’s dive into the Saas ideas :
SaaS Idea #1 – Recruitment SaaS
Idea from Twitter user John Young Fuk – his take is that there is no decent NPS (Net Promoter Score) tool that integrates with ATS (Applicant Tracking System); the only provider of ATS API (Application Programmable Interface) costs a bomb of USD800 monthly! Hence, there is a room for a recruitment SaaS charging a lower premium to share the market pie.
My view : If you have the domain knowledge and capability to create a simpler equivalent at a lower price, this could be a feasible attempt.
SaaS Idea #2 – Hosting
This SaaS idea is by John Knox (Twitter) on running a hosting allowing one to build a site easily using markdown with the latest web framework.
My view : IMHO, hosting is a tough competition business. In fact, I’ve starting a hosting business a decade ago – sad to say, I couldn’t make it work at that time.
SaaS Idea #3 – Waterfall Software Development Projects
Another SaaS idea from John Knox on a modern SaaS tool for waterfall software development projects focusing on medical devices development niche. It will have a robust requirement tracking defects and control board change.
My view : This is another niche SaaS. Well, I’d know Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) but this is first time I know of the term waterfall software development. I’ll pass.
SaaS Idea #4 – An easier OAUTH-based Integration
My view : Unfortunately, not within my knowledge domain; pass.
SaaS Idea #5 – SaaS for Airport Hotels To Rent Out Extra Parking Spaces
An idea from MicroComp Connect member Jeff Gates on having a software for independently owned (smaller) airport hotels to rent out extra parking spaces for air travellers.
My view : Ahem, didn’t know the SaaS(es) shared here are rather niche. Same verdict here, it may only be feasible if you have the expertise and is able to create an economical solution on bootstrap.
SaaS Idea #6 – SaaS for At-Home Dialysis Patient
This idea came from MicroConf Connect member – Michael Breeziel. His take is on SaaS to manage dialysis care – which is a growing industry.
My view : Another idea in a very niche area.
SaaS Idea #7 – Reviewing and Redlining Contracts
An idea from Microsoft Connect’s Tim Burgess on creating an affordable software for reviewing and redlining contracts to compete with existing (more expensive) one out there.
My view : It is a good idea to create a business by cloning a more successful working example, make it simpler (or better) and most importantly cheaper to target bootstrappers.
In short, there are opportunities for one to create a startup to gain a foothold in a niche that one is competent and confident in.
The key is that the solution you are offering must target customers pain points. If your solution is very unique and is able to help customers solve their pain points, then you can charge a higher premium. Alternatively, if it’s mean to be a cheaper alternative to something that is already out there, then you have to ensure your new startup can be built (and running) at a low cost.
Well, there’s a bonus 8th SaaS idea given in the video – the idea is by Tash Postalovsky on a privacy first GDPR compliant SaaS. My view on this is – as a web developer, I know there a handful of GDPR solutions out there already. Hence, another solution to this would mean you would probably need to offer it at a lower pricing to capture the market.
Don’t create a solution THEN frantically go in search of a problem.
An ideal startup idea should has its own USP – Unique Selling Proposition; the only “USP” we shouldn’t have is “we’re the cheapest solution!” – having a cut-throat pricing will definitely face sustainability and profitability issues!
P.S. I apologize that the names quoted above may be spelled as I’ve taken them directly from the YouTube transcript.