One person Startup SaaS


1

I am currently in planning phase for a SaaS application for the UK market. The idea is it will be a small application with few functionality to begin with and then add new features as we go. Initially it will be just me who will be doing everything from design/development/deployment/online marketing etc. I can initially use something like discountasp.net hosting provider and then when it catch ups (if it catch up) then I'll try to get more people on board (either onshore or offshore) and get more dedicated hosting for the SaaS application.

My main concern is this being a one person pony (at least initially). Like I said I would want to get more people on board (tech/non tech) later once the idea is reasonably proven. I am sure there are some people out there who were/are in same boat. Just want to know how did they dealt with this kind of situation. Is it ok to go lone initially or its bad idea?

Thanks,

Micro Startup

asked Feb 14 '13 at 19:44
Blank
User25018
109 points

3 Answers


1

Most people would probably say that it is better to have at least two founders, but it isn't always necessary.

I'm currently working on a non-trivial SaaS startup and at the moment it suits me to work alone. As you say, it is easy to build a team later on.

answered Feb 14 '13 at 19:53
Blank
Steve Jones
3,239 points

1

If you start getting any traction, I think the biggest problem you'll run into is support. When you have a SaaS platform that people are paying for, they expect fast response times. So don't plan on taking a vacation.. a weekend off.. or even going to see a movie. But in the meantime, you'll have to balance getting things done with those support requests. I don't envy you at all.

If you can get someone familiar with the system to answer those tier-1 questions outside of your core hours, that can help.

It was a bit before my time, but at Twilio (PaaS/IaaS), I know when the tickets started coming in it got to the point that the founders and first couple employees were only doing tickets. Then they were able to bring a couple people on for support.

answered Feb 15 '13 at 01:15
Blank
Casey Software
1,638 points
  • I think you misunderstood my question. I know what you mean but the question was for initial stages. Like I said in the question I am happy to bring more people on board for support/marketing/development etc. – User25018 6 years ago
  • Please define "the initial stages" as I took you to mean anything from Day 1 forward. Day 1 through 500 are easy if you don't have any customers.. but the second you get customers, support will be key regardless if that's Day 1 or later. – Casey Software 6 years ago
  • Initial stages means stage just before go live and it also could be just after go live. I know what you mean by support but there are ways to provide supports and it also depends upon the size of the application and type of subscription that you offer. – User25018 6 years ago
  • If it's before you go live, it's much easier. A single person can do the vast majority of it, especially if you're setting the deadlines. I would still suggest having a second set of eyes on all the copy, the plans, etc but it's not mandatory. – Casey Software 6 years ago

1

It's doable - but it's a lot of work.

I'm guessing that a large chunk of your skill set is development if you're happy doing the design/dev/deployment yourself? The problem you're going to hit is that design and development are unlikely to be your biggest problems. You'll be spending most of your time doing:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Admin
  • Accounts
  • Chasing investors
  • Customer Support
  • Customer Development
  • User Research
  • ... and so on...

It's a very rare person that's really good at everything involved in running a business. Even rarer that somebody enjoys doing all the things involved in running a business. So you need to be prepared to start attacking topics that you know nothing about - and may find you don't much enjoy either.

On the bright side - some of the new stuff will also be great fun. But it can be a bit of a culture shock to move from an area where you are competent to another where you are a rank amateur.

answered Feb 16 '13 at 07:36
Blank
Adrian Howard
2,357 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Micro Startup