Should I build a SaaS first?

On the Bootstrapped.FM forums, Khaja Naquiuddin asks:

I am full stack developer and getting started to launch a product. I don’t have any audience though. There is a famous advice on the internet by many entrepreneurs to start a small product first, before starting a big SaaS business. Do you think it is really true? Should I first learn the business by launching small products and then launch bigger SaaS products?

A mistake a lot of developers make is focusing too much on the form of the product, instead of who it’s for and what that customer wants to accomplish.

Here’s a helpful exercise: don’t start by thinking about what type of product you’d like to build, but rather ask yourself:

  1. What type of person would I like to serve?
  2. What are they struggling with currently?
  3. How can I help them right now?

This is the advice I got from Derek Sivers years ago.

He ended up making this video about it:

If you want to be useful, you can always start now with 1% of what’s in your grand vision.

For a customer, a product is just a means to an end.

It doesn’t need to be SaaS, an app, or hardware: it just needs to solve their problem.

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