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Issue#50: Building $1K - $10K MRR Micro SaaS around Developers ecosystem
Welcome to the 378 new subscribers joined this week.
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Pro subscribers community launched last month and a closed beta invite sent to a few Pro subscribers. We have close to 200 people joined in the community. I will be sending more invites for another bunch of Pro subscribers every week.
This is the first time for an ecosystem like this to exist where you can both find an idea to work on and a community to support and build with.
One of our community members is building SheetWorth Product
Another one building EnhanceMeet
Another Pro subscriber building Jelytics - Analytics Product
Another Pro subscriber launched a newsletter
There are many other people experimenting on a lot of stuff by being part of this community.
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No fluffy content. If your goal is to build a $100m ARR business, this is not the right post. Here I am are NOT going to talk about building the next Facebook or Twitter. If your goal is to make a $1K to $10K MRR, continue reading.
This post will cover one SAAS area and talk about multiple niches in this space. This post also explains how to do tech implementation, do market analysis, how the current players are doing, and ends with a cost analysis to understand the overall cost for 100 users.
Selling products to developers is often tough as most developers like to build the tools themselves. But note that not every developer has time and resources to build tools. Let’s see some of the tools and SaaS products built around Developers ecosystem.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See who raised pre-seed fund from 5 investors for a Developer newsletter
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See who is currently at $3K MRR with Developer community/forum and quick tools for devs.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See which product for Developers raised funding and part of YC W21 batch.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See which newsletter for Developers is making revenue between $3K - $5K with Newsletter ads and sponsored ads.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See which company around job search has an estimated revenue is more than $300K per year.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See who crossed $10K MRR in 15 months of launching the product as a solo developer building product to help with interviews.
🔒 👉 [In Pro access only] See who raised funding and part of YC W21 batch for a IDE product for Developers.
Showwcase: The place where people who code connect, build community and find new opportunities.
DailyDev: All developer news in one place. Get a feed of the hottest developer news personalized to you. Read more quality articles. Stay up to date. Save time.
DevBook: Become a more productive developer Devbook is a search engine for developers that helps them to find the resources they need and answer their questions faster. Fast, accessible right from a code editor, and fully controllable with just a keyboard.
Bloop: Using Bloop is like coding with an exoskeleton. Supercharge your IDE with AI-powered smart suggestions.
DevDojo: Connect with fellow developers and gain access to tools that will help you build a profitable SaaS. Join with 30K other Developers to learn, build, and grow together.
Slip: Build a programming course and earn money while you sleep. Slip is the easiest way to create and sell interactive programming courses directly to your audience.
ProtoCode: Protocode offers you to create ready-to-use remote environments for your developers, task by task.
DevMarketing: Marketing for Developers A book and course for programmers who want to learn marketing.
Ontwik: Hire skilled remote developers. Ontwik makes it easy for you to hire remote developers to help you reach profitability and go beyond.
ConsoleDev: Discover the best tools for developers. A free weekly email digest of the best tools and beta releases for developers.
ElasticDevelopers: Elastic Developers allows you to log tasks done with the help of an ‘external elastic’ team of engineers.
NoCSDegree: Inspiring interviews with successful self-taught and bootcamp developers.
KeyValues: Find engineering teams that share your values. Search for engineering jobs based on specific company values.
SqlPad: SQL Mastery for Data Science Professionals. Watch, learn, and practice SQL all in your browser.
FoundDev: Find the best developers and jobs. Connect with developers and jobs worldwide.
HyperLog: Portfolio for Developers in Minutes. The easiest way to build portfolios for developers.
ExcaliDraw: White boarding tool to developer and engineering teams discussions. Virtual collaborative whiteboard tool that lets you easily sketch diagrams that have a hand-drawn feel to them.
Gleek: Create diagrams without touching your mouse Generate informal, class, sequence or entity-relationship diagrams using only the keyboard.
UseCodex: Code collaboration that answers the burning technical questions in your codebase, right in your IDE.
Negative Nancy says - “I am a developer. I can build tools myself if I want to.”
Me - Agreed. But you can’t build everything yourself. There are many products/tools that developers use every day and they can’t build all of those tools by themselves.
Negative Nancy says - “As a developer, I can make money by just building products and selling to people.”
Me - ‘Building a product’ is not equal to ‘Building a company/startup’. Building a product only needs technical knowledge but ‘selling the products at scale’ often needs you to have a network, distribution channels, sales skills, audience, etc.
Deep-dive & some niches
API Monetization for Developers: Creating functions and APIs is the easiest part for most developers. But monetizing these APIs is a tough problem because of multiple things like - adding authentication, adding payment functionality, implementing usage-based subscriptions, finding a distribution channel, etc. Create a solution around this where developers can ‘bring their own APIs’ and sell the API functions as a subscription. Anyone who wants to use the API would pay a fee and you take a percentage cut and send the rest of the money to the developer. This is more in terms of RapidAPI but at a Micro SaaS scale. In the long term, the goal should be to create a Marketplace around this where people can sell their APIs and get a paid subscription to use these APIs.
Productized services set up by Developers: This is an underestimated revenue channel by most developers. “Productized service” is a process of bundling your service in the form of a product for a fixed price and promised effort. In short - you promise what would be done in a fixed time (maybe hours, days, months) or you promise what would be done for a given task and you charge a fixed price for that without hourly billing. Productized services make a lot of money with a minimum number of customers too. Usually productized services in the developer’s niche charge around $800/m - $1500/m. Even with 10 clients, this will be a doable business provided you have a lot of knowledge in that specific technology, niche, language, framework. Pick what you are best at. Some examples are ‘Productized WordPress development & maintenance’, ‘Productized Frontend development’, ‘Productized Backend development’, ‘Productized Data Analytics’, etc. If you don’t have the required skill set but you have enough contacts in the niche, get a co-founder on board with the required skill set.
Cloud Development/Cloud support: Cloud is growing at a phenomenal rate and everyone is adapting to the cloud. Providing a fixed number of hours of availability every month for cloud development/support can be a winner. Compared to other technologies, you can charge slightly charge more for cloud development. You can extend and create multiple flavors out of this model to support all cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, Azure, or a multi-cloud support model. Services like these are usually charged on the higher side of $5K/month.
Newsletter for Developers: This is another great way to make revenue. If you are a developer and looking for a great way to start building audience/building products, start with a technical newsletter. You can start as simple as curating the links every week and sending those links in an email. This will be a great starting point. Once you start getting 100 - 200subscribers, start talking to your email subscribers and understand how their reading experience could be improved. Then to start making revenue - either you can start charging for monthly/yearly subscriptions or work with advertisers and charge for ads in the newsletter. If you are planning to charge for subscriptions, people may not be okay to pay for just curated content. See how you can add value and start charging for subscriptions. For getting advertisers, many people live to advertise their products for a tech audience. Another way to monetize your audience could be by using affiliate links of various tech products but note that this could adversely impact the subscribers if you don’t recommend good products.
Social network/Community for Developers: Create a network for developers where they can post content and interact with each other. This could be a simple social network site too primarily targeted for developers. Or this could be a simple community (similar to Dev.To) of developers who like to read and publish content. Give opportunities for developers to showcase their work to a large audience. For inspiration, see DevDojo that makes more than $3K MRR serving developers with content and tools.
Marketplace for Freelancers/Vetted Freelancers: Normal freelancer marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are meant for general freelancers and cater to a much bigger market. A vetted freelance marketplace is meant for vetted freelancers. There is a lot of demand for freelance and vetted marketplace. A vetted marketplace is a premium version of a normal freelance market. This can be extended and drilled down to specific niches as well. While there are a lot of marketplace products for freelancers in general, you could start A must-read story from Moonlight Developers if you want to build something around this space. See the story of Flexiple and how they just operate with Google sheets and still making one million dollars in revenue with now complex tools. Niche down your marketplace as narrow as you can. Start with any specific niche - for example - a vetted marketplace only for designers or only for react developers or only for frontend developers. You can drill down to a location as well. For example, UnicornFactory is meant for freelancers from New Zealand.
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Cost Analysis for 100 customers
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