Starting the Micro-Saas Journey

I’ve build products for as long as I can code. It started with game hacks (basically apps that employed cheat codes, sorry!) to forums, IRC bots, a youtube downloader, and an app for macOS where you could share images by dragging them onto the app logo. All before I turned 18. Then I went to uni and started working on the side. I had less time and energy to focus on what I loved most: building stuff. I joined a startup in 2014 at 23 years old and quickly became the CTO, all while still studying computer science. Working in a startup and studying is hard. But in 2019, while I co-founded another startup, I finally finished my studies. Since then, I’ve been working on said startup full-time. I had no time, no energy nor inspiration to work on my own projects. But this changed. I want to follow the calls of the promised land, being a solo founder building products while traveling full-time. I don’t know if it’s better, I don’t know if it’ll work, I don’t know if it even suits me. But how can I know if I don’t try? How do I know what kind of life suits me at this moment by merely hypothesizing about it? The answer is: I don’t. So I try.

I always had product ideas. I can’t help myself. The problem? Evaluating them is so hard, because you have to build an MVP first. Your product always needs the same things:

  • Landing page
  • User registration/login/forgotten password/administration
  • A checkout of some sort
  • Glueing together the database and any other services you need

This problem is always repeating. That’s why, with digital office I decided to use Keycloak instead of rolling our own user authn/authz. But what about the rest? Well, I decided on a plan I am sticking to currently: building a SaaS base which checks above mentioned boxes and which would allow me to spew out products in no time. I decided on a tech stack (with which I don’t have a lot of experience) and started building. I started with Next.js and gin gonic + go, as well as Ory Kratos for the auth. I quickly learned the limitations of Next.js, discarded it, and moved on with Svelte Kit. Why? Although I had previous experience with Angular and Vue, even though I focused on data science and backend stuff in the last few years, I decided on something entirely else. And that’s why: I wanted to be able to deploy a static frontend with server-side rendering for SEO. I wanted to have minimal overhead (👋 Angular). And yes, of course, I wanted to try new, flashy stuff. That never changes.

My Approach

While I work on a SaaS base, I put as much ideas through the meat grinder as I can. One will stick. And the neat thing is, I don’t have to implement all the boilerplate stuff. Sure, I could also use nocode tools, but I’m not a big fan of that, as you will start to code at some point. I want to spew out as many apps as I can. As I maximize towards low-maintenance and automation, I can actually run a bunch of projects on the side in parallel without much work.

My steps for now are the following:

  1. implement the SaaS base
  2. build and ship the first product 🚀
  3. automate business processes as much as I can
  4. grow and market the product further

The worst case is that it doesn’t work. You can learn from it anyway and won’t repeat what hasn’t worked before. If you repeat the process enough times, it will work out at some point So keep at it.

So buckle up, join in and watch me fail or succeed. No matter what, the train is rolling. Want to get in touch? You can do so via twitter.