How I Built my First SaaS, From Idea to Launch
Hi! During the last few months, I've been improving my coding chops, and finished the V1 of my first app, so here's a little post on how I built my first SaaS, from idea to launch:
1. The Idea 💡
After working with a YouTuber and making some creator friends, I saw how annoying it was to find good talent to work with for them.
And on the flip side, I also realized how hard it is for people to find a solid job in this space.
This is what gave me the idea of creating a job board centered around YouTube last year.
2. Building the MVP ⚙️
Since I have a demanding job and cannot spend dozens of hours coding every week, I needed to build an MVP quickly.
So I looked for templates and open source projects that I could "yoink" so I could build a proper MVP fast, and after a few days of searching, I had found it!
Joe Masilotti is open sourcing his developer job board RailsDevs, which was almost perfect for what I wanted to build, it mainly lacked the ability to add job posts since it's entirely focused on candidates.
So I got started and cloned it, changed the copy, changed a bit of logic, improved the SEO and made a video trailer, so everything makes sense for a YouTube job platform.
Also, since I live in the country of the croissant 🥐, I translated the whole app in French, and translated Joe's app as well to thank him for open sourcing it.
So after around 3 weeks of work, I was finally ready to officially publish it, but something stopped my progress for months...
3. Crushed by a giant
The same exact day I finished my MVP, Paddy, a great YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of followers, officially launched his own YouTube job board that instantly became huge, and used by the biggest creators.
After seeing how successful it was, I looked back at my little prototype.
And in one day, all the motivation in me was gone.
I thought that my app sucked.
That it was useless.
So I gave up.
But little by little.
Thanks to discussions with friends.
I realized that:
• It was not that bad.
• Many industries have multiple successful job boards.
• Business owners often post their job offers on multiple job boards.
So, it's not a zero-sum game.
I just had to get users, improve my app, and differentiate it from this main competitor.
So I started reaching out to people who might be interested in signing up to the app as candidates, which went well.
But when I sat down to build new features, I realized that I hadn't built apps in months, and couldn’t really build stuff by myself that well...
4. :Insert training montage: 🦾
A few months ago, I saw that Ryan Kulp, a startup founder who exited a previous company and now teaches how to code, released his last course, 24H MVP.
The idea behind the course is to teach people how to build SaaS businesses fast.
And even if I had some coding skills, this course is really what got me out of tutorial hell and gave me dozens of "aha" moments.
So I went through the material, and thanks to it managed to build a little bot that allows you to give anon feedback (You can check it here), and a little stakeholder update platform (You can check it here).
I was finally ready to improve my app.
5. The launch ⚡
I started by adding:
- The ability to add multiple YouTube channels
- A job post creation system
- And dozens of small tweaks for UI/UX & SEO
- Improvements to the chat experience and made my app simpler than the competitor.
And I finished the last tweaks yesterday evening, and I just released it on Product Hunt! (would love to have your support )
Now it's time to focus on the marketing side.
Thank you for reading my post! See you soon.