“If you build something for everyone, it works for no one.”
Big SaaS companies solve lots of problems for lots of people.
Micro-SaaS solves a specific problem for a specific group.
Built on a platform. Platform risk is concentrated.
- ChimpCharge • Stripe
- ilo • Twitter
- Direct Memo • Slack
- (📈 Pro ↓)
- Super • Notion
- Sheety • Google Sheets
- Pipechat • Pipedrive + WhatsApp
- Listenbox • YouTube
- Chainfuel • Telegram
- CartHook • Shopify
- AutoIdle • Heroku
- Leadsie • Facebook
- OrgChartHub • HubSpot
Works across platforms. Diversification lowers platform risk.
- LiveRecover • Shopify, WooCommerce
- Leave Me Alone • Gmail, Outlook
- Mailbrew • Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Product Hunt, Hacker News
- (📈 Pro ↓)
- Krisp • Mac, Windows, Chrome, iOS
- Karma • Slack, MS Teams, Telegram
- RabbitRabbit • Mailchimp, Mailerlite, ConvertKit, Revue
- SparkLoop • Mailchimp, ConvertKit
- Tresor One • ING, Postbank, Trade Republic
- Simple Analytics
- (📈 Pro ↓)
- Squid Alerts
- Site Command
- Feedback Fish
- Proof Factor
- Every Time Zone
- Platforms will clone features from popular plugins. Shopify now offers abandoned cart follow ups.
- Micro-SaaS will thrive despite platforms cloning features. Abandoned cart apps, like CartHook, Consistent Cart, and Privy solve problems missed by Shopify. (via Andrew and Tyler)
- Competition will increase. Exhaust data, like traffic, reviews and backlinks, point to the best opportunities. Headlime faces competition after a great launch.
- (📈 Pro) Big SaaS companies will subsidize Micro-SaaS to acquire customers. See HubSpot, Shopify, Ahrefs, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, Mailerlite and more.
- (📈 Pro) More Micro-SaaS apps will be built with no-code. RabbitRabbit uses Bubble.
- (📈 Pro) Dependent Micro-SaaS will suffer from platform risk. In 2019, Gmail introduced security audits costing $15,000-$75,000 per year. Causing Context.io and EmailMonkey to shut down.
- Freelance to find valuable problems and your first customers. See Storemapper and RecTimes.
- Find Micro-SaaS ideas in forums. The founders of Memberspace noticed repeated requests in Squarespace forums.
- Build a Micro-XaaS. See NurtureKit, Conversion Crimes and Gloat.
- Offer subscriptions to digital products. See Page Flows, GoRails, Storytale, JustDjango and Start React Native.
- Use Micro-SaaS to reach large markets. MindBody went from gyms to yoga studios to any business with scheduling. (via Andrew and Prasanna)
- (📈 Pro) Integrate with platforms. Pingdom works with Heroku. Placid works with Ghost, WordPress and Webflow. Independent Micro-SaaS can integrate to reduce friction, improve discovery and acquire customers.
- (📈 Pro) Bundle apps to increase LTV. And spend more to acquire customers. See Designmodo, Sandhills Development and Conversion Bear.
- (📈 Pro) Build or buy apps. Use them as growth tools to acquire customers. Skillshare bought Coolors. Neil Patel bought Ubersuggest.
- (📈 Pro) Build apps with network, data or scale effects. Keywords Everywhere has platform risk. But power laws protect them from horizontal competition.
- (📈 Pro) Build on open source. See Cove (Ghost), Sidekiq (Ruby) and Lasso (WordPress). The “platform” is malleable. Which lowers less risk.
- (📈 Pro) Use your experience to build a Micro-SaaS. Robin Vander Heyden built a productized service. And software for others to build productized services.
“Independent Micro-SaaS works with platforms.”
Some do. But they don’t depend on platforms.
“What about Medium-SaaS?”
Don’t take these definitions literally. They are heuristics. Think grey.
“Integrated Micro-SaaS is maintenance hell.”
There’s no free lunch. The tradeoff is lower platform risk. Independent Micro-SaaS avoids platform risk. And distribution gains from ecosystems. Like Shopify’s App Store.
“Everything has platform risk.”
Maybe systematic risk. Ever-present. It almost isn’t worth talking about.
(📈 Pro) “Gmail’s security audits are justified.”
- Looking for Micro-SaaS examples • The tweet behind the report.
- Growing a Highly Profitable & Remote Micro-SaaS • RecTimes builds scheduling software for ice rinks.
- Traveling, Learning to Code and Bootstrapping to $25k/mo • Storemapper was conceived, built and launched in 36 hours.
- (📈 Pro) Make Money Building Shopify Micro-SaaS Apps • A tactical guide covering ideation, getting your first customers and long-term strategy.
- (📈 Pro) Going From Zero To $45K MRR • Christopher launched Stockfox and StockSnap before Snappa.
- (📈 Pro) Sherlocked • Apple makes third-party tools redundant.
- (📈 Pro) Micro-SaaS • Concise notes from Tyler Tringas’ book.
- (📈 Pro) Becoming An Owner + Buying Companies • Ryan talks about intense competition. And buying competitors.
- (📈 Pro) Strategies for a House of Brands or a Branded House • The pros and cons of branded houses (Apple), houses of brands (Unilever) and hybrids (Coca-Cola). A guide for bundling strategies.
- (📈 Pro) Open-Core • Open-source is monetized through enhanced features and services.
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