SaaS in 7 Sessions - #0: The Plan

Posted about 1 year ago

I’m about to embark on an adventure.

Building software, and particularly another “Software as a Service” (SaaS) product has been something that’s been on the radar for me since I shifted from running content sites to launching GadgeWire back in 2010.

Although GadgeWire may no longer exist, the fire to build a web based product that delivers real value and people want to pay you for still burns deep within me, and I bet, within most of you too. One of the main things I’ve learnt in the intervening years though has been that you don’t get there by locking yourself away for 2 months and launching with no handle on the market - openness, reactiveness and engagement is the key to getting off the ground.

So what’s the adventure?

Building something that I’ve been itching to for over 5 years. I’ll tell you exactly what in the next post when the landing page is ready (because even openness needs a teaser campaign…), but you wont have to wait long: I’m aiming to get this turned around in “Seven Sessions”.

Seven Sessions?

I could say “Seven Days” or something like that, but it wouldn’t be strictly true. I still have a job at the moment, and some days and evenings will be taken up with other aspects of life, so the aim for this is to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 7 working sessions.

Although the makeup of the sessions might change, here’s what I’m aiming for at the moment:

  1. Product specification, planning and architecture + initial framework setup

  2. Model and Controller logic, database design

  3. Payment, Authorisation and Access coding

  4. UX mapping + View code

  5. Marketing automation + onboarding content flow

  6. Server + Deployment

  7. Launch and initial push

It all looks so simple when laid out like that, obviously it’ll be a damn load harder and schedules will slip - but that’s the current plan.
Timeframe? Who knows, hoping to get to MVP stage (or at least, a demo for you all to see) within the next few weeks.

So why do it?

It’s an itch I need to scratch, now’s a great time to do it with the current state of development technologies and I want to be able to evidence my product creation skills with a real world, working example in the SaaS space. In the spirit of openness, I’d love to work for a company like Buffer, and what better way to prove what I can do than to build something (hopefully) cool that I’d like to see in the world?

I’m also thinking about vlogging my experiences building this, if you’d be interested in that as a series, drop me a mention on Twitter (@stevefarnworth).

by Steve Farnworth

Steve Farnworth is a petrolhead, coffee drinker, amateur chocolatier, web developer and digital marketer from England, UK.

Find Steve on Twitter and Google Plus

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