Learn from our community entrepreneurs! In this interview, Kevin Conti shares the story of building and growing Software Ideas, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Hi there! I’m Kevin Conti and I’m the founder of Software Ideas, a paid newsletter that sends hand-picked, validated SaaS ideas directly to your inbox. It’s currently sitting at about $8,000 MRR in just over four months, and I’m really enjoying it!
I never meant to make Software Ideas.
I’m a full-time software developer. On the side, I launched CoderNotes.io, a website for developers to take technical notes that can be easily searched. While that product got a lot of interest (including landing as #2 product of the day on Product Hunt), today it sits at around $50 MRR.
I learned from that project that building something people think is cool is NOT the same thing as building something people want to pay for. I also learned that the market you choose is incredibly important. You want to be in a market where customers are already spending money.
I documented everything that I learned from the experience in this IndieHackers post: 5 Lessons Learned from Launching my first SaaS.
After that experience, I decided I wanted to take what I’ve learned and apply it to something new, instead of trying to pivot CoderNotes.io to be something else. So I started doing market research.
It started by looking at job boards. After all, if they can afford to hire employees, they must be doing something right! Eventually I learned that there were paid databases of company information that would be far more efficient than going through job boards, but they cost up to $1,000 per year.
At that point, the pieces fell into place. I realized that the research I was doing might be valuable to people, and now I had an incentive to try to sell it (so I could make up the cost of the databases).
So, Software Ideas was never meant to be a product - I was just trying to research some SaaS ideas for myself!
Software Ideas is the overnight success story right now, but it comes from a lot of mistakes in the past. I’ve talked about CoderNotes.io, but I also have owned and operated a (failed) residential cleaning company, a (failed) textbook reselling business, and a (failed) auction-based reselling business.
No one hits it out of the park on their first try. To quote Ben Orenstein from Tuple, “Start your first three businesses as quickly as possible.”
If you are a solopreneur, startup, or small-medium business owner, and would like to share your story, expertise and thought leadership, then please answer an online interview questionnaire. Your feedback on building successful teams can also help fellow entrepreneurs learn to scale. We’d love to feature your journey in our community.
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