How to make a Saas
Hey there! I’m the founder and maker of Simple. Simple is an easy to use time tracking app for freelancers. If you are thinking of how to make a SaaS software or starting up a company you should definitely keep reading! 😀
Starting a company or making a SaaS might feel overwhelming at start. You see all the things that has to get done to reach your goal. The key to this is to break things down in small steps, instead of thinking of it as one huge step. Think of it as a long staircase. For every small step you take, you come a little closer to your goal. This is the approach I had, here are some of my steps:
HOW I MADE MY OWN SAAS
…It all started in the beginning of 2019. I had been working as a freelance consultant for several years and I felt that I wanted to do something else. But do what? I didn’t know. But I knew I needed a plan. 🤔
COMING UP WITH AN IDEA
My plan was to come up with one new idea every day. It actually went very well and on most days I got two or three new ideas. The ideas often came from problems in my everyday work. When the problem occurred, I immediately started thinking “How can I find a solution to this?” or “Is there a better way to do this?”. The list grew and after a month my list had more than 50 ideas. Most of them were not very good, but some of them were definitely to consider. A big problem with software though is that there already are a lot of software. My list consisted of 50 ideas and about 10 were good. Unfortunately 5 of them already existed. Most of the 5 ideas that was left were too big to manage for an individual like me. But one idea was doable! The idea that was left was to make an easy to use time tracker.
Looking back at my years as a freelancer I had never found any time trackers that had fit my needs. All of them was too complex. I found it hard to understand why. Time tracking is one of the most essential tools for freelancers, so something was wrong.
THE MAKING OF
My first step was to make a research of what functions the time tracker should have. I interviewed people in my city and collected various data online. I looked at the current time trackers – What was good? What was bad? Why is it like this? etc. Another resource was myself – I had been using multiple tools for years and I knew a lot that I wanted to change. The result of the research was a list of functions. Since the main goal was to make it simple, I had to prioritize and exclude many things. Only the most important was relevant.
Being creative in the design process is a great way of making good, user friendly design. My approach is making many different designs for the same view, and then taking the best stuff and putting it to a finalized design. And if the final design isn’t good enough, repeat this step until you have a good design. 🖌
An early concept of Simple, vs the finished design of Simple
Now I knew exactly how I wanted my time tracker to look and feel. The “only” thing I had left was building it. This was my biggest challenge yet. I had never used databases or server side languages before, which is a big part of most software. The building-part of my time tracking app was the most challenging. It meant daily challenges and many frustrating moments.
It was in those moments my initial strategy (taking small steps) worked especially well. On a day with many challenges, I split those small challenging steps into even smaller once “micro steps”. A small step could be “set up a database” and a micro step could be “find the most appropriate database”, “find the most appropriate structure for my database”. Eventually after doing a lot of those micro steps, I completed the challenging “set up a database”-step. And eventually my SaaS was finished…
Now you know how I made my own SaaS! The whole process took me about half a year. I hope that you learned something from my story and that you feel inspiration to do the same 😀 If you haven’t tried Simple yet, check it out here. Thank you!