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Turning An Idea Into A Startup — My Personal Journey

  |   5 min read

Hey there, this is Pankaj, A Indie Hacker and Maker.

I run a software company Quazma in India where we develop web and mobile apps for our clients.

I’m making a new SaaS product, iconvey.io, and I’ll be sharing my journey on how I started and how it is going so far.

So, here’s how my Journey begins…!

Why did I decide to start a SaaS company?

Running a service-based company has been a continuous pain for the past 6 years. The growth is limited and so revenue.

While running this company, I used to read a lot of stories of SaaS founders and how they started their product-based company that is generating that sweet recurring revenue that everyone craves for.

It started to attract me and I decided to give this a try since I get quite a free time these days that I can use to build something interesting and I started looking for ideas…

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

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How I got my first SaaS idea?

While working with a lot of web applications for different clients, I used to get hundreds of bugs and feature requests being reported to me and my team daily.

The support team was getting these requests on Intercom, and they transferred them to me directly on slack, results in an overflow of bugs and feature requests. The customers and developers both got frustrated as the tasks were in so much volume that it overflowed and abandoned in the middle.

Instead of following the product roadmap, the team was busy fixing bugs and implementing features requested by individual customers without much research and discussion. That just changed the initial product vision, and we ended up with a complex and confusing product that fits no niche properly.

Slowly, I realized how important it is to manage ‘scattered feedback’ and how much valuable time can go into making sense of everything that comes through on a project and from different directions.

And that’s how I decided to go with the idea of building a Feedback management tool for SaaS companies.

I named it iConvey, as it is something that conveys ideas or feedback from customers to clients or vice versa.

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iConvey logo
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How I validated my idea?

A lot of research!

I started with some web search because that’s what I’m good at 😉 and found a few tools that allow customer feedback management like UserVoice (Only for Enterprises, big app) and Canny (I love this tool and team behind it, easy to use but no White label option, they show their branding and no FREE plan, also quite costly), etc.

So overall I found almost nothing for small SaaS businesses that allows a generous Free plan and a White label option for B2B businesses.

I started talking with friends, family, and a few clients that I had experience working with. Some of them show good interest, a few suggested changes in the plan, and some of them were neutral.

So, to reduce the risk of failure, I decided to build an actual Audience in the same niche before writing any code or creating an MVP.

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How am I Building an Audience?

Well, just started blogging!

Building an audience is the most important part of building a SaaS business.
If you already run a blog with hundreds of visitors or a Twitter handle with thousands of followers or a successful YouTube channel, you are lucky, you already got an audience.

But for someone like me, who don’t write blogs, don’t use social media, not an influencer, and A big Introvert, it becomes a very difficult task to reach out to people, collect their email addresses and convince them to sign up.

But it has to be done somehow, so I started blogging. This is my first ever blog post 🙂 wish me luck!

Also, I created a landing page iconvey.io for my SaaS idea and added a Upscribe newsletter form to collect Emails from visitors. If people are interested in your product and giving you their email address, there is a good chance that they will give you their credit card as well.

I also created a blog page next to my landing page for my visitors and drive organic traffic.

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Our first landing page

Now it’s just a beginning. To get an actual audience, I need to write blog posts consistently! I’m on it.

Apart from blogging, I joined a few maker’s communities to coordinate with other Makers and share my progress regularly. That helps drive traffic as well.

Communities like ProductHuntIndieHackerMakerLog and Quora are great for reaching out to people in your domain and ask for help or get some initial users for your app.

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What’s my plan now?

If I’m lucky enough to get traffic on my blog posts, showing a landing page to visitors is not enough. They would be much happier if I show them a demo.
So yes, I need to develop an MVP, an ugly looking, very first version of my product.

Already started with it, I selected the tech stack, working on auth and a lot of things simultaneously.

I’ll share more details on tech stack, marketing strategy, launch plan, and MVP structure in my next posts.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

If you want to keep in touch, follow me on twitter @_pankaj_patidar