The pre-requirement for a successful SaaS is customer demand.

If there’s no existing desire from customers, it doesn’t matter how good your marketing is (or how passionate you are).

Customer demand forms the baseline for your company’s trajectory.
People who built their company purely on passion (and succeeded) got lucky.

Their passion happened to coincide with a market where there was demand.

Beware of false-positives: most passion products fail!

There needs to be underlying customer demand for what you’re building.
Good marketing harnesses existing demand; it directs a customer’s existing momentum towards your product.

Human behavior is iterative; it doesn’t spontaneously appear out of thin air.

New desires grow out of pre-existing conditions: what we’ve done, wanted, and bought in the past.

Good ideas don’t emerge out of darkness; they’re built on an existing foundation.
There is a prevailing belief that “great founders create new innovations out of thin air.”

In truth, product ideas emerge from pre-existing human behavior.

You can convince people to switch from horses to cars by targeting the existing desire (fast, efficient transportation).
You gauge the strength of demand by the evidence of existing behavior:

How much effort are people applying right now to solve this problem?

How strong is the existing behavior?

How strong is the incentive for them to seek a solution?
The market is a brutal judge.

It doesn’t care how good your intentions are, how many customer interviews you did, how hard you worked on the design, how skilled you are at programming, or how prestigious your investors are:

customers will decide your final verdict.
You can gauge demand as you go along:

- observing existing customer behavior,
- noting shifts in the culture,
- being aware of economic tides,
- launching small trial balloons and seeing how people respond.

The key is to not get too far down the river if the signs are bad.
Nobody is insulated from these realities; even me!

This new project I’m investing in with @joshuaanderton will be judged by the market, and could fail.

I’m trying to increase our odds, but in business there are no sure bets.
"The market is so, so, so important. Market excuses poor ideas, poor execution, like just total ignorance. If you happen to luck into the correct market you can flail wildly and still get there." – @fulligin

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More from @mijustin

7 May
In my 20s-30s all my followers were my age, but now I’m 40 and most of y’all are still 20-30s?
Folks in their 40s-50s have been making stuff on the internet since the early 90s, but soon we’ll all be working for 22 year-old billionaires who got rich minting NFTs and buying dogecoin. 😅
Like, 80% of you don’t know about Commander Keen.
Read 11 tweets
4 May
This is a thoughtful take on the whole Basecamp situation:… Image
"Basecamp’s new policies, and how they were communicated, are sufficient evidence of poor decision-making on their own.

The policies are openly hostile to the workforce."

"Basecamp went from ostensibly being an open and trusting workplace to lockdown in the space of a few days.

Changes as drastic as these mean there has been a rupture between staff and management."

Read 10 tweets
21 Apr
Curious about Apple's new Podcasts Connect?

I just got access and tried to submit a new podcast RSS feed.

Here's how it went...
It took about 10+ hours before I was able to get access to my existing Apple Podcasts Connect account and see the podcasts I already had active on Apple Podcasts.

Overall, the new interface feels cleaner. 👍
For existing podcasters, the biggest improvement is Apple Podcasts' new analytics.

You can drill into each episode, and see where listener drop-off occurred.

Really helpful feedback if you're trying to optimize your show. 💯
Read 17 tweets
20 Apr
Wow. Ok. Some pretty big @ApplePodcasts announcements for podcasters at today's #AppleEvent.

I'm still digging through it, but here's a thread with some quick thoughts.

First, in true Apple fashion, they didn't let me (or @TransistorFM) know any of this was coming.

There was speculation, but no official word from anyone at Apple.

The only thing we knew was yesterday, as reported by @Podnews, submissions went offline. Image
There's a total refresh of Apple's Podcast Connect.

Lots of new features: "ability to edit metadata, organize shows into channels, manage multiple users and roles." Looks like new analytics too.

I haven't been able to access it yet. Anyone else have luck? Image
Read 12 tweets
9 Feb
New SaaS entrepreneurs:

Don't discount the opportunity to go into an established category and offer more value (for less cost) than the incumbents.

"Lower price for more value" is a great competitive wedge.
Too many founders have drunk the "charge more" Kool-Aid and try to offer a premium price from day 1.

In many established categories, you're not going to be able to compete if you have fewer features but a higher price point. 😜
Before I get too many replies and emails:

YES, in certain cases offering a higher price (for a truly premium offering) is a better approach.

But in software (in most categories) your pricing is already being anchored by your competitors: Image
Read 13 tweets
19 Jan
🎙️ Want me to help improve your podcast's listing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc?

(One of the best ways to get more listeners is to improve your show's "packaging:" cover art, title, description)

Reply to this thread with a link to your pod, and I'll record a video for you. 👉
More info here.

(Note, I'll be publishing these videos publicly so everyone can learn. 👍)
You can subscribe (and watch) all of these "podcast teardowns" on YouTube here:

Read 8 tweets

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