We are two passionate developers from Germany on a journey to building our own profitable SaaS startup from scratch. In this series I will share everything we learn along the way, from coming up with the idea, coding a prototype, getting our first users and scaling to infinity. We are starting from absolutely nothing but our coding skills. We will not rely on any external funding. We are Lukas Mauser and Jonas Scholz and this is Zero to Startup.
In this first episode I will talk about what’s the idea and why we chose it even though it’s a very competitive market.
Let’s get straight to the point:
💡 We will create a docker hosting platform for developers.
Wow, not very original you might think. At first glance it sounds boring, there is huuuge competition and with players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft dominating the game, one could be surprised of why we choose to step foot in this crowded market.
Here are our thoughts about it.
First and most important: we are interested in infrastructure.
We are anticipating looong periods of failure and things not going to plan. So our best bet to win in the long game is doing something that we enjoy.
In the past we have started multiple half assed attempts to get rich quick in industries that we never really gave a s* about. I always thought to do something that brings in money quickly and then later decide what you really want to do.
And this strategy wasn't all bad. By coming in contact with different industries and trying out different business models we now have a much clearer understanding of what we are drawn towards, what we want to avoid and why it's so important to work on something that you enjoy.
In a famous speech, Steve Jobs once said something along the lines of: “in hindsight it will all make sense.” So when you don’t know where to start, start by doing just anything and puzzle it together later.
We both have been working as freelance web developers for several years, frequently dealing with setting up servers and configuring them. We have been administrating dozens of client projects for small and medium sized businesses.
We know the market, we tested multiple products and we know what we are aiming for. Also, we can be our first client using the product ourselves. You might have heard of the quote: “Scratch your own itch” and that’s what we plan to do. And since we already developed scripts and automations for ourselves, why not flesh them out into a product for everyone.
Third: Product market fit.
Arguably the most difficult part when starting a startup: creating something that people want. If you choose an idea that is completely revolutionary and does not exist yet, there is a huge market risk.
So we argue that stepping in a crowded market can also be a measure to reduce risk. It’s the car dealership model. There are thousands of car dealerships, and they don’t rely on any fancy innovation. Just offering a solid service that people are looking for. And since the market is huge there is plenty of room for everyone.
The topic of product market fit is not completely off the table though but It will be shifted more towards finding a niche and refining the product. More on niching down in the next episode.
In my opinion a startup idea should not be methodically crafted but rather derived from one's own interests and experiences. If you don’t have any ideas yet it might help to start by choosing an industry you are interested in first and work there for a while. After some time, ideas will come all by itself.
On top, an idea doesn’t have to be completely new and revolutionary. Sometimes it’s just taking what already works and giving it your own spin.
In the next episode I will go in depth into our thoughts on niching down in order to step foot into the crowded hosting market.
Check out the product on https://sliplane.io.
Feel free to comment or get in touch with us to talk about any topics you are interested in or questions you have about the project in general.