Productize Everything [12-28-2020]

Productize Everything [12-28-2020]

Dustin McCaffree

Productize Everything = SaaS Snowball

Here's a cool thing to try if you have an agency, are an indie hacker, or are always working on side projects.

Build things that snowball, and ALWAYS productize your internal tools and services.

What does productizing internal tools look like?

So, you built an internal analytics system for your new blog building platform. Why did you build it from scratch instead of using an external tool? Probably because the other options out there didn't quite fit your use case. Sounds like a gap in the market.

Did someone say, “Gap in the market?”
Did someone say, “Gap in the market?”

There are 2 questions I'd ask next:

  1. What would it take to allow other people to use your new analytics system? I think in terms of estimated hours if you're doing the work yourself or estimated dollars if hiring it out.
  2. What benefits would there be to turning your internal analytics into a product other people could use? Often, you could monetize, get publicity for launching a free tool, stick "Create by ____ / Powered by ____" at the bottom, etc. Is that worth it?

If the answer to both of these questions is YES, it’s time to productize!

What do I do now?

You need to think about this internal tool as a micro SaaS now. Here are a few things you should add. You’d do well to have a decent drag-and-drop code snippet library that you can use to build out your SaaS snowball. That will often include many of the things you’ll need for your everyday SaaS:

  • Authentication
  • API key delegation system
  • Billing
  • Users / Teams support
  • Email notifications
  • Webhook support
  • Analytics
  • Error handling and reporting
  • Internal metrics

If you can start building a code snippet library of these pieces or even just a full ready-to-go template, you’ll be able to focus on the core pieces of your new micro SaaS each time you add a new one to your retinue.

It’s about to get good! But not this good...
It’s about to get good! But not this good...

The more you build, the more you build!

It will start out feeling like a lot of extra work, but as you get going, it will get easier each time. You’ll use each micro SaaS in every new micro SaaS. They will help you easily and cheaply build out new functionality that can be shared across the entire lot of them.

So, just get going! There’s very little to lose. Once you have 3, 5, 10 micro SaaS, you’ll be well on your way to having your own portfolio of growth opportunities and a suite of SaaS that you can continue to reuse (or sell) forever!

Our Snowball

What did you think?