🧠 Brainstorming SaaS and sideproject ideas with David Kofoed Wind

Quick Announcements:

  • I moved the project from Opportunities.so to a new domain: IndieOpportunities.com.
  • Reason 1: Google doesn’t like local domains like .so or .de (unless for local results). (.so is supposed to be the top-level domain for Somalia but is now used by many tech companies.)
  • Reason 2: a .so domain (like all unusual TLDs) does not look trustworthy. This affects all metrics. For example, my friends at Alts.co recently switched from .club to .co and saw a significant increase in their conversion rate.
  • As a result of this transition, some things were broken during the past few days. Sorry if you were affected by this in any way! But now everything should be working fine again.
  • I also moved to a new hosting service. The website will now load faster and there won't be any more random outages.
  • Last but not least, I updated the design of the website. There is now a beautiful library that makes it much easier to navigate through all the content. (I haven't added all datasets yet but will continue to add new ones during the next few days.)

With that out of the way, let's dive in.

I recently sat down David Kofoed Wind (the founder of Eduflow and Peergrade) and he shared several incredible SaaS and side-project ideas.

You can listen to our conversation here. Below I'll summarize my favorite 4 ideas that he shared.

Opportunity #1: Figmafy Storyline

Background

  • Storyline is currently the most popular software for creating interactive courses.
  • A license for the newest version costs $1,398.
  • As you can already guess by the screenshot above, Storyline is desktop software. Yes, you really have to download it and then unlock it using your license key. Oh, and it only runs on Windows.
  • David told me that some companies buy Windows computers just to be able to run Storyline.
  • Articulate, the company that develops the software recently raised $1.5B on a $3.75B valuation.
  • It has 106,000 customers across 161 countries including every single one of the Fortune 100.

Opportunity

  • Figma for X is an interesting lens to look for startup ideas.
  • The idea is to take some widely used desktop software and turn it into a highly collaborative cloud service.
  • Adobe Photoshop -> Figma
  • Microsoft Word -> Google Docs
  • Microsoft Excel -> Google Sheets, Airtable
  • Microsoft PowerPoint -> Google Slides, Pitch
  • So the obvious opportunity here would be to build a highly collaborative cloud version of Storyline.
  • Figma for X is nowadays such a popular playbook that there's even a dedicated tool called Croquet focused on enabling these kinds of ideas.

Opportunity #2: Capterra bid management Chrome Extension

Background

  • Capterra is a free online resource for business software buyers. The site offers a comprehensive directory of software products and user reviews.
  • By default, search and category results on Capterra are "Sorted By: Sponsored". In words, this simply means that companies bid for positions.
  • David told me that developing and managing efficient bidding strategies is a huge pain point for him.
  • You have to manually enter your bid for every single category across every single country.
  • This quickly adds up to thousands of auctions that need to be managed.
  • "I have this incredibly big matrix I can log in and edit it. So I have these like 1500 cells where I can go and edit dollar amounts.  And when I want to bid on the LMS category on Capterra in Azerbaijan, then I can see on the website this is how much you can pay to be number one, number two, number three, this is what you can expect in terms of clicks and conversions and so on. I've contacted their support 10 times. And they're very unhelpful because what I want here is a way to manage this."
  • "So let's say I set up a bidding strategy and then I realize next week, you know what? I want to change it. Now I have to go and edit all the bids again. There's no way to reset to standard, no way to go back to zero. You have to go and edit all these cells again."

Opportunity

  • David's dream solution would be a browser extension that makes it easier to manage Capterra bids.
  • Key Feature 1: Reset all bids with one click. It should navigate through all the pages and set all the cells to zero.
  • Key Feature 2: Automatically optimize bidding strategies. This is possible since you can see the expected clicks and expected conversions for all different countries, channels, categories. Moreover, users of course know their own conversion rates.
  • David already wrote a little Python script that scrapes all this data from Capterra and then calculates the best bidding strategies for a specific goal like maximizing the number of clicks. So technically building this kind of extension is definitely possible.
  • However, David does not have the time to maintain this script as he's already busy managing his own startups.
  • Not only the technical risk is close to zero, but also the market risk.
  • As many companies like David's are spending thousands of dollars on Capterra per month, paying something like $50/month to optimize their bidding strategy would be a no-brainer for them.
  • And all you have to do to find these companies is to look at different Capterra categories.

Opportunity #3: Customized user research podcasts as a service

Background

  • Every company needs to do user research.
  • Especially as a startup, you want to talk to your customers and talking to potential customers is a lot of work.
  • You need to reach out to them, book a time, and then set up an interview and talk to them and then to look at the notes and so on.

Opportunity

  • David's dream solution: "I want somebody else to take care of user research and deliver the results as a podcast to me personally."
  • "I pay a company money and I say, I want to talk to instructional designers. I want to talk to them about these questions. These are the questions I care about. These are the types of people I want to talk to. You find them, you talk to them, interview them, and then edit it into a podcast format."
  • "Then you give me a private podcast that I can listen to. And then every week in my podcast app, a new episode of David's private user research podcast appears. So I would actually listen to these because I'm out walking anyways. I never listen to these recorded calls when I'm on my computer because I get distracted by all sorts of things."

Opportunity #4: A Notion-like text editor as a service

  • When you want to have a web app where people can write something in, you need a text editor.
  • But nobody wants to build their own text editor.
  • So there's a ton of text editors out there like for example Quill JS.
  • David's company Eduflow used Quill but quickly noticed that it doesn't offer many of the features (images, videos, embeds, tables, ...)  they need.
  • They searched everywhere but were not able to find "anything that was nice".
  • They found several very functionality-rich alternatives, but they were all very HTML-based.
  • "Using them was like using Word." (Translation: Not very pleasant.)
  • They're now paying around $700/month for CK editor. This is a lot of money for a solution they're not quite happy with. ("It keeps underwhelming me.")

Opportunity:

  • David's dream solution: "What we really wanted was something more like Notion where you have elements that you can drag around and that you can position on top of each other or next to each other. This is called block-based editing."
  • "What I like about block-based editors is that they're easy to extend. It'd be nice to have some kind of library of extensions."
  • "I just want to buy and pay for a good block-based editor and then it can have all sorts of cool things like formula support, videos, real-time collaboration. Nobody should build their own editor."

I hope you enjoyed this report. If you have a minute, please respond and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Jakob

Please do share with your friends. I spent 5+ hours on this so it would be nice if a few people read it.

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