This is Jakob, author of the Founder Flywheel newsletter - every week I write this email to help you level up your entrepreneurial game.
Today I have one strategy I want to share with you.
Let's dive in.
Two days ago I saw a tweet by Gael Breton mentioning how searches for “Ahrefs Alternatives” are skyrocketing right now.
Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools and recently introduced a controversial new pricing structure. Previously you got access to all features even on their cheapest plan. Now the more you pay, the more features you get. Since Ahrefs always has been an expensive tool this is a huge blow for many people. To get access to tools like their Content Explorer you now have to pay at least $199/month.
At the same time, lots of people complain about how slow the Ahrefs interface has become lately. The Ahrefs team seems to have been distracted quite by their $60m "side project" Yep, a Google competitor.
All of this together is a strong signal that the market is ready for an Ahrefs competitor.
Now Ahrefs is an immensely complex tool and this is definitely not a challenge that should be tackled without significant funding. But the path that led me down this rabbit hole got me thinking.
I bet you can find tons of great opportunities by checking if searches for "X alternative" are growing rapidly, where X can be the name of any popular tool.
So I compiled a list of more than 15,000 of the most popular SaaS tools and checked for each of them if people are hungry for alternatives.
Semrush is Ahref's biggest competitor. And interestingly it came out right at the top when I sorted my list by how fast searches for alternatives are growing.
Sendgrid makes it easy for developers to send emails from within their applications. I've personally used it quite a bit in the past and at $14.95/mo for up to 50,000 emails it's quite cheap.
But if you head over to Trustpilot you will find that a lot of people are not happy at all with Sendgrid's services, support, and UX. This is definitely a goldmine if you want to start working on an email API.
Payment processor Stripe is one of Silicon Valley's biggest darlings. But recently several stories came out that highlighted questionable behavior. This is definitely not enough to make people turn on Stripe but there are several other good reasons why people are searching for Stripe alternatives.
Most importantly, Stripe charges high fees, still does not support sellers in many countries and is of little help when you want to be compliant with global tax laws.
Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform. A few interesting pain points:
- "is there a miro alternative that supports sign-in with ethereum. i dont want people to doxx themselves just so they can collab on a miro board lol. horrible" Source
- "I'm looking for a cheaper alternative to Miro—I'm not interested in paying $16/month to plan a van build/moodboard." Source
- "Despite operating from a top spec MacBook Air, the miro online board continually lags and drops out. While the concept is great, I struggle to find the program reliable to input my necessary work and continually find the board 'blacking out'." Source
Make sure two check the two tables linked above for hundreds of additional opportunities.
My favorite reads this week:
The End of Localhost
Swyx makes a compelling case that there’s a very real possibility local dev may be dead in 10 years and that this would be the biggest shift in dev workflow since git.
A Map For Indie Living
Tom is spearheading the indie consulting movement and lays out a complete game plan in this post.
On of his main points: "trading time for money is a great economic tool. It provides you cash leverage to pursue all kinds of other things."
Another great observation from the post: "it’s more important to find a way to be visible, with a distinct vibe, rather than craft a tight positioning".
The cost of not choosing what you could be doing
Fantastic thread on why you should care just as much about optionality cost as you do about opportunity cost.
Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready
Fantastic old post by James Clear. Love this Richard Branson story:
“I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time.
At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do.
Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.”
I hope you enjoyed these ideas. If you have a minute, please let me know what you think by replying to this email.
P.S: I rely on word-of-mouth for growth so if you enjoyed the content, I'd love it if you could share it with someone in your life.
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