I built a micro SaaS in 31 hours

On February 5th, 2024, I hit "Start Streaming" and built a micro SaaS startup — live on YouTube in just 31 hours.

On February 5th, 2024, I hit "Start Streaming" and built a micro SaaS live on YouTube in 31 hours.

The product has made almost $2,000 in just 5 days. Here's the entire journey from idea to launch.

Estimated reading time: 3 min 11 sec

Getting the startup idea 

After I realized I paid Stripe $1,600 to create PDF invoices, I turned off the option. Within days, my inbox was flooded with customers asking for invoices.

A pain with a money incentive is promising. So I searched for alternatives but I couldn’t find any. And just like this, a new startup idea was born: A self-serve invoicing tool for Stripe (now called ZenVoice)

I wrote more about getting ideas (TL;DR; think less, build more).

Building the MVP

1. Pricing is everything

As a customer, that’s what you look at first, especially when you don’t understand the product. As an entrepreneur, that’s how I pay the rent. So I brainstorm pricing first. 

I went with one-time payments because it’s almost free to run this startup:

  • $49: Unlimited invoices for 1 Stripe account

  • $69: Unlimited invoices for unlimited Stripe accounts

I only pay for bandwidth (<$1/month) and emails ($0.001 per email).

If a customer generates more than 49,000 invoices, I’m losing money. But this will never happen for all customers.

There are 2 plans because people have no clue how much a tool like this costs. Confused customers don't buy. The first plan ($49) is the anchor, so the second one makes sense. 

2. That ONE feature 

I had tons of features in mind. But I also remembered that 90% of startups failed. So I have a rule to avoid wasting time (and eventually burning out):

1 startup = 1 feature

For ZenVoice, customers of my users should be able to generate invoices. That’s it.

There’s no password reset form, invoice preview, or account deletion. But there’s a feedback button so I know what users need instead of making a blind guess.

3. The landing page is as important as the product

On average, only 1 website visitors out of 100 will see your product.

I spent 11 hours on the landing page (37% of the time) to make sure it converts. Here are the key elements I focused on:

  • Problem agitation: Annoying notifications to remind potential customers why they’re here.

  • Headline: A promise with an emotional outcome “Focus on your startup, not the invoices”

  • Demo video: I’m not a cold VC startup, so I demo the product and explain why I built it

  • Social proof: I let a few users beta test the product in exchange for a testimonial

  • Startup name: ZenVoice is easy to remember because it’s short and related to the pain (in-voice)

I wrote more about making landing pages that sell.

Getting the 1st customer

To get the first visitors (and customers), I launch everywhere:

Product Hunt, Reddit, Hacker News, and Twitter have the most impact.

For each platform, I try to format the post for the user’s language. For instance, I use cold tech words on Hacker News, and friendly vibes with emoji on Product Hunt. I also made a launch skit to kickstart the post on Twitter.

I don’t know what’s next for ZenVoice, yet.

When it reaches 10,000 visitors (currently 7,600), I’ll look at just one metric: $ per visitor. The worst I’ve had is $0.06 per visitor. The best is $0.93 (ShipFast).

If ZenVoice $-per-visitor is above $0.5, I will focus. Otherwise, I’ll let it run by itself, fix bugs, and move on to the next startup.

Whenever you're ready, there are 5 ways I can help you:

  1. ShipFast: Ship startups in days, not weeks with the NextJS boilerplate loved by 1,600+ developers.

  2. LaunchViral: Grow your startup with viral launch videos.

  3. IndiePage: Showcase your startups and get more customers. Join 3,000+ solopreneurs!

  4. ByeDispute: Don't let a dispute get you banned from Stripe.

  5. ZenVoice: Stripe invoices, without the fee.

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