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How to Come Up With SAAS Ideas – Already Validated but Not Solved

Where do you go to look for new SAAS ideas where there is clearly a need that is not being served well?  

Tonight I was working on a complex automation solution to make the entire content marketing machine run much more smoothly with a single input for a couple of projects. 

While digging in and then in some discussions I started to see some consistent new opportunities connecting tools in more native ways then using automation tools like Zapier, Automote.io. 

My intent of sharing this is to scratch my bright shiny object syndrome but I won’t be executing on this exact idea. Feel free to run with it 🙂

10 years ago a post about companies being born out of each Craigslist category went viral. 

This post is now 10 years old! 

So what is the modern SAAS version of Craiglist…

Popular Automation Tool API Connectors…

What I mean is that where automation tools have been used heavily it shows there is a need not being easily solved with a native solution to the tools being connected.  

Popular Automation Tools:

By looking at the most popular use cases for these automation tools it reveals problems people have and are willing to pay to solve. 

Let’s do an example…

1. Go to a Popular Automation Tool

Automate.io

2. Select a Popular and Paid App 

I would think focusing on paid business app’s would be best since if the tool being used to solve a problem it means it is generating value. 

For this example, I will select Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce as they are businesses I am familiar with. 

3. Review the most popular integrations for that app 

All 3 have a few common use cases which can be summarized as…

  • Problem 1 – Add user to database (MailChimp, SalesForce, ActiveCampaign etc)
  • Problem 2 – Email user with a personalized email from GMail 
  • Problem 3 – Save order information to database (Google Sheets) – related to #1

The image above shows what people most commonly use Automate.io to connect Shopify to. 

4. Is there a better way with a native app to solve this problem?

Given that this reveals there is clearly a need where people are willing to pay Automate.io to connect between Shopify and their CRM / autoresponder why is it not being solved with a native Shopify app?

Automate.io makes it easy but it is not completely trivial the way an app can make it. 

Some quick research on the app store revealed a few solutions with weak reviews that try and work with multiple CRM’s and then the native solution made by each CRM. The reality might be that keeping current with the integration of each solution is incredibly time-consuming but tools like Automate.io can do it because that is what they are built to do. 

Might be a dead end but it looks like if it was solved well with a native app people would be interested. 

5. Analyze Reviews for Similar Solutions (Positive and Negative)

Use these reviews to identify WHY people are not using the app and are going to tools like Automate.io to solve their problem. 

Given that there are many native solutions for connecting CRMs/email lists and Shopify I am not clear on why people would use Automate.io… but in that answer lies the potential for a popular/profitable Shopify App. 

In fact there seems to be solid solution that does exactly this for WooCommerce – https://www.crmperks.com/

Summary:

I don’t know if this is a great idea or not, there are some outstanding questions I don’t understand the answer to. 

However, my hope in sharing this is it shows one way of going about systematically mining for ideas leveraging autoation/API connection tools. 

If there is a tool you have deep knowledge of Salesforce or similar that is commonly used then digging into how people are automating activities might reveal something you could get built or a service you could offer.

About the Author Jon

I am a 36 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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