🧠 SaaS Growth Myths

PLUS - How the founder of JotForm bootstrapped to 10M users...

Happy Thursday! 🎉

Welcome back to IdeaHub where 2,000+ SaaS founders read about growth, marketing and product development every week.

This week…

  • How JotForm bootstrapped to 10M users

  • SaaS growth myths

  • A founder’s finances after a $3.5M exit

Let’s jump in… 👇

🔗 The Best Links

Bootstrapping To 10M Users - A great AMA from the founder of JotForm. (Yes, that JotForm…) on the keys to their success over more than a decade.

Freemium Fallacy - How the CEO of Excel-busting SaaS, Equals went all in on freemium and turned out to be dead wrong.

Sponsor IdeaHub - Thanks to all our sponsors who helped keep IdeaHub free in 2023. Book your slot now.

The Breakdown

The Biggest SaaS Growth Myths

Growing a SaaS is a tricky business.

The internet is flooded with hacks, strategies and tactics making it difficult to know where to start.

So this week I’m busting the biggest myths in SaaS growth.

Let’s get to it!

SaaS Growth Myths

Myth #1: You have to find PMF

PMF (product-market fit) is where you have a great product that is meeting the needs of its customers.

But in my opinion, it’s one of the most overrated concepts in most SaaS environments.

Almost all small and medium-sized SaaS operations can get by just fine without ever finding PMF.

In my opinion, how a team leads a product towards PMF is a far more interesting and reliable indicator of success than actually ‘finding it’.

Here’s an excellent post from Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz and SparkToro on why founders should put less emphasis on PMF.

Or if you prefer a podcast, listen to him explaining it in more detail.

SaaS Growth Myths

Myth #2: You have to use paid ads

I can’t count the number of stories I’ve heard that go something like:

“I’ve finally finished building my SaaS and now I’m finally ready to turn on the ads”.

I get it. It’s a quick win. An automated flywheel that sits there and keeps printing customers.

But in my opinion, this is just simply the wrong way to go about it.

Paid ads should be a tool to use to increase the existing reach of a product that already has a proven revenue model.

In most cases, founders either get a lot of impressions but few sign-ups, or a lot of sign-ups but high churn.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

For example, read how this guy generated over $600k in new sales from Twitter without spending a penny on ads!

SaaS Growth Myths

Myth #3: More features = more customers

Most SaaS founders, especially technical founders, are born builders.

We thrive off of the idea of creating something new.

So naturally when we think of growth we try to solve the problem by building more ‘stuff’.

But more features doesn’t always mean more growth. In fact, as 80% of features are rarely used, it can easily have the opposite effect.

Every new feature is yet another thing a customer must learn how to use. It’s a new barrier to a full understanding of the value your product offers.

So if it’s not adding significant new value to the customer experience, ask yourself this:

Why are you building it?

A “build it and they will come” mentality simply will not work.

Instead, focus on perfecting customer research and recognising what users really need.

IdeaHub

You’ll want to see this…👇

A Founder’s Finances after a $3.5M Exit - How Spencer Patterson is keeping busy teaming up on 5 new projects post-exit.

Build Docs As Good As Stripe - Fern is a plug-and-play toolchain for building highly detailed, developer-first documentation sites with ease.

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