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🧠 5 SaaS Predictions for 2024

PLUS - How two co-founders got their first 1,000 sign-ups with 'engineering as marketing'...

Happy Thursday! 🎉

If you didn’t catch it - my article made it to the front page of Indie Hackers this week!

This week in IdeaHub…

  • How two co-founders got their first 1K sign-ups using ‘engineering as marketing’

  • 5 SaaS Predictions for 2024

  • Your free gift…

Let’s jump in… 👇

🔗 The Best Links

Engineering As Marketing - How building side projects took two co-founders to 1K users completely organically.

The SaaS Launch Video That Broke X - Marc Lou’s parody of the Wolf of Wall Street took SaaS Twitter by surprise.

Ask HN: Bearish on OpenAI? - While most agree AI is here to stay, some argue that the OpenAI craze resembles the early days of crypto.

The Breakdown

5 SaaS Predictions for 2024

1) 2024 will be ‘the year of the bootstrapped founder’

This year has continued to see massive tech layoffs, driven mainly by large tech companies.

This has left a lot of highly paid, highly skilled developers with a choice:

  1. Find another job and (possibly) take a pay cut.

  2. Go it alone and build something they always wanted to.

A lot have already taken the leap but I’m betting 2024 will be the year we will start to see some of these come out of the woodwork.

What’s more, due to the drying up of tech funding, a larger proportion than ever will be bootstrapped from the get-go.

2) GPTs will enter the SaaS domain

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks you will have missed OpenAI’s inaugural DevDay conference.

(Here’s the highlight reel of everything that went down if you did.)

One of the biggest announcements was the soon-to-be-released GPT Store - a new marketplace for GPT-powered apps.

I think it’s likely we’ll see another wave of ChatGPT wrappers masquerading around as SaaS products.

But I’m hoping we’ll also see a lot of GPTs purposefully adding value too.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how to use free tools to market and grow a SaaS product.

That entire model could now be disrupted by GPTs.

Imagine creating a GPT that acts as a ‘lite’ version of your existing SaaS.

It could support a highly limited feature set but be a super relevant way of marketing your product.

3) Building in public will become the default

The #buildinpublic trend has been growing in recent years driven largely by a swash of indie hackers in the post-pandemic boom.

But this is no longer just something small-time founders are doing.

Hot startups like Beehiiv* (which powers this newsletter…) continue to build entirely in public:

4) Per-seat pricing will make a comeback

Layoffs in the tech sector have a knock-on effect on B2B SaaS that operate a ‘per-seat’ pricing model.

Businesses like GitHub and Twillio charge customers for each active user on their platform.

So industry-wide layoffs mean those invoices start to look a lot lighter…

A lot of this pain has already been felt in the last 18 months.

So we might see the beginnings of a reversal as the economic cycle opens up again.

5) Newsletters will become a new growth channel

A newsletter is like a blog on steroids.

It’s deeply personal and hyper-engaged.

Traditionally, newsletters have been just a media/e-commerce play.

But if you hadn’t noticed - they’re a hot topic right now…

So in 2024, we’ll see a lot of SaaS start to realise the hidden value in their email lists.

The usual product update emails to existing customers will fade into the background.

And newsletters will become a new customer acquisition channel for SaaS.

Operators will run more newsletters aimed at capturing attention in their problem space.

Trust will be built by email first, and each send will be used as an opportunity to market SaaS products.


You’ll want to see this…👇

🔥 Your Free 30min Strategy Call - I’m offering all IdeaHub subscribers a free 30-minute call on product strategy. Get a second opinion from a Product Manager. No strings attached.

Nobody Cares About Your Tech Stack - An article describing how picking what you’re most comfortable with is the most important step.

What do you think the top SaaS trends will be in 2024?

Reply to this email and let me know!

See you next week!

- Charlie

P.S. Thinking of starting a newsletter? Use Beehiiv.*

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