Where the Software Ideas Newsletter Came From
“My original intention wasn't to start a newsletter. I was researching for myself to start my second SaaS product. I had learned a lot from my first product, CoderNotes.io, and I wanted to make sure that my next product was in a good market,” Kevin Conti, creator of the Software Ideas company, told Startup Savant in an interview.
Subscribers Receive Market Data, Not Just Ideas
Starting a business involves risk, and Software Ideas helps to reduce that risk through research. In a free issue of the newsletter, Software Ideas analyzed the review trackers market. According to the newsletter, the business has raised $17 million in funding by Review Trackers (a company based in Chicago), and there are over 100,000 monthly web visitors looking for information on the category. The newsletters further validate the niche by identifying other competitors such as Vendasta, LegitLocal, and Shout About Us.
Subscribers Want to Know About Micro-SaaS
Some technology companies have high startup costs and require millions of dollars from venture capital investors. That’s not the only way to start an online company. Conti has found that “micro” software businesses have been popular as well.
“Micro-SaaS has been the clear winner as far as demand goes. We've looked at the micro-personalization software market, review management software market, and many others, and discussed micro-SaaS opportunities within them,” Conti shared.
The Company Owner Behind Software Ideas
While the newsletter business is growing, it isn’t Conti’s only business venture. He is also involved in CoderNotes, which offers free and paid accounts ($5 per month) to help software developers become more productive. Conti already knew how to serve a target market of other technology professionals through his background in technology.
The Email Newsletter Industry
The $27 million valuation of The Hustle, an email newsletter business, to HubSpot (stock ticker: NYSE: HUBS) demonstrated that email newsletters could form the core of a company. From its start in 2016, The Hustle’s rapid growth shows that email remains a viable channel to start and grow a business.
Beyond the Hustle, there are other specialized email newsletters like Sinocism, a specialized newsletter for people interested in China created by Bill Bishop. The paid newsletter niche extends to other topics as well. Cleaning the Glass, a specialized basketball newsletter created by Ben Falks, formerly VP of Basketball Strategy with the Sixers, currently charges a flat fee of $50 for access to archived articles.
Starting an email newsletter company became much easier to launch in 2017 when Substack was launched. Substack handles payments and newsletter distributions for paid newsletters. Investors such as Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz have supported Substack’s growth.
About the Author
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.