I'm going to build and launch a SaaS app in one week

I'm going to build and launch a SaaS app in one week

I'm unreasonably excited about this.

I was working on some stuff with Malparse, my cyber security SaaS app, and I had this overwhelming feeling in my gut...

I've never launched anything before.

I've done some very minor entrepreneurial ventures before, things like this blog, a failed newsletter, a Udemy course and my YouTube channel, but I've never done the full "idea -> build -> launch -> market -> $$$" process. And here I am building out a very complex cyber security SaaS project.

I've also had this idea in my head for an app that I personally would use, and that's kind of meeting one of the biggest bullet points for building out a SaaS app: make something that you yourself would use.

So, after mulling it over for a bit, I decided on a challenge for myself. I'm going to build out this app, from scratch to full application, in one week and launch it next weekend. I'm going all out too, with a full ProductHunt and IndieHackers launch and marketing push, advertising, and a devlog documenting the journey. I gave myself a little grace though and am allowing myself to do the planning and design over the next couple days and start the challenge on Friday, but more on that in a second.

The obvious first question is: what's the app?

So, the whole reason I set this challenge for myself was that I'm pretty sure this is an app that can be built in one week... which means that if I give away the idea, there's a pretty good chance someone can (and honestly probably should) build the app before me. So, I'm going to keep quiet on it for now until I finish up, but hopefully I'll have time to do a mid-week update next week and I'll probably reveal more then.

The Plan for Planning

Here's the plan for the planning stage. I'm allowing myself to work on the administrative tasks for the project before I begin the timeline: creating a GitHub repo and initializing it across my desktop and laptop, creating and filling out a Trello board, buying the domain and doing the design work on Figma are all things I'm allowing myself to do ahead of time. This isn't to say those aren't important tasks, or that they aren't time consuming. The design work is likely going to take a while, honestly. However, the whole purpose of this challenge is to prove to myself that I can go from scratch to launch in a short timeframe. It's not to prove that I can really quickly fill out a Trello dashboard, it's not to prove that I can really quickly make the designs on Figma. I want to prove that I can execute this quickly, so I'm going to get all of the "non-execution" stuff out of the way.

I'm actually not going to write any of the marketing material until the week starts, though. Marketing/sales is something I desperately need to work on, so I'm going to include it as part of "execution." This includes ad snippets and thumbnails, blog post writing, ProductHunt setup, etc.

I'm also going to allow myself to do some work on Adobe Premiere stuff for editing. I'm going to be editing the eventual devlog on a daily basis, and I don't consider that as marketing or execution, so I don't want it to get too much in the way of the important development. This includes creating titles, thumbnails, meta-information for the video, intros, downloading music and creating assets to use. I think that's not only going to help me create a polished app by the end of it, it's also going to improve the quality of the devlog itself.

So, the first step will be establishing a scope for the MVP. Given that the timeframe is literally just a week, the end result is basically just going to be the MVP more than likely, so this is fairly important. Then it's all about transferring the scope of the MVP to Trello for project management and planning. I tend to separate my Trello boards into a couple of categories: back-end, front-end and logistics and marketing. This allows me to properly batch the work up so that at any given time, if I'm in a certain "mood" or headspace to work on, say, back-end, I know what is available to work on in that category.

After that, I'm going to purchase the domain, create the GitHub repo and start on the design work. First will be the core assets of the app, then I'll start working on the landing page and other pages so I can incorporate the core assets in the design. This includes pieces of the UI as well as color scheme, logos, titles, etc.

Finally, I'll just have a couple of logistic pieces to fit together: figuring out hosting, getting the repo on my desktop and laptop, working on assets for Premiere and filming the intro and such, etc. I should be able to manage all of that by Friday, but if not, I've given myself an out if I have to start the challenge on Monday.

Now, enough chatter. Onward!