This distinction is incredibly important for founders to internalize as they start pitching and selling their product / service / vision to customers / investors / employees. And of course, like any good founder – anyone who will listen 😉

It's also a mindset that developers turned entrepreneurs have a fundamentally difficult time executing against. I think that's because we're so used to focusing on the product, features, and implementation which are all important but won't serve you very well in terms of actually selling your product and being successful.

So here's a simple exercise that I'd encourage every founder to try:

What are you really selling?

Answer each of these questions as concisely as possible – no more than one to two sentences per answer.

What? Problem / Need – What problem are you solving? 🤔
How? Product / Features – How are you solving it? ⭐️
Who? Target Customers – Who are you solving it for? 👨

Once you've answered these, then comes the most important question with regards to selling your solution:

Why? Benefits / Powers – What concrete benefits do your target customers ____ gain from solving their problem ____ with your solution ____? 💪

Your answer to this last question will form the core of all of your marketing and sales strategies.

If you're just reading along up to this point, that's great and all but seriously, stop reading and write down your answers to these questions right now.

...

You may already have a good idea of your answers, but I can assure you from experience that there's an incredible amount of value in articulating each of these early on and updating your answers as your direction inevitably evolves.

This will really help you internalize your business' answer to what exactly you're selling as you make hundreds of seemingly unrelated decisions about core features, marketing copy, landing page design, branding, etc etc.

Saasify: putting my money where my blog is

Given that I'm telling you how important this exercise is, it's only fair that I share my own answers with you for my startup, Saasify. Note that these answers have definitely evolved quite a bit since I started working on this idea over a year ago.

What? Problem / Need – What problem are you solving? 🤔

Going from the core of a software idea to a viable SaaS product is daunting and much harder than it should be. This barrier to entry distracts makers from focusing on their core value proposition and leads to many ideas never getting off the ground.

How? Product / Features – How are you solving it? ⭐️

We offer a Shopify-like solution to bootstrap a SaaS webapp that sits in front of your core backend API (your product's unique value) and some JSON config that handles pricing, user accounts, and branding.

Who? Target Customers – Who are you solving it for? 👨

Indie hackers, developers with side projects, low-code makers, and experienced SaaS founders.


And now for the most important question:

Why? Benefits / Powers – What concrete benefits do your target customers ____ gain from solving their problem ____ with your solution ____? 💪

Running these types of remote Micro SaaS products is incredibly empowering in terms of passive income, high margins, flexible time commitment, and the potential for exponential growth.

So at the end of the day, what we're really selling is this dream of a flexible, remote lifestyle making passive income from your side projects. 🔥🔥🔥

This is a dream that I'm incredibly excited about as I've been fortunate enough to taste this reality over the course of my career. Saasify's core mission is to help the tens of thousands of other talented developers around the world achieve their own versions of this dream.


Following your own journey

So now I'd like to turn the tables and hear about your own aspirations and the burning problems you're excited to solve. They don't necessarily have to be large or world changing ideas, but they should be focused on problems that you really understand and care about solving. Sign up for the Saasify beta and let me know. 😊

If you've read this far and haven't yet answered these questions for your current side project, business, or startup, then I'd strongly urge you to try it out.

Cause you never know where they may take you.