Successfully Pivoting a SaaS Business
Max Kolysh is the co-founder of Zinc.io, an eCommerce lab that builds products to help Amazon and eBay sellers.
Every SaaS founder knows that finding product-market fit is really tough.
You might have to pivot your SaaS business multiple times before you find the right product for the right market. So what can we learn from SaaS founders who failed repeatedly before they found success?
When Max and Doug were students at MIT, they talked about building a software product to help eBay sellers. And eventually, they both dropped out of college to start their business.
They got accepted into YC but pretty soon realized that their idea wasn't that great after all. So they pivoted and built a product that saved people money when buying on Amazon.
They got some good traction and it looked like they were on their way to finding product-market fit. But that all changed when they received a cease and desist letter from Amazon.
So they were back to square one again. They needed another idea.
One day they received an email out of the blue from an ex-customer who told them that he wanted to use an API but wasn't technical. He asked if they could help him out.
That email led to Max and Doug pivoting again and creating a new product. But this time it wasn't just an idea they'd come up themselves — it was something a real customer needed.
And the product resonated with the market and helped them get traction.
Today, their company generates over $5 million in annual recurring revenue.
It's a great story about persistence, flexibility, listening to your customers, and how to successfully pivot your SaaS business.
I hope you enjoy it.
- “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson