We're All Media Companies Now

We're All Media Companies Now

It's become easier than ever to build new products. Due to standard web frameworks and the standardization of product development and growth methodologies, like lean startup and growth hacking, there's more resources and knowledge available to create and scale a SaaS product.

The no code movement takes this a step further. In an effort maximize the "M" in MVP (minimum viable product), creators are skipping the building altogether. Now there's more options than ever to build the earliest and smallest versions of product using no code tools.

  • Need a landing page? Use Carrd's UI builder
  • Need a newsletter? Use Convertkit, Mailchimp, and now Substack
  • Need a database? Start with Airtable, Google Sheets and update it via Zapier
  • Need a website? Build it on Webflow in a few hours

Trello Versus Today

Previously I wrote about the incredible rise of Trello. One of the reasons for it's incredible success was the advanced technology stack it was using at the time. Instead of the traditional static web apps (updates require a page refresh), it used of Web Sockets, JavaScript frameworks, and templating languages that gave it a real-time, responsive, and fast user experience. With Trello, you can drag and drop, update cards, and view updates in real-time, all without any lags and page refreshes.

But today, with the maturity of JavaScript frameworks like React, document databases like MongoDB, these are table stakes... It's far easier today to create a responsive web app like Trello.

The Future Is Media

In the future the winners are those who not only can ship the fastest, but those who can build their audiences and rally around a community or build one. The future SaaS company looks more like a media company: create the content first, build your audience, and then build the product that serves them best. SaaS product development is beginning to look more like traditional blogs. You write, write, write, then you sell the book, the course, or the merchandise.

Creating your audience and even better, your community, is appearing to be a more productive go-to-market and retention strategy. Since it's far easier to build products, it's even easier to build for no one. As a result, creators ship tons of MVPs that nobody wants. What they find is that they lack the feedback and the audience to ship into, thus gaining any traction.

So think about flipping the cycle: can you build the audience, find your community first? Then and only then can you be in a better position to launch your products, services, and courses.

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