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Cache Flow Podcast

E60: Scaling the SaaS Summit: Bootstrapping to Success

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Join us as we unravel the inspiring bootstrapping saga of Sana Kumar, Founder and CEO of Kovai.co. With a gripping tale of growth from niche product programming to leading three booming SaaS products, Sana shares wisdom on entrepreneurship, the challenges of multi-product focus, and leveraging AI for innovation. Tune in for a hearty blend of tech talk and founder foresight!

Here are a few topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Cache Flow Podcast.
  • Bootstrapped a niche SaaS to 300 people
  • Created LinkedIn content as a CEO
  • Discovered a gap in Document 360
  • Killed a product after 4-year run
  • Emphasized scaling current products
Resources:
Connect with Saravana Kumar:
Connect with our host, Brian Dainis:
Quotables:
  • 03:51 – The problems typically what large companies face at some point, they all need to talk to each other. You might need a customer data from your SAP system into your Salesforce. And from Salesforce, some data need to go into your workday and all these things. So that is where the specialty of this Microsoft product, sits in the middle, it connects everything together and helps you to build that kind of integrated systems.
  • 20:49 – There’s kinda like two ways you can think about a SaaS product, either verticalized or horizontal and like a Calendly or you know, like a Document 360 or you know, a QuickBooks. Those are like horizontal SaaS products. And you know, I think once you kind of feel like, I think horizontal focus, like just purely horizontal focus worked, a decade or two decades ago better than it does now. And I think in order to go to market, well with a horizontal product, you kind of have to like put it into verticals. So you have to say, you know, even if the product itself is horizontal, you still have to like market and sell it as, you know, healthcare focus or tech focus or maybe construction or whatever the vertical is. And then if you’ve got a verticalized product, like a product that’s initially designed for one industry, then I think the expansion opportunities you have to like figure out what other sort of similar industries you can move it to.
  • 11:24 – So they’re talking about Lotus Notes and they’re comparing Lotus to Microsoft and they’re saying, you know, Lotus, Lotus’s advantage in the market is that they’re creating, they’re the first groupware products that is, you know, serving the enterprise use case. And they’re like, this is probably gonna give Lotus Notes a competitive advantage over Microsoft for years to come.
  • 31:51 – So let’s talk about bootstrapping. I think it’s super awesome. Like anytime I hear about, you know, SaaS companies that have achieved scale and especially bootstrapping it, you know, it’s, it’s certainly very hard to build a SaaS company because there’s a ton of upfront RND and then when you do start getting customers, typically it’s like small chunks of money on a monthly basis. It’s not like you’re selling a big consulting contract where you have a huge down payment. So you know, it takes a while to kind of get the steam engine going to be profitable. So like why, why did you bootstrap, why didn’t you raise capital and, you know, how did you fund the company? Like how did all that get going?
  • 36:48 – And nowadays you just spin up like, you know, you just install Node JS or Laravel or Ruby on Rails and you’ve got like a full application scaffolding to like,  you can write, write an app in like, a couple weeks if you’re really good and fast and you know, simple app and so like technology’s no longer remote. I think the moat nowadays, unless you have like some super difficult to get data that’s core to your application, you know, the technology itself is not the mote, but the mote is distribution of the technology, the ability to acquire, acquire customers

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Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Curotec, a software development solutions provider, offering both project-based application development and staff augmentation services. Global top consulting experts in Laravel, Vue.js, and enterprise WordPress development services. Contact Curotec today to discuss your next development project, or to augment your in-house team with top talent. 

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