Help your SaaS clients’ web apps suck less.


Stop designing and creating things that suck and nobody wants. DO read this step-by-step guide and learn to design web apps that don’t suck and people actually want to use.

This exhaustive article will guide you along and learn how to organize & contextualize key screens to stop making your users think and start having them complete your apps’ purpose.

☝🏽 i. The game plan

Summary: Define your ideal paying client (audience, goals, tasks & objectives). Go past gender & age. Include habits & tools they currently use and how they’re using them. How does your product fit as a solution to get them to the promised land?This exercise is quite simple, but it’ll force you to think critically about your business and make some tough choices. If you want to do this well, you’ll have to leave the ego at the door.

Marketing 101: Client pain point + Your product’s solution = Paying customer

That’s easy enough, right?

However, somewhere along the line of users navigating your web app, they start to get confused, don’t know what to do, need clarity, or there are too many options all at once. Frustrated, they leave and never come back.

Remember that smooth scene sequence in the Matrix with Morpheus turning to face Neo? It was brilliant, seamless continuity.

Part of what makes it such a great scene is that the editors were so skilled in clipping the scenes, you didn’t even notice the change of cameras. They were so great at doing their job that the audience didn’t even notice them. That’s it, that’s the secret.

UI so good, it doesn’t even look designed.

The perfect experience you can offer your users is to simply get out of the way of their tasks to accomplish their goals.

Stupid question, do you want them to stay or go (aka, churn)?

So, in order for you to provide your users with the tools they need so that they don’t need you, you first need to gather intel on your potential power users.

Who is your target, paying user?

I’m not just asking about gender, age, and profession…I need you to think about their habits, what other products do they already use, what forums do they hang out at, what comments do they post on the blogs they follow?

Do they have the purchasing power to use your product? Do you even like them?

What’s a big enough goal with obstacles that your web app has the solution to?

Let’s talk about you. You want a better solution to your product’s UX:

  1. Because you want more paying clients;
  2. Because you want better, paying clients;
  3. Because you want to make more money;
  4. Because you want more freedom to not be run by your business;
  5. Because you want to spend more time with your loved ones;
  6. Because you want to travel more;
  7. Because you want a nest egg for your retirement;
  8. Because you will one day be in an amazing position to start a fund, charity, trust, or non-profit.

My job isn’t to help you start a non-profit, but my service offering does help cultivate the big lifestyle changes related to the success of your business if I can help it.

Let me ask you again, what big obstacle is your ideal client, facing that your digital product can help solve and what sequence of bigger and more important goals does it help them align with?

What are they repetitively doing and using on a daily basis when they’re logged in?

Set critical thinking aside and simply list out the steps in the sequence of tasks they perform to accomplish their tasks.

Let’s answer this question with commuting to work: do walk, take your bike, or use your car?

1. Use your keys to open the car
2. Get in
3. Check your mirrors
4. Adjust your seat
5. Put your seatbelt on
6. Turn on the engine
7. Put your favorite music on
8. Look for oncoming traffic
9. Shift gears
10. Pull out…

Hot damn, we haven’t even gotten to the part of where your office is at, yet we’ve been able to list the necessary tasks at a granular level of what needs to be done.

But we know enough of what that repetitive tasks are and what objects are being used to get it done.

So now, answer me these:
1. Who are your ideal, paying customers?
2. What’s an obstacle you have the solution to and what will it help them achieve?
3. What do they do and what do they use to do it?

If you can answer those three questions, you’ve laid the groundwork for your game plan, your strategy.

☝🏽 ii. User journeys

Summary: You’ll learn how to provide your users with all the brief and intuitive instructions to get them on their way to complete specific tasks, and to nudge them back on if they’re at risk of straying off.

Can I tell you one of my biggest pet peeves with ANY type of web designer?


OMFG does this make me click away at best and make me binge the Office (US version) just so I can yell at Michael Scott.

Listen, creative & pragmatic decision-making in web design & development go hand-in-hand. But FFS not when I’m trying to look for pages, files, resources, assets or g’damn CONTACT support link!

Establishing proper user journey design patterns is all about saying it succinctly. Get to the point and get me there fast!

Overly clever headlines & labels are the loose arrow signs in Alice & Wonderland that could send your users anywhere (including away from your application) except where they need to be.

If you’re going to forget everything you’re reading right now, at least drill this list into your strategy:

  • K.I.S.,S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Don’t go on fixing things that aren’t broken;
  • Don’t nest your navigation too many levels deep, this isn’t Inception;
  • Avoid hover states whenever possible…in fact, if you can do it without pseudo-classes that aren’t touch screen friendly, DO IT;
  • Depending on the complexity of the task and if appropriate, make it mobile-friendly.

Inform the user what the anticipated click action will do before it’s actually clicked. Remember that first confirmation button you clicked that is bringing you this newsletter guide? “Subscribe” was vague at best while “Send Me the Free Guide” told you exactly what was going to happen.

Optimize your click actions around specific tasks at the first line of defense: top-of-navigation or first touch-point.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out where your users are facing bottlenecks, go to your click-through heat map (you DO have one installed, right?) and refer to your most requested support inquiries. What do they keep looking for that makes them give up, but miraculously still stick around to ask you?

Communicating with clarity is key to completing smooth user journey experiences. Use the same EXACT language for elements that are doing the same EXACT tasks. Speak in their tone and be consistent. Is it “Hello”, “Contact”, “Support”, “Help”, or “SOS”?

How savvy are your users? Are they techies themselves or at the ugly bureaucratic end of HR? Top-level navigation sections are precious real estate. Don’t let it go to waste with mundane, standard features like “Settings”.

Group your elements with related tasks. When push comes to shove, grouping 5 – 8 item lists is much easier on the eyes than a long-ass navigation list across the top that pushes the block element to the second row, crowding onto each other.

Lists are nouns. Buttons are verbs.

What is an Sex Icon?

Do put icons next to labels to reinforce organization, but avoid icons without labels, unless it’s a watertight meaning that trash cans are to remove elements & plus icons are to add them.

Ask yourself this: if you had a given route on Google Maps and you grabbed the little yellow guy and dropped him ANYWHERE along the path, does your interface have enough information to orient the user and get him back on track to reach his destination?

☝🏽 iii. The dashboard

Summary: Decide what type of user is accessing your web app and at what stage touchpoint in their journey. Provide relevant information only, or remove clickthrough steps to get the information faster. The dashboard isn’t a work environment, nor the primary access point to your user’s tasks, but a facilitator of viewing systems’ status and accessibility.

Let’s step outside the scope of nerdy talk and talk about houses, apartments, condos, townhomes, etc…

Different styles are meant to evoke immediate feelings & actions under the umbrella of hospitality, warmth, excitement, and a sense of belonging.

The moment you enter through the front door, what do you see? Chances are that your first step into a foyer, followed by a living room, then dining room, and possibly a kitchen.

How is this possibly different from a penthouse suite? What is the priority here? How are this space’s priorities similar or more likely, different from a college dorm and public housing in section 8 (the projects, for non-US readers)?

Your users have logged in, now what?

Before you decide where to send your users, you must decide what type of user they are. At its most basic, are they an administrator or primary user? Secondly, are they new or returning users?

A dashboard and a home page aren’t the same things because their purposes lie explicitly with their visitor. I’ve been speaking at length of simplifying systems, elements, and patterns.

Houses don’t particularly have two front doors, why would you feel the need to have both? Perhaps, and the likely scenario, you need to rename & re-position your idea of a home page screen. Is it closer to “user profile”, “settings”, or another set of instructions closer to administrative tasks?

Do Lead with a Dashboard, if:

The user requires metrics of system operations (i.e. databases, API hook calls, polls, reports, feedback, tests) that are paramount to the visibility of system status and keep the user informed throughout for reassurance or alert of necessary action;

Don’t Lead with a Dashboard, if:

The user consistently goes to a specific screen view of your web app that requires more clickthroughs to get to their desired destination. Just go ahead and do it for them.

Dashboard Recommendations

    • Provide information relevant to the user role. Administrators shouldn’t see the exact screen elements as the primary users;
    • The form follows function. No glamor & glitz, get them the information first;
    • Group related elements in a way that the user can navigate to different areas of your web app easily;
    • Give your metrics a human context. Is the label “System Operations Satisfactory” a way you’d want to let your users know their system is up & running? What is a better, simpler, more bitesize, ways to say it?
    • Use a small color swatch and stick to it;
    • A neutral background;
    • A primary color for important call-to-actions;
    • A secondary color for less important, but necessary actions
    • Standard text color;

If you think you need more colors, think about other aspects of visual hierarchy to convey information: size, font weight, background elements, images, square vs circle bullets for lists…;

☝🏽 iv. Your key screens

Summary: Less theory and more action. You’ll identify and run usability tests on your key screens.

Write down ALL of your screens viewable to the end-user. Cross out administrative & user settings views for this exercise. We can fine-tune those later.

Map the Design Patterns

With pencil and paper, as you’re going through your screens, draw them out as a wireframe to visualize the conditional logic of different design patterns the user can create.

When you have your to-do list visualized, now we can run our UX audit.

01 The Title
Let the user know where s/he is right away. Nothing clever, nothing fancy. Straight talk. Give the user context of what they’re looking at and where along their path they’re at.

Recall the earlier exercise of distinguishing terms such as ‘Dashboard’ and ‘Home Page’ or ‘Contact’ and ’Support’.

Is your main audience reading Latin characters? Then it’s likely that they’re used to seeing important information left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Don’t give them the chance to guess.

02 Clear Navigation

This part should be easy since we’ve already talked about it. How much information is enough information for your user to know where they are in your web app?

Horizontal VS Vertical Navigation

Horizontal navigation is helpful because they’re usually located where our eyes are trained to see first on a web browser.

Breadcrumbs can be included to give sub-pages context of how far into the rabbit hole a user is, without actually feeling lost. Bonus tip: make the breadcrumbs active links to allows users to skip steps without going through unnecessary doors to get to their destination.

Vertical navigation is super helpful when you have many objects to group and categorize without crowding the top bar.

Collapsible trees make it easy for users to understand the context of those objects and its organization.

However, you decide to guide your users, remember that context is key. What’s more useful for a user that was paying for add-on plugins on your system and forgot one other plugin…a ‘back’ button or ‘return to plugins list’ button? 😉

03 Primary Calls-to-Action

As you’re quite familiar with landing pages, their main objective is some type of conversion. Whether it’s to fill out a form, make a payment, schedule a call, or up/download content, there’s an expected action from the user to complete that pattern.

On web apps, your CTA is centered around the context of the objects currently available to your user. Your objective is to present content in such a way that makes it easier for your users to complete the action with decisive resolution.

To make this easier, start with the end in mind. What do you need to happen? Let’s say you want to qualify a potential lead to get on the phone with your sales department.

Now that the keyword is “qualify” because you don’t want just anyone using up your sales resources if the caller has no purchasing power, you need to ask yourself what qualifications need to be present to evaluate the lead. When you’ve decided on those metrics, how are you presenting them?

Think of the nature of those elements: labels, input fields, radio vs checkbox buttons…what group of objects create an ecosystem where that ONE CALL-TO-ACTION (qualified leads) can thrive?

Finally, run that simulation again, but in the proper order and look for gaps that hint at even the smallest chance for your user to lose focus and decide if more information is needed or you need to remove elements to reduce confusion.

There will be many instances when two major actions can take place, such as restaurant POS software or big data tables.

But don’t just throw your users to the wolves. Remember, context is key! Your software is a live organism in a digital ecosystem. What needs to happen right now vs what needs to happen tomorrow vs next week?

The context will help you simplify and tighten your focus, no matter the complexity (waaaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaay easier said than done, I know).

☝🏽 v. Just-good-enough UI

Summary: Want to avoid the bulk of design pattern pitfalls? Get a theme!

Big question: what should you do?

Simple answer: just-good-enough.

What is the minimal amount of information you can present without overwhelming the tasks or the decisions the user needs to take?

I’m not saying your digital product’s home should be empty, but you’re at the beginning. Features should come gradually where “bells & whistle” features should come ONLY after your basic user needs have been met.

Think back to the penthouse suite example where you only want a house.

Take a moment and browse splash pages on and to be on the lookout for modern and minimalist design.

Look at how they present and group elements.

Now go back to your app’s UI: limit yourself.

I’ll just go ahead and give you the recipe:

  • 1 serif font for headlines (no bigger than 42px) or body (no smaller than 14px) copy, but not both, avoid light weights for phrases longer than five words;
  • 1 sans serif font for headlines or body copy, but not both;
  • 1 primary color that is your main call-to-action (also should be your text link color), but don’t overuse it, remember if the user has to remember one thing, it should be in this color;
  • 1 secondary color that is for less urgent actions, but still important. Keep it on a muted tone against your primary color because it could also be used for your icon elements;
  • 1 body copy color with high contrast against a white background, preferably black;
  • 1 icons library that don’t compete with other visual and elements and signals;
  • Don’t you dare let your UI become a rainbow, but do allow contrast in tints and shades between your initial color palette.

Helpful Resources

Use for font selection and even let it help you pair your sans VS serif combination.

Use for color palette selections and explore swatches other users have uploaded.

Use Google Material Color to preview your color swatch combinations and trust Google to make the contrasting hues VS tints combinations for your UI elements.

Use to make sure that your text is legible in size and color against its backgrounds. Great tool for text alerts.

But, what you’re REALLY after is to get a theme THAT WORKS!

Use envato to browse great, low price templates that have been rated and are supported by theme authors.

Plan of (in)Action

At this point, you’ve defined your strategy & goals, audited your key screens, and have a bundle of resource links to get it done.

There are three options for you to take:

1. Do nothing – there’s nothing wrong with this option. You’ve discovered a laundry list of improvements that can be done to your product, but say you’re brand new to the market and the launch date is around the corner.

It’s much more important to get your solution out there and in the real world than investing your shoestring budget into UX improvements and fiddle with hypothetical suggestions.

My advice, do nothing, launch your product, get real user feedback, and match it against your discoveries and fine-tune feature improvements for future releases;

2. Baby steps – this is my best recommendation. SaaS products are live & dynamic specimens. They’re not like working with logos which are meant to last as much as possible. SaaS software is a journey. And from these hypotheticals, it’s difficult to document what is working and what isn’t when you don’t have extensive resources and a dedicated analytics team if you’re making many changes all at once. So, look at your list and prioritize that ONE task that is pivotal to reducing the barrier of usability for your power users to complete a single task;

3. UI overhaul – whether you have the money or not, you shouldn’t invest resources in reinventing the wheel.

There are way too many great solutions of low-cost themes & templates on UI elements (such as dashboards) for you to redesign it from the ground, up. I’m not trying to be sneaky about it, but Envato’s Theme Forest marketplace truly is a great start for you to get a low-cost theme and customize to your needs.

However you decide to release your changes, they should be discreet in the presence and look like they’ve always belonged there.

We don’t want to disrupt user habits and create more friction between them and tasks we want them to accomplish.

Remember what I just said about SaaS being alive; your users want to know that their product is always striving to improve.

Look at how WordPress always has a list of changes and upgrades they’ve made each time they have a new major version.


You made it. What did you learn? What could I’ve skipped over? What should I’ve had gone into more detail?

I don’t consider myself a writer, but a designer (maybe). My feelings won’t get hurt if you tell me this training was horribly written but would like feedback on the content of the training.

Comment below and let me know what you think.

The ultimate SaaS communities (100+) list, and growing.


Join the most active SaaS communities to validate, build, launch & grow your product.

Several of these communities are completely free to join, others are invite-only, and the rest are paid programs, services or accelerators.

I’ve categorized the list so you can jump around and browse à la carte.

☝🏽 i. Forums

  • StartupNation StartupNation’s community forums encourage active group discussions with like-minded entrepreneurs sharing tips and valuable advice. Interact with users on topics relating to entrepreneurship, startups, small business and more
  • Cloud Computing & SaaS Forum Get answers from your peers along with millions of IT pros who visit Spiceworks.
  • Startup Alliance Join our global community of committed entrepreneurs, working together to drive innovation and create value worldwide.
  • The Fastlane Forum Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs who are earning their freedom and living their dream through the power of Unscripted® Entrepreneurship.
  • Bootstrapped Founders Club The Bootstrapped Founders club is a private members club for founders who are bootstrapping their products to chat and network with like-minded people.
  • Indie Hackers Learn from the founders of profitable apps, businesses, and side projects.
  • GrowthHackers Premier Growth Community
  • SaaS Invaders All topics on SaaS growth, marketing, customer success, product, sales and business.

☝🏽 ii. Groups


  • The UX Audit Helping SaaS companies design profitable web apps. (*My own group.)
  • SaaS Growth Hacks SGH is a community of founders, CEOs, and professionals related to the SaaS world. This group has helped thousands of folks start, scale, and run their SaaS businesses.
  • SaaS Revolutionaries SaaS Revolutionaries is a curated group for SaaS founders, executives, and investors. We aim to connect SaaS leaders on a global scale, fostering opportunities to learn and grow within the SaaS community.
  • SaaS Products & Marketing
  • SaaS Pirates Do you want to become a SaaS Pirate AARRR! Let’s share thoughts, progress and hacks on building a SaaS.
  • SaaS Founders & Execs SaaS Founders Network is a community for founders. In this group, we discuss what’s working for each other, share tips and answer questions about common challenges founders face on their journey to building and scaling a successful SaaS business.
  • Saas Breakthrough Community
  • SaaS AdLab This group was created for sharing tips, strategies and case studies about SaaS products.
  • SaaS Launchpad
  • Scaling SaaS Founders My mission in life is to support 1M founders to scale their SaaS companies.
  • Ladies in SaaS The Ladies in SaaS mission is to build a strong, empowered community of women committed to the success of tech. We do this by creating environments that allow ladies in saas to increase their network, grow their skills, and to make connections that allow them to accelerate and celebrate their successful careers.
  • SaaS Sofia


  • Cloud Computing and SaaS Best Practices The Cloud Computing and SaaS Best Practices Group is an open forum for Directors, VPs, and C-level executives working in Product Management, Operations and Information Technology. Join in to interact with peers and discuss best practices in Cloud Computing, cloud hosting, and SaaS.
  • Cloud & Saas Startups Cloud & SaaS Startups involve an incredibly unique business model. Our goal is to facilitate discussion around Cloud applications & SaaS business formation and growth and in the following areas: Awareness, Onboarding, Technology, Customer Service, Financial Modeling, SLAs, and Security.
  • SaaS Marketing University Software delivery is changing, and software companies without a Software-as-a-Service or SaaS strategy are going to fall behind their competition. SAAS Marketing University brings subscribers top-notch information and research on transforming, creating, and running their SaasS-based business.
  • Software as a Service – SaaS – Group This group (hosted in English Language) is open to all professionals active in information technology – particularly the Software as a Service area (SaaS) – to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.
  • SaaS innovation and Tips New technology and innovation are forcing companies to rethink their ERP strategy. SaaS is now mainstream; it has emerged as the next generation of technology for companies of all sizes and industries. Learn how others are shaping the SaaS industry and tips for projects you are currently working on.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) Networkers  A group for all net-workers interested in the Cloud Inferno. This network aims at innovating this space for times to come. Lets build the future!This group is open to all professionals active in the Cloud Computing to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support. Goal of this community is to connect these SaaS / S+S / Cloud Computing professionals.
  • Big Data, SaaS and Cloud Software This is a national networking group to network and share vital candidates, companies and recruiters that are closely aligned with Enterprise Sales within the technology sector of Big Data, SaaS and Cloud Computing. It is to discuss and review current industry news, trends, resources, job opportunities, best practices, approaches, job and employment outlook, interview refinement, coaching and mentoring, as well as other pertinent topics that can lead you to make better decisions.
  • !!!! Cloud Computing | VMware | Open Stack | PaaS | SaaS | Nutanix | AWS !!!! Community belongs for Technical Expert Peoples who can share their experience or problems with help of this community.~! I appreciate your valuable Time ….More Relevant discussion about Cloud Computing | VMware | Open Stack | PaaS | SaaS | Nutanix | AWS etc.
  • L@SSO – SaaS Service Operations This group focuses on the issues that matter to SaaS Service Operations professionals. Whether you are an Operations Engineer, a Customer Support Manager, a Virtualization Expert, a Netrwok Engineer, an Application Manager, VP Operations, an IT Professional working for a SaaS company, this is the place to exchange practices, ask questions, complain, and share blunders.
  • SaaS Customer Success Find new ways to help scale and streamline customer success.Topics of discussion include negative churn, customer retention cost, adding value, everything as a service, on-boarding, collaboration, customer health, and everything that adds value in the customer success world.
  • SaaS Metrics Running a SaaS or subscription business requires more than just understanding your top level financial statements. You need to dig deeper to understand the operational metrics that truly determine the health of your business. This is a group to share best practices in SaaS metrics. Think CAC, MRR…
  • Oracle Cloud SaaS,PaaS,IaaS This group (hosted in English Language) is open to all professionals active in information technology – particularly the Software as a Service area (SaaS) – to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.
  • Cloud and SaaS Startup Leaders Our goal is to facilitate discussion with fellow Cloud & SaaS startup leaders to share ideas and discuss business growth in the following areas: Awareness, Authority, Engagement, Lead Generation, Sales, Onboarding, Technology, Customer Service, Financial Modeling, SLAs, and Security.
  • Cloud SAAS / IAAS A group for Cloud Computing & Virtualization professionals to expand their network of contacts, share idea’s and discuss industry related topics.The group covers SaaS, IAAS, PaaS, Cloud Security & Server, Desktop, Application Virtualization technologies.
  • SaaS Professionals This group is open to all professionals in the Software as a Service arena (SaaS) to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support. Goal of this community is to connect these professionals innovating this space for times to come.
  • SaaS Growth Network SaaS Growth Network is a community for business owners and developers in the software industry. This forum is dedicated to best practices, resources, and information about customer acquisition in the software industry.Our mission is to facilitate a collaborative environment where you can learn, network, share, and advance the objectives of your organization and your career.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) Network for Founders, CEOs, Investors and Executives This group is for those running SaaS businesses in the B2C or B2B space to share insights and network.The goal of this community is to share knowledge in order to achieve even higher growth through through things we’ve all learned.



  • r/startup
  • r/startups The place to discuss startup problems and solutions. Startups are companies that are designed to grow and scale rapidly.
  • r/SaaS Discussions and useful links for SaaS owners, online business owners, and more.
  • r/web_design A community dedicated to all things web design.
  • r/UserExperienceDesign Use this as a reddit for thoughts or resources about User Experience (UX), Information Architecture (IA) or Interaction Design (ID).
  • r/UXResearch A community for sharing and discussing UX research. The goal is to think about UX research broadly and consider studies from related/overlapping disciplines (e.g., market research, medical anthropology, public health, design research). Open to both academic and applied research.
  • r/UXDesign The community of UX Designers and anybody who’s interested in.
  • r/UXandUI Focused on the intersection of anthropology, design and technology. This subreddit showcases the best user experiences, interfaces, and best practices to help define this emerging field.
  • r/UX_Design A gathering of UX designers and UX researchers talking about everything User experience. Start now by posting interesting tools, case studies, and resources!
  • r/UI_Design Topics related to UI design, mobile UI design, mobile app design, etc.
  • r/UI_programming
  • r/userinterfaces
  • r/userinterface
  • r/AppDevelopment
  • r/AppDevelopers
  • r/appdesign
  • r/appdev


  • #FemaleFounders Group of female founders and women in tech space
  • #Agile
  • ProductLed Get access to our private Slack community, actionable content on Product-Led Growth, exclusive templates, guides, and research that you won’t find anywhere else. All for free!
  • SaaS Alliance An invite-only community for SaaS founders & professionals. Established to exchange knowledge, ideas and best practices.
  • #CreativeTribes Share tribe-building strategies and resources with 1,200+ startup entrepreneurs, marketers and other creatives.
  • Support Driven An Online Community for Support Pros
  • #Launch
  • Startup Study Group StartupStudyGroup is a free resource for entrepreneurs: future, current, and former founders. Goal is to become the most useful tool for this community by learning “Startup as a Second Language” together.
  • Mind the Product Invite-only.
  • SaaS Founders Club

☝🏽 iii. Services

  • productboard productboard is the product management system that helps you understand what users need, prioritize what to build, and rally everyone around your roadmap.
  • UsersThink User Feedback On Demand For Your Landing Pages
  • SurveyMonkey A global leader in survey software. 20 million questions answered daily.
  • Track feedback to build better products Capture feedback in one organized place to inform your product decisions.
  • ProdPad Everything you need to build amazing products.
  • Pendo Complete demand intelligence for your product. Build what your highest-value customers want most
  • Intercom Only Intercom gives you a totally customizable messaging suite to drive growth at every stage of the lifecycle.
  • UserVoice Don’t waste time cobbling together point solutions when you can get a single platform that gives you all the tools to listen, analyze and close the loop with customer bases and internal teams of any size.
  • Mopinion Collect online feedback and turn it into useful insights. Feedback analytics software for websites and mobile apps.

☝🏽 iv. Programs

  • YouNoodle The global leader in startup engagement. Backed by a powerful technology platform and a growing network of 200,000+ startups, we are top brands’ trusted partner to execute startup and innovation programs at scale.
  • Co-Founders Lab Accelerate your business in 12 months.
  • 10XFactory #1 Community for CEOs & founders Looking to 10x their growth.
  • Sales Confidence Join the only sales community now. Over 6000 founders, sales leaders and individual contributors meet at regular events.
  • Founders Beta The ultimate hub for starting a startup. Discover startup job opportunities, courses, and grab coffee with the members.
  • Founders Network Peer mentorship for founders of tech startups.
  • Foundr The go-to resource for helping today’s entrepreneurs build tomorrow’s leading businesses.
  • Inspired Startups Online startup community for entrepreneurs
  • SaaS Club + The community for early stage SaaS founders. Get the help you need to launch and grow your SaaS business. Connect with other founders. Build recurring revenue faster.

☝🏽 v. Podcasts

  • SaaStock – Join the pioneers at the forefront of the SaaS revolution. Learn how to gain traction, grow, and scale your SaaS from the best in the business.
  • The Growth Hub A podcast to help you grow and scale up your B2B SaaS business.
  • SaaS Open Mic SaaS founders and innovators share their story! ChartMogul’s SaaS Open Mic series talks to the most inspiring innovators behind high-growth SaaS businesses, to identify the ingredients for their success.
  • SaaStr Podcast The world’s largest community for business software.
  • Intercom On the Inside Intercom podcast you will hear the team from Intercom interview makers and do-ers from the worlds of product management, design, startups and marketing.

Are there any new ones that need to be updated or no longer available?

Maybe you’ve a brand spankin’ community you’d like to have included on this list.

Comment below and let me know.

How to extract your next bizz idea & sell it before it exists.

How to extract your next bizz idea & sell it before it exists.

Summary: In this 5-min read, I’m going to teach you the steps to approach qualified acquaintances and strangers to find out about their business obstacles and extract your next online business idea.

You’re probably reading this post because you find yourself in the middle of an idea drought. You’ve been trying to come up with a new business idea, but nothing’s coming to mind. Or maybe you have an idea for a product, but don’t know how to make it profitable.

Most people think they have to come up with an original idea, but the truth is that there are already so many opportunities out there waiting for someone to take them on.

The secret is knowing where to find them.

The good news is that these ideas are all around us! All it takes is some creativity and curiosity about what’s going on in your community or industry, then taking the time to think about how you might be able to do something similar.

1. Identify what you want to sell
2. Determine who your customer is and what they need
3. Create a list of features that will make the product better than anything else on the market
4. Figure out how much it will cost to produce your product
5. Figure out how much you’ll charge for the product
6. Find a way to test demand and interest in your idea before investing too much time, money, or energy into it (e-mailing friends/family with an idea can be enough)

Pick your poison (market)

If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life selling to alcoholics, don’t pick wine & spirits. Also, if it HAS to be a boring market, be ready to have an exciting hobby.

Btw, don’t be me and pick a market that has potentially awesome people, but no money to spend.

You know it’s a digital product, but not sure for whom. Do this:

  • Is your potential client already using some other software?
  • How approachable are the decision-makers (phone, email, social media)?
  • The fellas over at Angel List VS CEOs at Fortune 500 companies;
  • Don’t go after your wantrepreneur friends at Amway, do go after like-minded people running their legit hustles (nothing less than $110K per year as a small business);
  • You’re able to extract a pain point within 10 minutes of your conversation (more on this as you scroll down).

The more of the above list items you can nod at, the better the chances of having selected a solid market.

Hit ’em up!

Start with your warm network, friends & family (but NO MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING drones).

  • Let them know what market you’re after and if they’re growing their business too because you’re trying to learn more about their #1 pain point;
  • Go through your social networks (LinkedIn & Facebook groups specifically) and engage them at an authentic level to learn more about what keeps them awake at night.
  • You’re not selling anything, so listen.
  • Don’t be that guy. Ask genuine questions and find out more about it within your friends, family, and professional contacts;
  • Contact them with a simple message of who you are (your mutual friend), why you’re reaching out about, and if ANY of what you’re saying resonates with them, to hit reply and tell you what’s the BIGGEST OBSTACLE they’re currently facing in their business. If you have a list of 25 contacts, know right now that you won’t get 25 responses. Play the qualified numbers and look for patterns as the responses start to come in.
  • Rinse & repeat until you get about 50 responses (this is a rule-of-thumb, not the recipe) and look for patterns to close in on your niche.

I.E. Use this “ad-libs” email template as your initial message for people that share a mutual friend:

“Hi [LEAD NAME]. I’m [YOUR NAME] and our mutual friend, [MUTUAL FRIEND’S NAME] recommended I reach out to professionals in the [NICHE] market to learn more about their biggest obstacles right now and your name came up. I don’t have anything to sell. Is this something you’d be able to help me with? There are no wrong answers. If any of what I’m saying resonates with you right now, simply reply with “YES” and I’ll follow up with a link to my calendar to get on a 10-minute call to learn more about what’s keeping you up at night.”

Again, this is a TEMPLATE. You’ll find your own voice depending on your market and your style. The goal is to get a decision-maker ON THE PHONE with you.

Use a free service like to set up and connect your schedule to show your availability and let them do the work for you.

If you don’t want to give out your personal line, I recommend uberconference[dot]com to talk over an internet connection and you can give out the same URL or PIN number for them to connect with you. Skype works too, I guess.

You’re talking with them, now what?

Dude, you’ve done the HARDEST part of this training, getting a decision-maker on the phone with you.

If you’re a weirdo over the phone, you’ll just have to practice this part. More or less, here’s the script, ask them and listen.


“Can you tell me more about what you do on a daily basis?”

“Of those tasks, which one is the hardest and/or taking the longest to accomplish?”

“What is this costing your business?”

“If this obstacle were to be solved, what would it mean for you, both personally and at a professional level?”

“In an ideal scenario, what would your success look like?”

If you’ve read this far is because we both know your ideas suck. So LISTEN to THEIR problems and collect that information. You don’t have a business, logo, website, or friends (you don’t).


Right now I need you to get rid of your ego (and you should’ve long ago) and accept that THIS feedback is your business potential. Not YOUR STUPID IDEA(S).

What did they say?

How did they say it?

How big of a problem did they have?

Now, after you thanked each and every wonderful qualified business professional that agreed to talk to your sorry butt, let’s go back to the lab.

Do their problems make sense?

Can you see how bad they are?

If you know their problems at such an intimate level at this point, chances are, you can figure out the solution?

Can you?

NOW, for those of you that DO have an answer to their BIGGEST obstacle. We’re going to sell them the solution WITHOUT HAVING IT AT HAND.


I don’t have time to explain it because this is about action over theory without the fluff.

The Anatomy of a Pre-Sales Offer:

  1. The talk
  2. The goods
  3. The catch
  4. The guarantee

Ok, before we dive into offering a solution that doesn’t yet exist, we need to figure out how much it’s going to cost. Developers are EXPENSIVE, the good ones, at least.

Find out how much it’s going to cost you to deliver the MVP (Minimal Viable Product).

Think of a penthouse suite, without the ‘pent’ or the ’suite’ and you get a ‘house’. What are the bare minimums you need to get this digital product to JUST WORK?

This is a weird part of my training because the answer could be anything. If you care to guess-n-test it, head on over to my Google search result: and get a benchmark, but don’t get stuck on that number. This training is about momentum.

1. The Talk

Now hold onto that number and figure out how many early investors you need to PAY YOU to get your web app to work and in beta. These guys will ask you why you’re asking for that much and you need to be HONEST and ready to say why you need to raise this much to get the ball rolling.

2. The Goods

I won’t spend too much time on this part, because you already know what good can come out of this if you can solve their problems. You should, they TOLD YOU.

Now offer the solution and SWEETEN the deal:

  • Can you lock them at an “early investor” discount?
  • Can you offer them XX months free?
  • Can you provide extra TLC ‘round the clock?
  • Can you train them and their team for free?
  • Can you text them bedtime stories at 3 am whenever they ask you for one?

Sweeten the pot!

3. The Catch

Ok, now this next part sounds a little prison-y. There’s a catch. This part is about what THEY CAN DO for YOU.

  • Testimonials
  • Access to their network (Referrals)
  • Case studies
  • Linkbacks
  • Understanding that your beta WILL have bugs, but you’re working them out.

Don’t let them forget that they’re part of a MOVEMENT. That they’re the early adopters that believe in you and you will NOT forget about them.

4. The Guarantee

I won’t lie, this part is scary AF.

Tell your initial contacts that have been with you thus far that if you’re NOT able to deliver on your solution, you’ll give them their money back.

Get a lawyer before you say this, I don’t need your butt after me because you talked out of your butt due to a Quora answer you scrolled through.

Now, that we have that out of the way…seriously, put yourself in THEIR shoes, why should THEY give YOU money?

They want the results you’re offering, but they want to reduce risk as much as possible because you have NO track record.

Get that money!

That’s it. That’s how you get others to tell you their problems and convert that feedback into a business idea.

buildfire interface

Now that you know understand the approach, what about the implementation?

There are several ways to approach digital products, specifically apps.

I’d love to recommend you this awesome app pricing calculator from buildfire.

You can go ahead and check out their pricing model afterwards, but they offer a thorough questionnaire that can give you a realistic manpower, capital investment, and features estimate to build on your next best idea.

How to extract your next bizz idea & sell it before it exists.

Stop giving away stupid free consultations, do this instead.

Sell your thinking, not your time.

Do you hate selling? I hate selling. It feels sleazy, dishonest, and needy.

Why do you feel like trash? Probably because you’re offering something that nobody asked for.

Let’s say you’re selling water on a hot day, yes, water.

A small family with kids is walking by. They’ve been out and about for the past hour and the father just realized that they ran out of water and kids are thirsty.

They see you. What do you do?

You sell them a damn bottle of water.

Why? Because you met the conditions & factors to make a ridiculously simple offer that the father simply couldn’t refuse.

It’s damn hot outside, he has thirsty children, and you sell bottles of water.

While the example is rudely reductionist, the principles stand.

The reason you’re feeling sleazy and dishonest, is because you don’t believe in what you’re selling, it’s probably not what the client wants, and you’re chasing after them (clingy much?).

Pitch proposals are time-consuming, unpredictable time wasters.

Pitching sucks. It’s stressful, and it feels disheartening when the client is watching you fight with other competitors to submit your proposal for them. All that energy in segmenting your services, justifying your pricing, and they go with someone else. All that work you put into it?

What happened?

They may have told you:

  • I only needed this;
  • I only needed that;
  • I didn’t need all of what you were selling.

That’s because when they’re looking at your pitch proposals, they’re only looking at price, because they told you and your competitors what they think they need, but really they’re saying what they want.

But when has the client ever known what they need? If they knew, they wouldn’t be asking for proposals and just know how to get it or do it, right?

Your job 80% of the time is to save the client from themselves. They think they know what they want, but really, they don’t know what they need.

Why? Because there’s a gulf of a gap in what the client thinks needs to happen and what you actually know needs to happen.

For you to be able to save them, you have to take the time to understand them.

“But Saïd, that’s the reason I’m offering a free consultation, so I can get to know their business better!!!”


If you’ve defined your niche, like I’ve mentioned in my freebie pdf below, you wouldn’t have to understand their industry, you’d just have to understand their current situation. Otherwise, you’re having that sleazy sales conversation you hate having.

To understand that situation, you should only need ten minutes of their time. Use the automated scheduling tool Calendly to make it easier on them and book you on timeframes that best work for them.

sponsored link!

The Shoe-in Method, wtf is it?

  • You hold the client’s hand through the experience of how your skills & expertise can help them without giving away the secrets;
  • It’s a productized service that solves a laser-focused specific & immediate need that your client has;
  • Establishes you as the authority of why you’re the ONE to solve their problem;
  • Eliminates the need to submit a pitch proposal;
  • Removes the sleazy & dishonest feeling of having to sell yourself because it’s a stupid simple investment the client couldn’t say no to.

Do this well, and not only will they want to pay you to pitch your service, but they will want to hire you to implement the bigger underlying problem they’re having and price will be the least of their issues.

How do yo do it? To position your offer:

  1. You must name your version of the Shoe-in Method that is on-brand for you (i.e. mine’s called The Brandstorm);
  2. It must solve a direct & immediate need that your client has, which you know they have because you’ve studied their niche, and it can be done quickly. Again, the better you know your niche, the less time you need to learn about them, and more time to actually work on solving it (i.e. mine’s brand clarity for service professionals that want better-paying, no bs clients);
  3. It must provie an easy-to-understand actionable outline of what needs to happen for that specific client to succeed.

Why does it work?

People don’t necessarily want to learn your skills & expertise, they simply want to know that the work will be done, and their problems will be solved.

  1. You’re positioning the results: “Dear Mr/s client, I’m here to give you answers. I’ll be here to answer any questions you have and point out things you may have not considered.”
  2. It’s an audit of their business, as is: you’re not asking industry questions, you’re asking questions of where they’re at right now and trying to get closer to their pain points at that specific stage of their business. By uncovering those cracks in the statue, you can then start showing them where opportunities are (low-hanging fruit).
  3. You’re not selling a pitch proposal, you’re offering an actionable plan that is specific to their needs.

Now that you’ve know how and why charging for an actionable plan VS stressing over a bullet list of services in a meaningless pitch proposal makes more sense, what happens now.

Remember that the Shoe-in Method is just that, putting your foot in the door. Charge it accordingly, charge enough that makes it worth your time for having spent whatever time you would’ve spent in those stupid free consultations, but low enough that is a stupid simple decision for your client to see that it’s a no-brainer.

They have an actionable plan of what they know needs to happen for their business to get out of that rut. Here’s how to not look desperate for the work.

Let them know that they can take that game plan and:

  • Implement it themselves;
  • hire someone else to do it for them; OR,
  • keep the person that helped them uncover those quick wins to their pain points and then the more impactful changes to significantly improve their business.

Who do you think they’ll want to hire?😉

Will everyone buy your bigger offer? Nope.

Buuut, you now don’t waste time putting a pitch proposal together and offering free consultations to then be rejected.

At the very least, you got paid a bit of scratch for the value that you offered.

The main offer

Look at you, big baller. You stopped pitching for free and getting paid to warm up your leads for your main offer. How much should you charge for that premium fee you know you deserve?

Way ahead of you, playa.

The main offer pricing calculator

my mane zach galifianakis

I went ahead and created a free main offer pricing calculator for you to estimate just how much that should be. It’s not a rule book, but it should help you find your baseline and ball park estimate of what you need to start doing to get there.

The stupid-proof calculator to price your main service offer.

Stop undercharging for your service.

Still struggling with how much you should charge for your main service offer?

I got chu, boo. I worked really hard to math this right so you wouldn’t have to.

Of course, it isn’t definitive of your every expense, but it should give you a ball park idea of where you’re at, what income goals you could be aiming for, and what your pricing needs to be in order for you to get there.

Go ahead and play with some numbers and then let me know below in the comments section what you think.

If you found this helpful, it would mean the world & the SpaceX landing zone of Mars if you shared this post with your social media peeps that could also find it useful. I’m serious, some heavy back-end conditional form logic went into this.

😚 Be a peach. 😚

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Now what?

How were your numbers like? Are they realistic & attainable? Are you scared by your own ambitions?

Listen, if you’ve only been able to make $1 in a day, $10 is quite daunting.

However, if we could figure out how to help you make even $1.50 more, then it’s all about baby steps, baby.

But we got vacations to take and these bills ain’t paying themselves faster.

So what do you do? Stop giving away stupid free consultations. I can teach you that.

Sign up to the offer below and find out how you can better position your brand to start charging the prices your business deserves.