Why Making New Software Apps is 10X Faster and Easier than 5 Years Ago

Two technical founders last week told me they shipped the first version of their new products 10 TIMES FASTER than they did five or seven years ago in their previous SaaS startups–with the same-sized teams.

It’s because better cloud platforms, tools, and APIs make creating real software seriously faster than 5 years ago.

You just don’t have to build as much yourself as you did 5-ish years ago.

And generative AI tools like ChatGPT are already speeding up coding that used to be done very manually.

This creates an advantage for SaaS startup founders to build and test their software quickly to get to real revenues without big VC funding to get started.

It will also make it more difficult for startup experiments to scale up and become large and valuable companies.

Here’s why:

  •  Everyone has access to these platforms, tools, and apps. All over the world.
  •  Big software companies can now add features and components faster themselves.
  •  Big slow IT departments can build custom solutions faster themselves too.
  •  There are more competitors earlier in new markets. Same features, same messages, same simple growth tactics.
  •  More copycat apps will rip off what works and compete with you.
  •  It’s harder to create a tactical marketing or sales advantage using the same traditional tactics that everyone else is using.

It’s a great time to be a practical founder to grow a valuable software company without big funding, but only when you do these things:

  1.  Find and keep a narrow focus. Specialists will be the generalists.
  2.  Gain enough customer loyalty to withstand cheap competitors. Amazing and complete product, great customer service and experience, and cultural alignment always help.
  3.  Master customer acquisition tactics that can’t easily be replicated by competitors. Everyone can do crappy content, outbound sales, and social media posts. Few will build real communities or be popular thought leaders, for example.

The huge piles of VC investment in big cloud platforms, API services, and now AI platforms will make it easier for smaller bootstrappers to do much more with much less.

Stay focused. And do the hard things your competitors won’t do.

What are you seeing out there?


Get the weekly Practical Founders email and podcast update.

Share Practical Founders


Win the Startup Game Without VC Funding

Learn how all 75 founders on the Practical Founders Podcast created an average founder equity value of $50 million.