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April 03, 2020  ·  7 min read

How to build most upvoted product in ProductHunt?

How I decided to run a SAAS project?

The most valuable thing for me in the world is to love living. I had a friend I loved very much. He spent the last 6 years of his life with very serious illness. He was a very lively person. He was doomed to bed and at that time I shattered and understood that “What we call happiness is to sit back and enjoy a glass of water and have a pleasant conversation with the person you love.”** **Happiness is nothing more than that.

When I look at my whole life, I am always oriented towards life and it will not be correct to be interested in something if you are not very happy with it. We come to the world maybe once, at least we have a single life where we are aware of our own body, our soul or personality, and we cannot come back and take back time. However, the time we have for this life we live in is very limited. Therefore, we should be there wherever we feel the happiest and most productive. Because I think that is where we are most useful.

In the light of all these thoughts, when I asked myself “What should be next?” my response was “Try something you haven’t tried before”. I had never developed SAAS as a side project before and realised that I wanted to experience it.

The motto was already defined: Most businesses rely on complex and pricey solutions that should provide very simple outcome: “Monitor my services, notify me when things go wrong and be transparent to my customers about the outages.”

Conclusion: Up Ninja (# 1 Most Upvoted Product in Product Hunt)

The Story

Maybe I may not be a good example, but in general I do not have an excessively long process of research while making a decision. As I just said, if my feelings want me to do it, I do. So I haven’t done much research on whether the world needs a one more “uptime monitoring service”. My research has focused mainly on understanding what features of existing SAAS are and how they work.

In this sense, I did some basic studies. First of all, I noted down which services are the most preferred uptime monitoring services. I created an existing feature list for each of these services. Then I took note of the price lists of these services. Finally, I calculated the answer to the question of “How much money should I spend so that I can release this project and run it at least 1 year”. After finding answers to these basic questions, I brainstormed a few ideas with a friend of whom I trust too much. I completed all these decisions and research within 2 days. As a result, I would spend a total of 173 euros, and the amount that I would spend could go to the trash or it could go to the plus.

Of course, time was more important than money spent. Because I was a full-time employee and I had the chance to develop this software on weekends and only in my spare time. One night, while playing the All Gone song from Alan Umsted on the background, I decided that I had to time-box myself for 29 days.

In 29 days, I would develop something from scratch, which I had never experienced before. I was going to design the project. I was going to identify the phases suitable for that design. I would develop everything related to backend and frontend. When all this was done, I would prepare a landing page and release it from Product Hunt. My plan was like this. It might sound a little crazy, but I thought that such a time-box might be fun for me.

And the first day after all these decisions, I rolled up my sleeves and started developing Up Ninja.

I will share the infrastructure of the service with a separate series of articles, but in the first moments when I started developing the software, I understand that the idea actually looked very simple but how complex it was. This situation had already started to make the Dunning-Kruger Effect on me.

**Dunning**–**Kruger effect** is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability.*DunningKruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability.*

Front End

Day after day, I realized that I was moving into the advanced stages of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I came to the time when I was aware of my self-confidence and personal limits. I was very confident about the infrastructure. Because my professional software engineering history was almost 10 years old. I had been working in the world’s top technology companies and I completed Up Ninja’s infrastructure by converting this abilities to an advantage. I knew that the front of my software was as important as its infrastructure. My frontend experience wasn’t even half of my backend experience but that didn’t worry me too much. All I wanted to achieve was the success of the project, and it would not be the slightest damage to learn new things. So I rolled up my sleeves and completed Up Ninja’s front-end enhancements.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ―Nelson Mandela

Up Ninja — Application Front EndUp Ninja — Application Front End

After the front-end was completed, I could move on to landing page (https://www.upninja.io) and Product Hunt.

The thing I paid most attention to while preparing a landing page was not to overwhelm the customer who came to the page with millions of pieces of information. Because my most important goal in preparing Up Ninja was to make it simple, affordable and just an application for the most important things needed.

Accordingly, I prepared the landing page. I set an aggressive price of $ 4.99, too.

Up Ninja Landing PageUp Ninja Landing Page

High Level Design

Although UpNinja seemed technically simple, it wasn't quite as under-the-hood. Many components had to work together harmoniously. Below, I share UpNinja's up to date high-level design.

Up Ninja High Level DesignUp NinjaHigh Level Design Image can be found at: https://ibb.co/gwScZ57


As a result, what I was thinking of pros of Up Ninja;

  • Its infrastructure was prepared as a rocky service.
  • It was a project from scratch, from an entrepreneurial developer.
  • Customers had the chance to shape it according to their needs. This was not possible with very large services, but Up Ninja was still very new and ready to knead with ideas.
  • It had a very nice subscription scale in terms of price.
  • It did not have any major claims, it was a project developed by time-boxing. (Yes, I had completed the project in 22 days)
  • I added the features that I think would be really needed from all the similar services, which gave me the opportunity to prepare an interesting service by the help of simplicity.

The plan was as follows;

  • Publish the project on the Product Hunt and IndieHackers platforms and analyse the results.
  • Improve it if it goes well with the results.

Final Words

I do not have an audience that can bring my project to thousands of people. I don’t have thousands of followers on Twitter. I did not share my project on Linked-in platform. I just released and waited on Product Hunt and I am very pleased with the results.

As you can see, it is possible to achieve success without any special effort, relying only on personal feelings, working hard and putting yourself into a time-box. If I succeeded, you can do it too. Remember, only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve a great deal! 😎👍

Picture of Oben Işık

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