Thanks for checking out my blog for MERNKit. Here I'll be posting about all things bootstrap entrepreneurship., SaaS, Technology, Development, and Life.
Before we get started on why I built MERNKit I thought I'd take some time to introduce myself! Here are the highlights:
I've been coding since I was 11 years old.
Started my first IT Company Purecode Consulting with a friend when we were 14.
I founded and bootstrapped AccuPoint LLC in 2011 - an Electronic Health Record Platform serving healthcare providers that work with children with Autism. AccuPoint serves thousands of providers and tens of thousands of children every day.
In 2017 I sold AccuPoint LLC to Therapy Brands, but stayed on to run the business and eventually led the Autism Solutions (ABA) division until June 2020. This was an amazing experience I'll talk more about in future posts.
Most importantly, I have a wonderful wife, Becky, daughter, Elsy, and Dog, Benji!
Okay! Now to the topic of the day. Why MERNKit SaaS Boilerplate? It might not seem like it, but that is a loaded question.
The simple answer is I needed a scalable SaaS startup kit that would allow me to build and iterate on product ideas quickly.
The longer answer, even though my prior startup was successful, being a first time SaaS entrepreneur, I made my life much more difficult than it had to be because I just didn't know what I didn't know! Being a SaaS Entrepreneur is hard!
For example, for years, we manually invoiced all of our clients, the platform didn't have a password reset option, and tenant (client) provisioning was not automated.
One could make the argument that this doesn't matter; we were successful after all . However, the reason we were able to be successful is because we over compensated with customer support. AccuPoint's customer support was and still is second to none in the industry. In fact, one of our most closely tracked metrics was average time to answer a phone call which we kept at less than 10 seconds.
If your product is lacking non critical features you can compensate with customer support and vice versa until you hit a certain level of scale.
Therefore, this time around I'm learning from my mistakes by starting with a boilerplate that has everything that is needed in pretty much any SaaS application perfected besides the core feature functionality. Rather than building this every time I have a new SaaS idea - I've built it once, I know it works perfectly, and I can reuse it in as many projects as I desire!
Let's now dive into what that looks like.
Nearly all SaaS Platforms need the following functionality regardless of the service they provide:
Recurring Payment / Subscription Management
Actually charging the customer
Authentication / User Management
Third Party Login (Google/Facebook)
A Clean and Modular User Interface
Built in Component Library
Flexible Design System/Theming
Reusable Front-end Logic
It should look sharp!
MERNKit SaaS Boilerplate contains all these features and a few more. If I had started with something like MERNKit for AccuPoint I would have saved myself hundreds of thousands of dollars in support hours, and I'm sure it would have helped our NPS score! As a developer, having a starting point with all this completed for me already will save me hundreds of hours of development time per product, not including time I would need to spend debugging what I built!
What do you think? Will MERNKit boilerplate save you time? What else does a SaaS Startup Kit need?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
In the next blog post I'll review why I made the decision to work with the MERN Stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js) after spending years developing using .NET technologies.
Happy Coding :).