April 19, 2020

Keep Things Simple. Play The Long Game.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

The best software is simple to use. It's intuitive, and just works.

But simple != easy to design and build. In fact the opposite is true: Simple is incredibly hard.

My business partner and I have been slowly building Sagenine into the best business management software for field service based businesses.

We're super close.

In fact, we have working software in production. So yeah, we could release Sagenine to the masses, but I don't think the features are 100% perfect yet.

Ship It Before You're Ready

This mantra has been repeated time and again from VCs and pundits in SF for a long time. And while I want to agree with this statement, I think it's premature to do this for a lot of software products.

My last SaaS business was in an industry that I knew nothing about. But, the software solved a very specific problem.

Because the software was so good and useful, I had no problem selling the product.

I would literally say this to prospects:

If you don't start using this software soon... your competitors will... and you will ultimately be out of business. Period.

Now, that's the confidence level I need to achieve with Sagenine. We're 95% there. And, the 5% that needs to be changed is pretty simple user experience stuff. I'm happy to say, I'm one step closer to implementing the solution.

As I stated above: Simple is incredibly hard.

Many would question me agonizing for 3 weeks over a few simple user experience / interface issues. But, at the end of the day Simple beats Complex.

Simple is what sells.

Resilience Determines Success

If you are a resilient person, you will be successful. The first trait resilient people have is an acceptance of reality.

Right now, every person in the US is sequestered at home because of Covid-19 and the forced, stay at home policies. It's easy to give up and become depressed.

Let's take Sagenine for example. Our business is focused on field service businesses: lawn maintenance, snow removal, home cleaning, pest control, etc.

These business are not buying software right now. In fact, most businesses in the US right now are simply trying to survive.

That's reality.

We could give up on Sagenine right now and quit. But, we're not going to. We're going to take this time to strengthen our SaaS business so that we can take massive market share once we release.

That means perfecting UX / UI issues. Fixing bugs we know are there. Creating informative content geared toward lawn and landscaping businesses. Refactoring code to be more manageable and clean. Testing our web and mobile apps even harder.

A Sense of Purpose

Even in this time of uncertainty, I have a tremendous sense of purpose. I've done so much work researching the field service business landscape–software competitors and opportunities–that I know Sagenine solves a large problem for these businesses.

Sagenine is built on the premise that companies will make money by using our software. Creating efficiencies, saving time on repetitive operations, automating manual tasks is at the core of our business proposition.

If we can help small business owners make more money by using Sagenine, then all the hard work... all the agonizing over bugs, software problems, UI / UX issues... it's all fing worth it.

Generalists Who are Good at Many Things

Sagenine is in a very good position. We are not venture backed. We do not have hundreds of employees. There are no bureaucrats. We are two people who are really good at a lot of things.

With everything we build, questions are asked:

  • What will be the support requests with this feature?
  • Is this the most efficient way to create this?
  • Is there another way?
  • Is this the simplest solution?
  • What steps can be removed?
  • Is this helping or hindering the business?

If you are running a closely held business, these questions need to be addressed. Often.

For us, the answer is not to hire more people or add more processes. That's not what we want from this business.

The goal is to keep things simple. Play the long game.

If we do these two things, we will win.