After building and working for startups and technology companies for almost 25 years, I found myself having a sense of déjà-vu.
Had I really built the same features and functionality over and over?
Everyone of us who has been in the industry for any length of time probably has the same feeling. Whether or not we are fully conscious of it, we probably built a (bad) version of login, registration, user management, authorization, organizations and invitations, audit logging, etc. at least one time for every company we've worked for.
In early 2018, I joined an enterprise SaaS startup, where I built the initial team and product over 18 months. Analyzing tickets and epics in the project tracking system we used, I found that over 60% of our first 18 months was spent building features and functionality like this -- essential building blocks, but not the core competency we sought to test in the marketplace. And the result of that effort was only adequate versions of those common features, which resulted in less time spent on what we were trying to prove. I began to refer to this heavy tax a "SaaS CRUD".
Was this really what everyone else was doing? I was lucky to have a large network of engineering leaders at companies that ranged from the earliest stages to the largest public companies, so I asked them. The responses were remarkably consisitent. Early stage companies wished there was something comprehensive they could adopt, and later stage and large companies lamented not adopting external tools earlier that gave them guarantees around uptime and compliance. All were aware of or had tried to knit together a mish-mash of "feature company" products, and all expressed dissatisfaction with "model mismatch" of most of the tools in the marketplace, which demanded more integration overhead than the perceived benefit allowed.
I was lucky to find others that had observed the same thing. We joined forces and spent the next 6 months interviewing companies of a range of sizes, developing a playbook for companies building new products. Based on that playbook, today we are releasing our first version of tooling designed to help application developers avoid rebuilding "SaaS CRUD".
Phase Two is designed to help SaaS companies accelerate time-to-market. Authentication and SSO are our first targets, but we plan to expand to many other areas of pain for the growing company seeking enterprise adoption. We'd love for you to join us on this journey. For product demos and to become a beta customer, please contact us!