This is why I say I hate the SaaS
@patio11 has many advantages others don’t. Not so much about ‘really good’ vs ‘mediocre’, but things like a consulting gig that was doing $20K/week, being ‘internet famous’ which while not a sure thing for success does help with things like SEO as he can post articles like this one and get tons of great links back. He’s also has the tech chops and a strong interest in marketing, testing, etc.
Even with a solid business idea and all he’s got going for him he’s still only a bit above (or maybe below after expenses and not counting the few outlier contracts) a high level job he could get as CTO at a startup or what not.
More troubling than all that is it took 4 years to get here. That’s the killer of the SaaS. With HelpSpot, I knew within about 12 months, 18 max if it was going to work. If in the end it hadn’t I could have got a job, moved on to another product, etc. With the SaaS you have so much more work (servers, etc) and in almost all cases you’ll have no real idea if it’s going to truly work for years.
I used to think people going crazy about getting funding were nuts, but in SaaS it does increase your chances for success as moving faster, growing faster, and being able to wait years are all pretty critical vs a traditional software company where you make your money up front.