In episode 628, join Rob Walling on a solo adventure where he dives into his newest framework. The 5 P.M. Idea Validation Framework is a helpful way to evaluate different startup ideas through a set of criteria to gauge the size of the opportunity.
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Topics we cover:
- 3:37 – Why is it called The 5 P.M. Idea Validation Framework?
- 4:06 – Problem
- 6:23 – Purchaser
- 8:17 – Pricing Model
- 9:00 – Market
- 12:48 – Product-Founder Fit
- 13:21 – Pain to validate the product
- 13:59 – Evaluating two business ideas through Rob’s 5pm framework
Links from the Show:
If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you.
This week I’d like to make the announcement of our early lineup for MicroConf US 2023. This is in Denver, Colorado next April. It will be co-hosted by Lianna Patch of Punchline Copy. We’ll have talks from Dev Basu, the CEO of Powered by Search, Patrick Campbell, founder of ProfitWell, currently the Chief Strategy Officer of Paddle.
And we will have our special guest, Syed Balkhi, the CEO of Awesome Motive, in addition to myself co-hosting with Lianna, and I’ll be doing a talk. If you want to hang out with a couple hundred non-venture track, indie SaaS founders in Denver, Colorado, next April, head to microconf.com/growth. It’s going to be an amazing time. I hope to see you there.
Welcome back to Startups For The Rest of Us. I’m your host, Rob Walling. This is the podcast for bootstrap and mostly bootstrapped SaaS companies that want to build incredible businesses without sacrificing their freedom, their purpose, or their relationships along the way.
I have, what I consider, an interesting episode today. I’m going to dive in to an idea validation framework I’m calling 5 P.M., because it is, after all, five o’clock somewhere. So this is not about happy hour, nor is it about drinking mezcal and bourbon. As much as I like to do those things, it’s a framework that looks at startup ideas and uses different criteria and different lenses through which to view them.
So, I’ll get in to what 5 P.M. stands for in just a minute. I did want to thank everyone who has left a rating in Apple Podcast. Since I started my drive to 1000 ratings, we have jumped a substantial number and I don’t remember the exact number, but I think we were in the mid eight hundreds approaching 900.
We’re now at 995 ratings, which is just incredible. We’re about to cross that four figure mark. Ratings are different than reviews. Ratings are when you log into Apple Podcast and you just click five stars. And if you could do that, that’d be amazing. But we also got a bunch of new reviews this week. Bjorn Brinjar from Iceland. I was just in Iceland a couple weeks ago, would’ve been cool to hang out. Bjorn says, “The best resource on launching a SaaS app. Discovered the show six years ago, went back and listened to all episodes and never missed a new release. Following Rob’s playbook, currently stair stepping a SaaS product towards 1000 MRR. Highly recommended.”
That’s awesome. Thanks, Bjorn. Steve at Devia Software says, “Not just for pure startups. In a world filled with fluff content, this podcast really delivers. I’ve been running a software company for over 15 years. It’s devia.com, and every episode sparks at least one talking point with our team.”
Solist from Denmark says, “Great inspiration for me as a bootstrap SaaS founders. And SkiBikeSkiClimb from the US says, “Rob W., The person behind your success.”
SkiBikeSki wrote me a letter in their review. “Hey Rob, recently sold most of my business with an option to sell the rest in all caps. I could not have done it without your guidance through your podcast. Worked on it about 20 hours a week since 2014. I live in Montana, close to a ski resort. Backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking. And thanks to you one of those things got done five days a week for the past eight years. I’ve created a great lifestyle business for sure. I started the business in my fifties with no knowledge on how to run a SaaS biz and everything I thought at the start was wrong. 300 episodes later. Here I am.”
This is awesome. Thank you again, so much, if you’ve left a rating or a review. And since we’re five away from a thousand, it’d be great if you could log in and click that five star button. And with that, let’s dive in to my idea validation framework I’m calling the 5 P.M. Framework.
So, the reason I’m calling it that is there are five Ps and one M in the framework. Yes, it’s that clever. So in relative order of importance, the letters that make up the acronym are problem, purchaser, pricing model, market, that’s the M, product founder fit, and pain to validate. And below each of those, of course, there are sub bullets, right? So under problem, some things to think through and answer about the problem are, is this an important problem? And is this an urgent problem? Vitamin versus aspirin.
So if you’ve ever seen those matrices where it’s tasks that are on your plate and it’s how important and how urgent, and there’s four boxes. In essence, is this an urgent and an important problem? Is this a not urgent and an important problem? Not urgent, not important? It’s interesting to think about that, not as a two different binaries, but actually as a four-boxed matrix.
In addition, I have a note that I’ve started saying to founders when they want to tell me about their idea and I say, “Don’t tell me what your idea is, tell me what problem it solves.” Start with the problem, and then you can tell me what you want to build to solve it, because I actually care way more about the problem you’re solving, than your idea. Because your idea is one solution to that problem. Think about that. Think about when a customer emails you and says, “I would love to be able to send an email whenever I click something in your app, so can we add a ‘send email’ button to this particular space in your workflow?”
And you think to yourself, that would be a really weird place for that button and no one else will want to do that. But is there a way to generalize this? Is there a way to add an automation that happens every time someone does a certain thing and one of those automations is sending an email, but there are 10 other options. This is where a customer brings a solution to you that’s not a good one, but they do have a problem they need solved and you can figure out a bunch of different ways to solve that. That’s what I’m saying here. Don’t tell me your idea, tell me what problem it solves. And then from there we can think through, well is your idea the best way to solve that problem or are there other ways? Is software even the best way to do this? Or is a productized service or is consulting or is a two-sided marketplace? There are so many different ways that you can solve the same problem.
I’m going to run through the other letters and then I want to do at least one, maybe two examples depending on how much time we have, and run them through this 5 P.M. filter. This is very much a work in progress by the way. It’s something that has obviously taken shape over 10 plus years of thinking about it. And I had a bunch of notes, and at the encouragement of some folks on my team at MicroConf and Tiny Seed, I’ve been trying to codify and refine it and sharpen it a bit.
So, I want to go through the letters and then do at least one, two examples depending on how much time we have. The first one was problem. The second P is purchaser. And so this is obviously about your buyer, right? Does this buyer tend to adopt new technology? So we can compare medical devices, we can compare attorneys with developers and maybe web designers, right?
So, attorneys, a lot of them tend to be pretty tech resistant. Medical devices, of course there’s new tech coming out, but it’s a very hard sale to make, right? Versus web designers, web developers, they’ll try a lot of different things. People on product hunt are going to be more likely to adopt new technology.
Is the purchaser willing, and do they have the ability, to pay? And so, this really falls in line with price sensitivity, right? It’s an IT department at a Fortune 500 company, of course, has massive budget, versus a musician or a hobbyist. Someone wants to record a podcast about their Dungeons and Dragons game. The willingness and ability to pair much lower than a lot of other markets in with particular buyers.
And lastly, on purchaser, I have this phrase and I’m going to try to figure out a better word for it, but right now I have sophistication is what it is. And really it’s, are they a consumer? So it’s B2C sale. Are they aspirational or hobbyists? So it’s like B2A, B to Aspirational. I think of photographers. It’s kind of pro-sumer almost, B2P. One of these B2P, B2A, such as photographers or bloggers. I want to make money online folks who are more likely to try something and then churn out. Maybe one level above a consumer. It’s not like a Netflix subscription, but they are paying to try to make money.
Again, photographers. Maybe they do weddings here and there, but they are more likely to kind of churn out of their hobby or churn out of this kind of money making endeavor, because it is such a small business.
And then we have B2B, which obviously is a business, and B2E, which is enterprise. Going to take longer sales cycles, fewer deals, large deals. Now, is there a B2SMB and a B to larger B? Of course there is, but let’s, for now, I like these four categories. Consumer, aspirational, business, and enterprise.
So, that was the second P. The third one is pricing model. Can this work as a subscription? I do talk to some folks who bring an idea and I’m like, that’s kind of a one time use thing. I just don’t think a subscription makes sense here. So, that’s just a simple off-the-cuff check, that estimate of the average revenue per account. And this is one that really comes with experience, I think, in knowing different industries and their willingness to pay. And then is it going to be monthly fee, mostly annual? Is it a share of revenue? Dot, dot, dot.
There are a lot of different options. I think we have six different options, maybe seven that we ask about in the state of independent SaaS survey about different pricing models. So those are the first three Ps. And again, I’m kind of putting these in order of importance, in the way that I would evaluate these. And as we go lower, each of these is still important but less important than the one above it.
So, we had the three Ps. Now we have the M and this is the market. How big is the market? The total reachable market, not the total addressable market. Obviously, the difference is every veterinarian in the country versus every veterinarian that you can reasonably reach without spending a gajillion dollars. Size matters a lot to venture-backed companies, because they want to be billion or 10 billion companies.
It matters a heck of a lot less to our types of startups. If you want to get to a million ARR, five million of annual recurring revenue, the market does not have to be that large as long as people do have that willingness to pay, that we talked about in the purchaser P.
And this is actually a good time for me to interject and say I see this 5 P.M. Framework as evaluating business ideas that can at least get to seven figures of ARR. Maybe they can do eight and maybe they can do 50 million or a 100 million and get to nine figure. But this is not for a tiny little lifestyle business. Let’s say you want to do 10K, 20K, MRR. Those are amazing businesses, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a few in my day and they were great. If you want to think about building a business like that, go read, Start Small, Stay Small. It’s $10 on Kindle.
And basically, I walk through how I was building businesses like that, that are truly these amazing lifestyle businesses that just throw off cash. The valuation criteria is much less relevant with the start small, stay small lifestyle SaaS. That’s more about finding a traffic source and getting in front of it, right? It’s finding existing demand, whether it’s organic search in one of the top 10, 20 search engines. It’s getting in an app store or an add-on store where there’s existing traffic and just channeling that and building this great little business.
But this is that next step. These are the kinds of companies that come to Microconf Growth. These are the kinds of companies we fund with Tiny Seed. These are the kinds of companies I’m writing my next book for. It’s that spiritual successor to Start Small, Stay Small where it’s like, well I want to build a five million ARR company. How should we think about that? And so, that’s where that total reachable market can be a lot smaller than you might think. So again, we are in market, which is the M in the 5 P.M. Framework and that was size.
The next is ease of reaching customers. Are they online? What marketing channels do I need to use? What are the cost of these going to be? What stage is the market in? Is it early? Is it mid? Is it mature? Is it growing or flat? Is it declining? These are all types of things to think about. When I think about Josh Pigford launching Baremetrics, 10 years ago-ish. Early market, because Stripe was still pretty new. It was early market, it was growing quickly, amazing time to get into it. When I think of 80 PNR, launching what became WooCommerce, although it was called WooThemes back in the day.
Was WordPress early? Was it growing fast? Yes and yes, so if you can get into a market like that, very hard to do and very hard to do multiple times especially. But if you can do that, that can give you some tailwinds. Not the CSS framework. Actual winds that are… And not even actual winds, just a hypothetical, metaphorical tailwinds that are blown. You get the picture. I think I’ve taken this one a little too far.
And lastly in the market is competition. How much competition is there? Are they big companies? Are they other startups? So, that’s 3P.M.. So if I only had these, this would be the 3P.M. Framework and unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to have an adult beverage. And I realize as I’m talking through these, there’s a lot here. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to take this Google doc that is currently just a list of indented bullets. I’m going to send it to producer Ron. And we’re going to, in some form or fashion, make it accessible such that if you opt into the startupsfortherestofus.com email list. This will come to you in the first email.
And so, it may be something as simple as an undesigned pdf or if we can put Startups For the Rest of Us branding on it in time, we will do that. But either way, you will get the information I am talking through here. And, of course, we’ll have a high level summary of the top level 5 P.M. bullets in the show notes.
Our fourth P is product founder fit. So, the questions to think about here are what about your background and access to this market makes you think you should build this? If the product is highly technical, do you have the tech chops? If it’s a crowded space, do you have marketing chops? If you have an audience or a network in this space? These are unique advantages that you have. And do you like this problem or are you just doing it opportunistically? You don’t have to love it. That’s the thing. None of these things I’m bringing up are absolute deal breakers. Each one is just another data point to gather when evaluating the idea.
And the fifth P is the pain to validate it. And I’m still figuring out if this is pain to validate or pain to actually build it, but I think since it’s idea phase, I like the idea of things that are easier to build an MVP for, that are easier to validate. Should get some credit for that if you can have a few conversations and validate this versus having to spend months building software. I think that’s important. I don’t think this one is nearly as important as the other four Ps and the M, to be honest. And that is why it’s fifth, and I’ve considered making it the 4P.M. Framework, but I think this deserves some consideration.
I also like the idea that, of course, it’s five o’clock somewhere, as I’ve said. And so now, I’m going to walk through two ideas and run them quickly through this 5 P.M. filter and kind of talk through how I view them. And there’s no conclusion, there’s no score out of a hundred. Not yet anyways. But the idea is to see some of the pros and cons and think through whether an idea is better than another or whether we think an idea will fly. So, I’m going to talk through an idea that Jon Yongfook tweeted about on September 12th. We’ll include a link to the tweet in the show notes. And this business idea actually appears in my most recent YouTube video that I recorded. If you’re not subscribed to the Microconf YouTube channel and should check it out.
But we have a video called ‘Seven SaaS Ideas I’m surprised No One Has Built Yet.’ And that’s the working title, so might change by the time this episode goes live. And frankly, the YouTube video may go live just a few days after this episode, but if you go to microconf.com/youtube, you can subscribe to the channel and then you can get notifications when new videos go live. But our ‘SaaS Ideas No One Has Built Yet’ or ‘SaaS Ideas You Should Steal Now’ have been a really popular series.
And I’ve started crowdsourcing some ideas when people want to basically give them away or have I… Things they want to see in the world, they aren’t going to build themselves, in essence. And so, this one just happened to be in my Twitter feed because I follow Jon Yongfook, as should you. And he says, “Opportunity for an indie hacker.”
My sister works in recruitment and she says there is no decent NPS tool, that’s net promoter score, that integrates with their ATS, which is an applicant tracking system so HR folks use that to track incoming job applicants. So, no NPS tool that integrates with their ATS, which is JobAdder, which has an open API. She’s only found one tool so far and it’s $800 a month, a bit too steep for small recruitment firms. Interesting idea, so let’s walk it through the 5 P.M..
So, the problem. What’s the problem? The problem is we want to get NPS scores from people who apply to our job, who wind up in our ATS, to use the nerdy three-letter acronym. So we want to get NPS from them and there’s no easy or cheap way to do it. That’s the problem. Is it an important problem? I think so. I think HR departments and people ops folks are probably graded.
Assuming that that’s a KPI. Assuming that that is something that their managers look at, then it’s an important problem. But if you were to talk to 10 HR professionals and they’re like, “Yeah, we don’t care about NPS of our applicants,” then I don’t know. Then it’s not important. So, I would start with conversations. I probably know myself, five HR or people ops people. And so I would email each of them and I would say, Do you run NPS? How important is it? Do you look at it? And if there’s mixed results, you got to keep doing the research.
And then there’s an urgency, which is a vitamin versus aspirin. So in this case, if it is important, then it’s probably urgent, as well. If it’s important then they can’t wait a year to do it, because they need that KPI, right? So, in this case the importance maybe pushes some emergency.
So, so far, let’s assume that it is important and urgent. This is intriguing. I’m intrigued by this idea. So the purchaser, does this market adopt new technology? So HR professionals, people ops folks. Yeah, there’s a lot of really big people ops tech, HR tech, so I would give this a yes, as good as any. Maybe not as much as web developers and entrepreneurs and all of us who hang out on Product Hunt Hacker News.
But I think there’s a lot of value here. Willingness to pay? Price sensitivity? Nah, they have budgets. And sophistication. These are solidly in the B2B. There’s not aspirational people doing a hobby, right? HR is not a hobby, so B2B or B2E sales. The pricing model subscription, well sure, because they need to run NPS constantly. I think that’s great. The ARPA estimate, right here we have the only one is $800 a month, so let’s just say our average revenue per account is half that, 400 a month, 200 a month.
These are good numbers. You can build a decent business on this, as long as the sales cycles are not brutal. And then is it monthly, annual or other? In this case, I would guess you’d want to go annual, because I think the sales cycle is going to be a little involvement in doing it. It kind of depends on the specifics of, is it just an add-on in their little app store or are you doing a one, two, three call closes and we want to do annual?
So, those were the first three Ps, now we do the market. The size, total reachable market, is the HR space big? It’s huge, right? It’s massive. There’s a lot of buyers out there. Ease of reaching them? Are the online? Well, of course. They’re on LinkedIn. Pay per click ads are going to work. They’re probably in a bunch of Facebook groups and Slack groups. There are a lot of places that you can reach them online, so I would say in general, not terribly hard to reach.
Is the market early or mature? Growing flat or declining? I would say it’s growing and it’s definitely not early, because there is a lot of HR tech, people ops tech. But I would say I don’t know what’s in between early and mature. I’m wondering if there’s maybe an in between moniker I need for that. But personally, I think it’s at a pretty good spot to enter because there is an ecosystem, money’s being spent, and you’re basically just attaching to an existing system.
Product founder fit. Well, we’d need a theoretical founder in this case, so let’s say me. What about my background and access to this market makes you think you should build this? So for me, I actually don’t have much access and I don’t think I should build this because I don’t really have… I don’t know many HR people and I’m not an expert in it. And then there was… Do you have tech chops and marketing chops? Unique advantage audience network in the space? Do you love the problem? So, these would be questions you ask yourself for almost all those. For me, it’s mostly not. I do not have a unique advantage.
And then pain to validate. How much time to market build an MVP, is an interesting one. So I do think early validation, for me, the next steps would be to talk to as many HR professionals as I could. The nice part is I’d start with JobAdder per what Jon Yongfook said. And I would try to find as many JobAdder customers as I could and have conversations. I would be in the other JobAdder forums. Is there a JobAdder Slack group? Anyone using that?
Can I go to BuiltWith and Datanyze and figure out who’s using using JobAdder and reach out with, “I’m not selling anything. I don’t have anything to sell you. I’m a developer. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m thinking about building something. Do you have this need?” That’d be a pretty good way to start validating that. And if people are clamoring for it and you get that urgency and importance, then that’s where I start thinking about, what’s the minimum code that I can write to validate this?
And maybe it’s no code, maybe it’s low code. I don’t know what their API’s like or whatever. But I think building a super manual… Imagine it sends an email that’s hard coded into a JSON file or a text file that you have. And imagine that to make a change to it, even to the wording, you have to go commit a change to the trunk and deploy it. That’s fine. That’s an MVP. This is a definition and you can build that out and make it better over time.
And then there are some things I didn’t include here that I probably need to add the framework of platform risk. How much platform risk if you just build on JobAdder? There’s definitely some, but in this case, how many ATSs are there? There are a lot, and there’s some leading ones and you could start building NPS tools for them. Although they may exist, this requires more research on your part. So overall, I like this idea. Do I think it could be a seven figure idea just doing NPS for JobAdder? Absolutely not. The market’s just not big enough.
But do I think that this could be a really interesting foothold or a wedge into a market, because doing things in public creates opportunity, right? It’s those who are shipping things that suddenly realize, oh, what if I pivot this into that? Or what if I add this extra piece to it? And suddenly, you build and build and you can find yourself expanding and building a pretty incredible business, even starting with small aspirations.
And the other idea I’m going to run through quickly was actually suggested by a Microconf Connect member named Jeff Gates. Jeff is an involved member of that community. And Jeff, I appreciate the suggestion that you posted. The idea software for independently owned airport hotels to rent out extra parking spaces for air travelers. And again, this appears in the YouTube videos of ‘SaaS Ideas I’m Surprised No One Has Built Yet.’.
And so, let’s talk about this. Software for independently owned airport hotels to rent out extra parking spaces for air travelers. So, the problem is we’re assuming, and we haven’t validated this, that independently owned airport hotels have parking spaces that they want to monetize. That’s the problem you’re trying to solve. I don’t know if it’s a problem. We need to figure that out. This would be part of the validation step of starting to talk to them. I also wonder, do not independently owned airport hotels need to rent out parking spaces and do they have a system? Because I like making one sale to Marriott, even if it takes a long time, and getting a whole bunch of seats. A whole bunch of hotels that have to pay rather than doing the one offs. Now, the one-offs will be easier upfront, but the big money will be with the chains.
So our two questions, is it important? And is it urgent? Is it an important problem? I don’t know. This is a tough one and this is where I need to have conversations with them. It sounds great. You’re going to make them more money, but if they’re not aware of this problem and you’re going to have to tell them you can do this and you should think about this… Imagine going up to the front desk and talking to a middle manager checking people in. You have to convince them that it’s important enough that then they bring their boss or then they talk to the owner of the hotel.
So unless hotels are already thinking about this, I don’t know if it’s important. The other thing is urgency. Well, it’s always urgent to make more money, but is solving this particular problem urgent or is remodeling their rooms or hiring the next waiter in the restaurant, are those urgent? Those are very urgent problems, because the hotel can’t function without them.
This one feels perhaps less urgent than what it takes to continue running the hotel, but the draw of money can sometimes provide urgency. I don’t know. I’m going to give this one a mid-grade. It certainly is not high on the urgency scale, I think. In terms of the purchaser, do independent hotel owners adopt new tech? A bit. I don’t think they’re jumping on it. They’re certainly not like web developers, designers, and all that. The example I keep using. I think they probably adopt it. It’s going to really depend, right? It’s going to depend on the owner, which I think is more in the brick and mortar. If you’re a lawyer or you’re a realtor or you’re someone who owns a hotel, you don’t necessarily care about the tech, you care about the problem they solve. So, I would say this is lower on the adopting new technology scale.
Are they willing to pay? Do they have the ability to pay? I would say usually they probably aren’t willing to, they probably have the ability. But in this case, I think I would structure the pricing in a way where I made a certain amount per spot that was rented or something to make it a no brainer, at least to start with, such that this became less of a concern.
And lastly, sophistication. Are they a consumer? Are they aspirational? Business or enterprise? I would certainly say they’re a business. Now some of these, if they’re sole proprietors, they can think a little, it can be a little cheap. I don’t know how big these hotels are. Certainly at airport hotels, I’m thinking, they’re probably big enough that most are owned by some type of corporation rather than an individual. It’s not a B&B with six rooms in it, right? These are going to be businesses run more like businesses, so that’s the sophistication I would put them at.
Now the pricing model is the subscription. Well, of course, because they’re going to be doing this on an ongoing basis. And so, if you can charge a monthly fee, great. This one I do think, especially early on, I would probably make it that no brainer pricing of, as you rent spaces out, we take a cut or a dollar per space. Not a dollar, but a dollar amount per space. Average avenue per account estimate. I don’t know, but I do know that to make this sale worthwhile, you’re going to want, I would say, at least… I don’t know. Four or 500 a month per account. And maybe it’s a thousand. You’re not going to know how many calls to close until you get into it. So, this is not something you’re going to charge 50 bucks, a hundred bucks a month for. Yeah, it’s just not going to be worth the effort.
And then in terms of the market, the size, I don’t know how big this market is actually, if we just look at independently own airport hotels, because most of the airport hotels that I see are the big name brands. They’re the Marriotts, the Hyatts and everything, so I don’t know. And I do have a question about that in my head that I would want to do more research.
How easy are they to reach? I think this is a tough one. Certainly not as easy to reach as HR professionals that we just talked to, right? It’s like where do people who own these hotels hang out? And you only want airport hotels, too, so that actually makes it tougher. So, I can imagine in-person events, the trade events where all the hotel owners go and there’s probably a trade magazine and trade websites and maybe some trade groups. That’s great. But are there airport hotel trade groups? Because it makes it harder to justify the spend if you go to this big event, but only 10% of the customers are airport hotels. That does pose a challenge.
Bouncing to product founder fit. This again is, what about your background in marketing and tech chops? It’s going to come down to you as the founder. I can’t imagine most founders would have a unique advantage in this space. And do you love this problem? I don’t know. I don’t know how many founders are going to love this problem. You also have to figure that out for your own. And then pain to validate, This one’s interesting because I think a conversations would certainly be 10, 20, 30 conversations. I need to have a lot to understand more about this. And then the second thing I’d be thinking is how can I build this with a minimum amount of effort for a pilot with one or two of these hotels?
And realistically, I think there’s going to be a lot of effort on the hotels part to block off certain spots, put numbers, put signs, say no one park here unless you have booked it through the XYZ system, right? That’s probably going to be more effort than anything. I think that you can do a responsive web app or maybe a mobile app. I would try to do it with one of these no code builders. This seems really like a CRUD app. You do CRUD plus payment, right? Create, read, update, delete. And then add Stripe payments in.
And so, the minimum amount could be a responsive web app. A lot of people are going to want to do it on their phone, not to administer it, but the consumer side, right, of people actually booking it. So, responsive web app or a mobile app would be great. And then some type of web admin that basically…
But I’m talking MVP. Do you even need a web admin or, I don’t think you do, because really it’s a matter of the hotel providing you with a Google sheet or a spreadsheet of these are the numbers of the spots and these are the prices or whatever it is. And then this is where you just stuff it into your database using, using SQL and you just go from there. You don’t have an admin console. You do everything manually from the start. And so now that it’s in that database, then the customer facing mobile web app says this is available on this date for this price. And when they click to buy it now, there’s a Stripe payments link. I forget the technical term for it, but it’s a pretty easy checkout process.
And that’s what I’d be thinking about in terms of this idea, is how can I validate it? So I’m less certain that there’s a desperate need for this one compared to the HR NPS idea. And so, how do we get around that? Well, we try to validate as much as possible and that’s through the conversations I said. And then that’s through not writing a bunch of code, but writing the minimum amount of code to get the hotel to try it out. You’re going to have to convince the hotel to, as I said, put up signage for parking spots, but also to promote it, right?
Because otherwise, I guess you’re going to be promoting. I haven’t thought through this part actually. Are you going to be promoting as the founder? I guess you’re going to want a two-sided marketplace, because you’re going to want interest coming to your site. Or is this something they’re promoting?
So that’s a whole… In the interest of time, I won’t go down that thread right now, in terms of how I think about it. But I hope that today’s episode, diving into the 5 P.M. Framework has been enlightening. I know that I got into some nitty gritty there and I appreciate you sticking with me. As I said, if you go to startupsfortherestofus.com and enter your email address, we will make sure that the full 5 P.M. Framework is sent to you via email.
And as always, I appreciate you showing up and listening as I nerd out on all things SaaS and startups. This is Rob Walling signing off from episode 628, and I’ll be back in your ears again next week.