I wanted to create a SaaS and failed before I started

Pitis Radu
4 min readFeb 13, 2022


Sometimes the road is closed and you don’t see the stop sign

if only someone told me what I was doing wrong, I would have saved a lot of time

The Problem

After a very long period of time, I finally self-diagnosed myself as a social media addict. Mostly YouTube, which I’m not sure if I should categorize it as one, but that was the main culprit with my problem.

I would find myself opening a new tab and entering YouTube whenever I was bored, so a lot of times. Sometimes I would just take a quick peek and close it fast, sometimes not. I realized this is an issue and I thought of ways to fix this. After all, modern problems require modern solutions.

The Idea

I started browsing the internet for something and I found some interesting Chrome extensions that would help me with this. Unfortunately, the free ones were lacking in some features I wanted and the one that had a lot of features was $10/month. Just for blocking some websites + time-based blocks it seemed kinda a lot. Of course, they had a lot of extra features, but I was not interested in them.

The Solution

This is where I thought I would break in. They had more than 1mil downloads so it seemed people used this. I wanted to create something with less features and cheaper. I already had the tech stack in mind and I started working on it.

I started by creating a very simple one. Just manually inputing the sites in a JS file. Then slowly I started adding an UI, creating more features and improving the design. I also created a roadmap so that people could see the process and even a website. Unfortunately those are not available anymore, but you can still try the extension, if you’d like.

It first hit 50 users, then 100, then 200, even 300. I was getting excited as it seemed people were interested.

The Other Problem

All this was happening in June 2021. I created the extension using Manifest Version 2 (MV2), which was the current one at the time, but then… I read about a new version, Version 3, coming out next year. This may not seem important at first, but one of the biggest changes was that it’s removing the exact 1 feature I needed for the site blocking to happen, a.k.a. webRequestBlocking . So basically without it, I could not block websites as I did before.

Now you may think:

Don’t ad-blockers use this feature?

And you would be right. Ad blockers use webRequestBlocking as well, to stop the annoying ads that you get in your browser. Some of the ad blockers that you use will become obsolete and useless if they do not make the jump to MV3. As stated by some big players in the community, it is not easy though.

They would still let people to download MV2 extensions until 2023, but after that you are not allowed to update said extensions, with them not being download-able from June 2023. But this meant spending time and resources on updating an application that had a lifespan of less than a year.

The Hard Decision

So with this in mind, I decided to drop the project. After some digging, I actually found a feature from my router that accomplished exactly what I needed, so a chrome extension was no longer required for my use. Plus, since I didn’t even battle-test the need for my chrome extension, maybe other people wouldn’t even buy what I offered.

Some time later…

After all was said and done, I started thinking:

But what will happen with the other projects that use this feature?

I am not sure, they may find a way to bypass the need for the chrome API. It really depends on the way they coded their extension, but after a few weeks, I actually found a way to bypass it and make my extension work with MV3. It was so simple, I was rather baffled.

Instead of blocking the request, I could just redirect it in a content script. It was so easy that I couldn’t believe I thought of it before. So if you want to use my extension, please feel free to let me know what you think of it.

The Lesson

My main point while making this blog post is for people to first start with the homework. Try to see if your solution already exists in some form, what are your personal resources (time & money) that you can invest into the project and try to find out all the roadblocks before starting your venture.

Thanks for reading!



Pitis Radu

Privacy advocate, writer of open-source software, entrepreneur. I work on challenging projects and I enjoy writing about them.