Five Reasons for a New Saent

If you’ve followed along over the past twelve months, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been struggling to keep Saent in the air. Amidst this struggle, we’ve asked ourselves: why should we continue Saent, and if so, how? Here are the five reasons we came up with.

1. The original software, Saent 1.0, actually has some great elements.
Despite bugs, server outages, and other problems, we still get several mails per week of people who need, want, or miss the software (when it’s not working).

This forced me to revisit my original conclusion of giving up on software because we’re bad at it. In fact, quite the contrary: there are elements to the desktop version of Saent that really scratch an itch for people. This is a promising sign that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

2. Hardware is too complex for our current situation.
We’re pretty good at all the things others find hard about hardware: design, manufacturing, QA (thanks to my cofounder Russell, I must say). But right now, we simply don’t have the resources needed to run a hardware business: capital, manpower for support, logistics, and so on.

Having said that, I see a future for physical products in the Saent proposition, but we’ll need a solid and functioning business model to launch them from.

3. Nail the core loop before anything else
Almost every winning tech (software) product has an extremely simple “core loop” or feature that works and keeps people coming back. Whether it’s Facebook’s Feed, Asana’s task list, or Google’s Search home page, everything else is built around that central element of the product.

We never got to this point with Saent 1.0. We started adding all kinds of features before we nailed a core UX loop that systematically retained users.

The only way to create such a loop is to focus relentlessly on finding it in the early stages. Everything else regarding the product development should not be done at all, at least not until you hit that key functionality that keeps early users coming back.

4. The business model needs to be sound
We can’t get stuck in a unit-selling business model again (one-off sales versus subscriptions). Instead, we need to build a foundation of recurring revenue if we want to succeed. This is not easy and it will be a long and winding road, but it’s the only feasible path.

5. We still strongly believe in the philosophy behind Saent
Perhaps now more than ever, we need to find a more sustainable, balanced, productive, and fulfilling way of working and living. Saent can be, facilitate, and show that way. And that’s the most important reason why we need to keep going.

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