I have created SaaS products, classifieds ad site, 80+ WordPress plugins, Membership sites etc. To see them go to: http://club.orbisius.com/downloads/ or visit my WordPress profile at http://profiles.wordpress.org/lordspace/
It's good that your app has some traction. I have a classifieds ad site too (targeting Canadian market). Initially I was wondering if I should use WordPress or created it using MVC I picked the MVC approach. The thing is when doing the MVC you have to implement most of the functionality yourself (or your dev) which is time consuming.
In hindsight I think I should've used WordPress and then bought some plugins to add to the missing functionality.
I'd say do the incremental improvement approach because the things you listed would take time & cost a lot.
By 7.9M do you mean 7.9MB ? The app can be 50MB in size but what is important is what the HTML it is generating.
About the monetization you can do some contextual ads and some affiliate links.
You have to be specific when talking to your dev what you mean by analytics. Say when a user does this I want this and that to happen. You can list some scenarios and how the reports should look like.
I think you're not fully embracing the lean startup methodology.
Is your SaaS handling some operations that are a matter of life and death or critical mission thing for an organization?
if the answer is No start with simplest option and do a soft launch and invite some carefully selected (50) beta testers.
Get the service going and gather feedback as much as possible. Then when you're at version 1.5 or 2.0 you'd know the problem you're solving a lot better.
Orbisius & qSandbox
That's an interesting question.
It's good that you asked and not just followed the gut feeling.
I have done both. Built something that I like and other products (WordPress plugins) based on some research or finding that somebody had a problem that needed solving.
Keep in mind whatever you pick you'll need to stick with it for at least 4-6 months to see some results. It also depends how much time you'll put into marketing to make it successful.
As I mentioned in my previous answers go to a local Startup Weekend event and look for potential ideas, co-founders, suppliers etc.
Ok to answer your question. Do some research in areas that you're most passionate about, research competition, find out how you can be better and different. Then create a STATIC site that shows what your app is going to be about.
Then go to potential clients (or attract them via ads) and ask for feedback....you can also ask them to pre-order....that will be a great validation.
And finally, make sure you feed you mind with good entrepreneurial content ( Mixergy, EO Fire, Smart Passive Income, Ask Altucher etc) so when the times get tough you'll be prepared.
You don't need to sell your services just locally.
You can sign up for sites like odesk and/or setup a site to offer.
- server audits
You can focus on folks who use self managed servers such as DigitalOcean, Linode etc.
You can have one time tasks or monthly/yearly maintenance packages.
Also make sure you feed you mind with good entrepreneurial content ( Mixergy, EO Fire, Smart Passive Income, Ask Altucher etc) so when the times get tough you'll be prepared.
In order to get unstuck you need to feed your mind and body with good stuff. Exercise, try to eat as healthy as possible, sleep.... and most importantly listen to some podcasts such as Mixergy, EO Fire, Smart Passive Income etc.
Take some steps every single day.
This is indeed a massive project. I am sure it will have to be integrated into an existing system or at least provide ways to share data. You've got to assemble a great dev team and use some agile techniques to manage changes as they will come.
I'd say break it down in modules and aim to release 1 module every 1-2 months so the client sees progress and starts benefiting from the platform as soon as possible.