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Software Ideas Newsletter

ISSUE #46
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In This Newsletter:

OPPORTUNITIES: Click to learn how opportunity sizing works

1.Level 3 - Bootstrapper: A eLearning solution that aims to tackle the biggest problem paid creators face - attracting customers.

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2. Level 2 - Indie Hacker: An OKR software that is specialized in helping early-stage companies acquire traction.

3. Level 1 - Micro-SaaS: A new take on blog comments.

Opportunity 1:
Mighty Networks

Background [1][2][3]:
Estimated revenue: $7M
Number of employees:
Funding raised: $66M
Founded: 2017

Price [4]:
  • Free Trial
  • Free Plan: $0
  • Business Plan: $81/user per month billed annually or $98/user per month billed monthly
  • Community Plan: $23/user per month billed annually or $28/user per month billed monthly
  • Business: Custom Pricing
Opportunity Size:
Level 3 - Bootstrapper

Summary:

Mighty Networks is a community-building platform that allows its users to bring all their "community-based" programs under a single, owned brand.

Using this platform, creators, brands, and instructors can build anything from websites to online courses and even full-fledged interactive communities.

Mighty Networks users love this tool because it gives them complete control and ownership over all their community.

Market Background:

Mighty Networks is an all-in-one platform for building online communities and community-driven businesses.

In this section, we'll be discussing the industry within which Mighty Networks competes and why businesses choose to pay for this software over the competition.

So let's begin by briefly discussing why tools like Mighty Networks exist and how they're directly tied to a thriving industry that is currently trending upwards.

Over the last 10 or so years, we've witnessed the emergence and growth of several "community-focused platforms" such as Circle, Tribe, and our current opportunity, Mighty Networks. But why exactly is this industry growing so quickly?

Well, the first thing we need to point out is that while tools like Mighty Networks are branded as "serving community-driven businesses," what they actually do, in layman's terms, is simply support expert or knowledge-based online businesses such as online courses or membership programs.

Therefore the success and growth of software in this category is directly tied to the success and growth of the online "expert/knowledge-based education" industry they support.

An industry that has been experiencing tremendous growth recently.

Within the last few years, online businesses in general such as e-commerce, affiliate marketing, blogging, and knowledge-based businesses have become billion-dollar industries that show no signs of slowing down.

Focusing specifically on e-learning, however, the recent boom in adoption due to the Covid pandemic has placed this industry on track to hit $449.1 billion by 2027 [5].

Online course platforms such as Udemy and Kajabi have attracted tens of thousands of instructors while community platforms such as Circle and MemberPress have built user bases of thousands of educators [6] [7].

Today, "knowledge entrepreneurs" have successfully carved out an entirely new industry and built multiple successful six, seven, and even eight-figure businesses simply by packaging and selling expertise in a range of niches [8] [9] [10].

But where exactly do tools like Mighty Networks come in?

Well, to support these educators, several new industries were also created around various aspects of online education.

And these industries now provide tools, resources, and software that help educators build, manage and grow their online education businesses.

Companies like Teachable, Udemy, Kajabi, and even Mighty Networks can be categorized as learning management systems that help educators administer, manage, and deliver online education courses and programs.

And this category alone is expected to grow into a $28.1billion industry by 2025 [11].

So, why do businesses buy and use Mighty Networks specifically?

As I stated earlier, Mighty Networks provides a host of tools and features to help educators grow their expert/knowledge-based businesses. However, this software is different from platforms like Kajabi or Teachable in that it is focused mainly on community building.

Many of Mighty Networks' core features are community-building features, making it more suitable as a membership business platform than a powerful online course business platform.

The reason I prefaced this section with this information is because the two main reasons I've found customers use this platform (based on customer reviews) are tied to community building.

The first reason is that Mighty Networks offers an extensive range of community building features. 

Using this software, educators can build powerful communities that leverage features such as activity feeds, direct messaging, user profiles, and much more.

In fact, according to several users, the platform is powerful enough to replicate virtually all features of Facebook groups.

And the second and final reason users pay for this software is an important feature lacking in social network platforms like Facebook - the ability to fully control their communities.

Unlike with social networks like Twitter, and Facebook, Mighty Networks users completely own their communities which means they have full access to member data and analytics and can avoid headaches such as fluctuating community guidelines, algorithm changes, and platform outages.

Customer Sentiment:

We've been using Mighty for a while now and it has been the best decision we've made for developing our community. Having the options to create different groups, chat topics, and courses has really allowed us to segment our customers into the groups we need to start important discussions around topics in the classroom.

What do you dislike?
The courses feature still needs a bit of work in terms of usability. There are times where spacing might not always work properly and the attachments feature seems like it needs to be updated. Nevertheless the course builder is still a great tool, it just needs some more work."

- Joshua R. [12]

Competitor Analysis:

Tribe.so: $1.7M ARR [13]
 
Price: [14]
  • Free: $0
  • Plus: $85 per month
  • Premium: $85 per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for Pricing
Tribe.so is a community platform that allows users to create and manage fully customizable online communities.

Unlike Mighty Networks which can be used to build many different platforms such as online courses, membership sites, etc., Tribe.so can be used to do just one thing - build powerful communities.

And although this makes the software more limited in its functions on one hand, it also means it can focus on doing its "one thing" spectacularly well.

Tribe.so is packed with powerful community-building features such as machine-learned activity feeds, virtual currencies, advanced gamification, and much more.
Kajabi: $60M ARR [15]
 
Price: [16]
  • Free Trial: 14 Days
  • Basic: $119/user per month billed annually or $149/user per month billed monthly
  • Growth: $159/user per month billed annually or $199/user per month billed monthly
  • Pro: $319/user per month billed annually or $399/user per month billed monthly
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that helps users build, market, and sell knowledge businesses such as online courses, membership sites, and coaching programs.

The main difference between this tool and Mighty networks is that Kajabi offers more advanced marketing features while Mighty Networks offers more sophisticated community building features.
Hivebrite: $10M ARR [17]
 
Price: Available Upon request

Hivebrite is an all-in-one platform for creating and managing private communities.

Just as with Tribe.so, this platform is more niche than Mighty Networks in that it was built specifically to help users do one thing - build and manage powerful community portals such as alumni associations, volunteer associations, and corporate alumni associations.

Some of Hivebrite's current users include NYSE and Imperial College London. 

Down-market Opportunity:

Pain Points:

Solution:

MVP:

Distribution Channels:

Conclusion:

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  • 💰 Over $50,000 in discounts for starting your next software company through our partnership with Secret.
  • 💖 Many more perks on the way, including a private community exclusively for Software Ideas members!

If you're a founder who is actively looking to start your next software company, click here to sign up for a premium subscription!

Thanks for Reading!

Talk to you next week!

- Kevin Conti
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