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Make more informed decisions about SaaS.
Here at Satchel, we write SaaS buying guides. We try to identify the best-of-category tool for a typical early-stage startup based on rigorous, hands-on testing and standardized assessments. Along the way, we uncover and share info that should be obvious (but isn't), and point out any caveats and pitfalls you might encounter.
Our priority is to remain unbiased and reliable. We have no financial relationship with any of the products that we write about. We operate free of influence from any external organization or company. Learn More

The Best Store of Money

Last Updated May 06, 2020

For typical seed-stage startups, you'll earn tens of thousands of extra dollars simply by storing your money in a high-yield account. This goes a long way towards reducing your burn and extending your runway. We've spent several months storing our own fundraise in various places, and we believe Brex Cash is the best store of money for most startups (including ours).

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 38 min read

The Best Web Analytics Tool

Last Updated May 30, 2020

Without an event-based analytics setup, you won't know how your users are using your product. Michael Seibel would argue that this is just as important as actually building out the product. There are a lot of event-based analytics tools out there, but we think that Heap has the best tradeoffs for a typical early-stage startup.

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 25 min read

The Best Startup Incorporation Service

Last Updated May 16, 2020

Every startup needs to go through the company formation process. Errors in this process are typically costly. We talked to over 50 founders, and tested various startup formation services ourselves. Stripe Atlas is high-visibility, but we think it has misaligned incentives. Instead, we believe that most startups should be using Clerky to incorporate.

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 12 min read

The Best Live Chat Tool

Last Updated July 17, 2020

Of the founders we talked to, live chat was, by far, their favorite way to establish a direct line of communication between their startup and their customers. It's an effective way to answer questions about your product, hear direct feedback, get on top of bugs, and provide a direct line of support for customers. We think Chatwoot is the best choice for an early-stage startup.

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 14 min read

The Best Session Replay Tool

Last Updated July 28, 2020

Session replay tools create recordings of how your users interact with your product. This essentially allows you to be a fly on the wall as people are using your product or browsing your website. We think that LogRocket is the best default session replay tool, but Hotjar excels in two specific scenarios.

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 6 min read

The Best Payroll Service

In Progress — On the Editor's Desk

Payroll SaaS runs the spectrum, from more targeted tools (e.g. Gusto), to all-encompassing SaaS (e.g. Rippling, Zenefits), to long-established HR providers (e.g. Paychex, ADP). We'll be digging into what payroll functionality early-stage startups need, what they don't, and which product is best suited for an early-stage startup.

Summary: 1 min read

Full guide: 1 min read

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We're hard at work testing and writing more guides.
Some upcoming topics in the works:
Startup Bookkeeping / Tax Services
Startup bookkeeping services are unique in that they utilize a number of human-in-the-loop processes. This means that founder experiences are much more variable. We'll be doing a longer-term test of startup bookkeeping services (e.g. Bench, Pilot, InDinero), and reconcile our results with other founders' experiences.
Project Management
On the spectrum from Trello to Jira (the Atlassian span), there's also Asana, Monday, GitHub Issues, Pivotal, Linear, Basecamp, Wrike, and many others. Each caters to different project management approaches and have different tradeoffs. We're figuring out which products are best for each type of workflow.
ETL
Stitch and Fivetran are two main standalone players in the landscape of ETL tools, although there are also a scattering of other ETL tools out there. We'll be delving into them to evaluate differences and tradeoffs. This is a bit more of a mature-company-topic than our typical early-stage startup focus.
Static Site Hosting
If you have a static (or mostly static/JAMstack) site, how have your options for hosting evolved? Netlify and Vercel (formerly Zeit) have both just raised large rounds and have staunch supporters, but what is the improvement over Heroku, Surge.sh, or the reliable (and free) Github Pages?
Continuous Integration
What are the differences (if any) among the standalone CI/CD tools like CircleCI, TravisCI, and Jenkins? How do they compare against integrated CI tools like Heroku CI, GitLab CI, and Github Actions? Are they worth the extra work, or is integrated CI sufficient for a typical early-stage startup?
Company Knowledge Bases
There are a decent number of internal wiki tools (e.g. Slab, Slite, Github Wikis, and, of course, Confluence), as well as more generic tools like Notion. We're talking with founders and doing our own testing to figure out which work well for a typical early-stage startup.
Payment Processors
Conventional wisdom is that Stripe has the best dev experience, which is particularly important for young startups. But with the main competition (Braintree, Adyen, Checkout.com et al.) starting to reach feature parity, we're taking a look to see how conventional wisdom holds 10 years out.
Remote Work Communication
We're not particularly focused on evaluating the best videoconferencing tool (we think that Zoom is a good, well-scrutinized default). We're more intent on figuring out if more omnipresent remote tools (e.g. Tandem) are better suited for the "around-the-table" communication needs of an early-stage startup.
If you want to suggest a topic for us to dig into, or hear our preliminary findings & recommendations for any of these in-progress guides, you can drop us a line.