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Make more informed decisions about SaaS.
Satchel Guides is an initiative from Satchel to help early-stage startups by writing guides to SaaS. 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
Initial Formation
Summary: 1 min read
Full guide: 41 min read
Summary: 1 min read
Full guide: 13 min read
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Building Product
Day-To-Day Operations
Understanding Your Users
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.
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,, 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?
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, 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.
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