Introducing Staq.js πŸ‘‹

Posted March 14, 2021 by Matt Roll ‐ 2 min read

In the first half of 2020, I built three web applications. They all used the same stack: React and Firebase. The combination of these two tools is the fastest way I know how to build out prototypes for web app ideas.

But I noticed something frustrating while building these three projects. I had to write a bunch of the same code for each one. In fact, I found myself straight up copying files from the first project to the other two. And the code I was copying was code that has to exist in one form or another in just about every web application out there: components and logic for handling users, helper functions for interacting with the database, backend logic for managing subscription billing, and standard components like the landing page and footer.

So I decided to create Staq. An open source library I can call into whenever I need standard SaaS building blocks.

I initially toyed with the idea of charging for Staq as a code generator. But I discovered I care a lot about the potential this tool has for unlocking productivity on the web, and I don’t want to limit the userbase to people who can justify paying to use it.

When I look at my experience building out product ideas, the boring and time consuming part is the work necessary to hook together these amazing services like Stripe and Firebase that make it possible to run a successful business from your couch with almost no startup capital. I think this type of boring plumbing is a significant barrier to entry that stops a lot of potentially great and profitable businesses from getting started. And just like the role Stripe and Firebase play in payments and hosting, I want there to be a product that lets you get over that barrier quickly and without upfront payment. As an open source project that is available as a free npm package, I think Staq can fill that role.

The project is super early and has a long way to go, but the proof concept is working. You can follow the Getting Started guide on the documentation site and have a SaaS app up and running in minutes, complete with user auth and subscription billing. I’m even using Staq to power a side project of mine over at storyblanks.com.