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Beyond the Code: A Conversation with Christophe El-Khoury on SaaS, AI and the MERN Stack

Updated: Jun 10

The world of software development can be a labyrinth of acronyms and ever-evolving trends. For entrepreneurs and business leaders, navigating this complex landscape can feel daunting.

But what if the key to success wasn't just about writing code, but about understanding the bigger picture? 

In this conversation, we delve into the world of technology with Christophe El-Khoury, a Fractional CTO with a unique perspective. We explore the challenges and opportunities facing the SaaS industry, the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the workforce, and the potential of the MERN stack. 


About Christophe

Christophe El-Khoury is a Fractional CTO, B2B SaaS Founder and Software & Business Advisor. He specializes in advising startups, SMEs, and business and technology leaders on navigating the ever-changing landscape with strategic insights into software architecture, development, and team dynamics. 

Christophe El-Khoury - Fractional CTO, Software & Business Advisor, Mentor

More about Christophe: LinkedIn Profile | Website 

Onto The Conversation with Christophe 

Would you give me a quick overview of what you do as a CTO?   

I'm currently helping startup founders and SME leaders figure out their proper way forward from a strategic technological, procedural, and cultural standpoint.  


How experienced are you with SaaS or software development services?   

This is somewhat of a vague question. I would say I'm very well experienced?  


What problems have you faced in the SaaS/Web App Development industry? 

The knowledge gap. As a technology-first person who wants to build their SaaS / Development firm, business and people knowledge are greatly lacking to proceed forward. As a business-first person who wants to build the same, technical knowledge is rare and scarcely present.  


What do you think stops most people from starting a SaaS business? 

Fear and lack of knowledge. We live in an era where building software has never been easier and more convenient. With a bit of research (to know how easy it is to actually build software), testing, and asking the right people the right questions, almost any person can build their SaaS business. What usually keeps people away from that is the fear of trying and failing, often the result of catastrophizing the potential results of trying and building a SaaS.  


How do you see the industry shifting with the growing popularity of AI?  

AI - the way it is today - is an amazing addition to the workforce. It is a greatly impactful tool, and just as any tool, its outcomes almost entirely depend on how we, humans, utilize it. I see a lot of uncertainty, change, and general anxiety regarding AI and the destiny of employees in that regard. At this point, both employees and employers have to meticulously redefine their relationship with themselves, their business, and their colleagues. I discuss this a bit more thoroughly here.  


How familiar are you with the MERN stack? What makes it appealing to you? 

Most of my career is based on the MERN stack; discarding the R part, I'm not a frontend guy. Its flexibility, maintainability, and expansive use-cases, specifically because one (two if you count TypeScript) language can virtually allow you to build across the entire web.  


What changes do you envision that a tool like, which integrates generative AI and the MERN stack, can bring to the industry?  

I think has the potential to greatly expedite any software development lifecycle, provided it is implemented properly and the technicalities behind it are either fine-tuned or planned against. Ideally, I would like to see it helping experienced developers build sharp, production-ready code, acting as their right-hand, and helping non-technical people prototype any idea by simply submitting their prompt and a few wireframes.  


How are MERN stack developers charging for projects? What are rough timelines for delivery?  

There is no standard in my opinion. Whether it's a project-basis, hourly-basis, or a monthly retainer, the type, amount, and time of delivery and payment is constantly changing. The challenge not only lies within the budget and timeline, it's also the code quality, which I have realized has been greatly reduced lately.  


How appealing is the pricing model of and professional services?  

Quite appealing. Given the price model, and how recent the service and product are, it would require a bit of testimonials and influencer marketing to get the ship to take off. 


Would you suggest our product/services to other business owners? Why?   

I already have :) 


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