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Streamlined Angles on Turbulent Technologies

Joel York

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Top Stories by Joel York

Tweet Me! We are witnessing a dramatic change in the way SaaS businesses are managed. While SaaS financial metrics, such as recurring revenue, acquisition cost, service cost, churn, growth and lifetime value have dramatically increased our understanding of the economics of SaaS businesses, they have proven inadequate for managing them. As useful as they may be, SaaS financial metrics look at the past, not the future. They can tell you that you have a problem with churn, but they cannot tell you what you should do about it. Motivated by the need to better understand churn, many SaaS businesses have been independently exploring a new class of customer success metrics and have begun to embed them in SaaS customer success workflows with the hope of preventing churn before it occurs. We are witnessing the emergence of The Metrics-driven SaaS business. Two weeks ago, I k... (more)

Breaking Through the SaaS Ceiling

It’s the dream of every Internet entrepreneur to build a business that goes viral. Yet the sad truth is that most do not. It’s hard to think of any other industry with such a winner-take-all mentality as Internet software. The volatile combination of small market entry costs and big network effects creates wave after wave of disruption and consolidation, and quite a few millionaires along the way. Alas, virality is an elusive goal, particularly in SaaS. For this reason, SaaS Don’t #10 insists that you should not depend on network effects. Instead you should focus first and foremo... (more)

Eleven Secrets of SaaS Product Design

SaaS product management professionals should always remember that there are four P’s in marketing, one being product. Unfortunately, software companies have a bad habit of thinking about product in isolation from the rest of the marketing mix. This is a particularly costly mistake in SaaS and is the root cause of many a SaaS Don’t. Unlike other businesses, SaaS creates a real-time, always-on connection between the customer and the company through the SaaS product. Smart SaaS product managers look to establish this connection as early as possible and to leverage it throughout the ... (more)

SaaS Growth Strategy | A Customer Lifecycle Approach

Driving sustainable growth is a challenge for every SaaS business from startups to public companies. In the beginning, the SaaS recurring revenue model seems like a dream compared to the revenue fits and starts of licensed enterprise software. But within one short customer lifetime, every SaaS CEO startles awake to the fact that the churn monster is always looking over your shoulder. In the short run, SaaS growth scales with customer acquisition, but in the long run churn kicks in and dominates even the most aggressive SaaS growth strategy, creating a SaaS growth ceiling that ca... (more)

SaaS Metrics – Viral Growth Trumps SaaS Churn

Everybody wants their Internet startup to go viral. But, just what does going viral mean? In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell spells out the mechanics of how ideas spread virally by modeling the roles of key individuals that he calls connectors, mavens and salesmen (highly recommended on the Chaotic Flow blogroll Worthy Reads). When it comes to the Internet, Josh Kopelman eruditely points out that you can’t go viral by bolting it on as a last minute marketing program. You must apply SaaS Top Ten Do #5 and build viral growth into the product. The aspiration of this p... (more)