It seems a little late in the game for me to be asking a question like
“What is SaaS?” But, I’ve always harbored a few embarrassing little
secrets on the subject and I think it’s time I came clean.
There is a classic Harvard Business School case study called Marketing Myopia
by Theodore Levitt that is familiar to every MBA student since the
60′s–the moral of which is not to define your business too narrowly lest
you become obsolete. Well I don’t think software is going away any time
soon and neither is service, but what about software-as-a-service? Between
the rise of the cloud and the fall of the browser, SaaS seems so passe’.
What Is SaaS?
Is SaaS software delivered as a service? As in renting, not owning the
software. Or, is SaaS a service layered over software? As in a complete
solution, not a tool. SaaS is both.
Software delivered as a service means on-demand. ... (more)
A few months back, Gartner placed big data at the peak of its hype cycle for
cloud computing, meaning most big data products are solutions looking for a
problem. I always find this bad entrepreneurial habit to be one of the most
frustrating of our industry. Having recently joined Meltwater as head of
marketing and product (BTW Meltwater is hiring marketing and product
managers!), I think a lot about big data and how to unleash it’s value to
solve important business problems, because that is our business. How does big
data go from “so what” to “must have”?
The Big Data Challenge
As the launch date approaches for Markodojo, my agile marketing SaaS startup,
I’ve been thinking a lot about how my SaaS experiences have shaped my
thinking on agile management, and visa versa. SaaS and agile present
complementary aspects that enable a uniquely symbiotic relationship. Agile
aims to help businesses increase responsiveness to customer needs, while
laying a foundation for continuous improvement. SaaS opens up real-time
customer communication and product delivery channels, while simultaneously
establishing a long term customer relationship. The high velocity at which... (more)
Over the past few years, the SaaS community has gained a solid understanding
of SaaS financial metrics, as well as many of the operational principles
required to achieve them. However, there has always been an obvious gap
between what happens on the top line and what happens on the ground. It’s
one thing to claim that a 50% reduction in churn will result in a 2X increase
in recurring revenue, but it’s quite another thing to make it happen.
Achieving that 50% reduction in churn is usually a tedious and unreliable
process of trial and error. This is about to change. As the SaaS ind... (more)
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)