2011: More of the same. only worse

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

What's new for 2011? What I expect is that we'll see many of the same things we've been seeing for awhile in software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing. Bottom line, don't expect a huge marketing budget windfall in 2011. Not much, really. If you were looking for my "top ten" list of dramatically new trends for the new year, sorry to disappoint you. only more of it.

What we look for in early-stage SaaS startups

The Angel VC

Costs of goods sold are minimal for a company selling software over the Web, and costs like product development decrease as a percentage of revenue when you get to bigger scale. I recently wrote that investors (myself included) should do a better job of making their investment criteria transparent to founders. Today I'd like to tell you a bit more about what we at Point Nine Capital are looking for in SaaS startups (other sectors are something for another blog post).

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Targeting the Fortune 5,000,000

The Angel VC

Most of the large, old software players are focused on, and in some cases trapped into, the classic enterprise software sales model of selling complex, on-premise software for extremely high prices using large sales forces.

Where to start with SaaS marketing

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

So you say you want to launch a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. And you need to find some customers. So where do you start? If you're like a lot of folks, your first thought will be about a web site, search engine optimization, and adwords. Or maybe a webinar series or a social media campaign. Any of these tactics might work in your customer acquisition plan, so they may be the place you end up. but they're not the place to start. Why not? Think a step ahead for a moment.

"Launching a web startup became 10x cheaper."

The Angel VC

It’s said that a decade ago, you needed millions of venture capital in order to launch an Internet startup whereas today, thanks to open-source software, cheap hardware and new ways to acquire users for free (in particular virally via Facebook/Twitter and with SEO via Google), you can do the same with a small fraction of that. Being competitive by 2011 standards (often) means that you need an iPhone app.

The land of a thousand niches

The Angel VC

One of the things that Rory talks about is the surprisingly large size of a surprisingly large number of niches in business software: "A phrase that stuck in my mind from a 1994 software report, was the description of the business software market as a 'land of a thousand niches'. [.] I believe this is indicative of what will be a multi-year wave of SaaS based application software companies in specific verticals or functional areas, generating $1Bn valuations."

Get your SaaS customers off to a healthy start

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Renewals are vital for both health clubs and SaaS companies Health clubs, like software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, depend on renewals. I recently switched to a new health club. It's better maintained, friendlier, and less crowded than my old club. I also like that there's no up-front membership fee, just a monthly subscription. But making a change from my well-worn routine, set in place over 12 years, could have been a difficult jump. New location, new equipment, new people.

Naming SaaS solutions and escaping the 1990s

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

One afternoon in the Spring of 1993 in a conference room in San Jose, California I learned that product versions for software are meaningless. Version numbers are irrelevant for SaaS solutions Which brings me to the naming conventions for software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. In the old world of desktop applications and on-premise software, we made a big deal about new versions. It helped us sell more software.

SaaS 100

What do you mean by "marketing?"

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

And in the case of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, marketing is also responsible for helping to retain and renew existing customers. I'm not always sure what people mean when they say "marketing." PR agencies sometimes call themselves "marketing agencies." So do some graphic design firms. Even the outfits that sell tchotchkes - the stuff you give at away at tradeshows, annual sales meetings, and holiday parties - call themselves "marketing firms."

SaaS advantages in a volatile market

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

But along with head and neck restraints to deal with volatility, businesses should be looking at software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions as well. There's no new hardware or software to bring up or take down. For the last few years, NASCAR, Indy car, and Formula One drivers have been wearing a special head restraint, known as a HANS (Head and neck support) device. It's designed to prevent severe injuries from violent whiplash when the race car suddenly decelerates, as in a crash.

Feeding the content monster

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Cost-effective marketing requires lots of content Cost-effective marketing, the kind that's essential for software-as-a-service (SaaS) success, demands content. Marketers beware! There's a ravenous beast on the loose in marketing land, and it's hounding us mercilessly - days, nights, weekends & holidays - with an insatiable craving. Feed me. Feed me. Feed me."

SaaS 100

The Girl from Ipanema and the SaaS value proposition

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offers this same kind of instant gratification for information and applications. The girl from Ipanema and Spinal Tap were stuck in my head - an unusual soundtrack that continuously looped through an entire weekend. You know how that happens with a song. You catch a fragment in a supermarket or an elevator. And then without warning, there's a smooth bossa nova swaying through your brain and you can't turn it off.

Good news & bad news about SaaS

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

With the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, vendors can build a sustainable source of long-term, predictable revenue. The good news about the SaaS subscription model: long-term paying customers. The bad news about the SaaS subscription model: long-term paying customers. As long as the subscription fees cover customer acquisition expenses and other costs, the model should support a profitable, growing business. So far, so good.

SaaS marketing, baseball and the batting order

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Don't get lost in individual tactics I hope I haven't lost the non-baseball fans among you, because there's a lesson in here for software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketers. I recently read " Three Nights in August, " a wonderful book about the "game inside the game" of baseball. The author, Buzz Bissinger, shadowed St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa through a three game series against the Chicago Cubs.

Marketing numbers can lie

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

Marketers, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketers in particular, can't afford to make decisions based solely on gut feelings or anecdotal evidence. I barely passed an accounting course in college. The only thing I remember was a joke about "debits by the window and credits by the door." I didn't understand the joke then, and I'm still confused by T accounts now. Thankfully, in a stint as a bank credit analyst, I did finally gain some fluency with business numbers.

SaaS, Flexibility & Office Furniture

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

I learned something recently about software-as-a-service (SaaS) from a table. They're not locked into expensive hardware and software that become obsolete over time. This isn't just any table. This is a bivi table made by Turnstone , a division of Steelcase that specializes in office furniture for small, innovative organizations. This table starts as a work surface. With an add-on "back pocket," it becomes a workstation. Drag two of them together and it's a shared work area.

SaaS 100

The Amazon outage and SaaS marketers' response

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

I've been at a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider when the solution's gone down. I'm sure the recent service outage at Amazon Web Services (AWS) had lots of engineers scurrying around, looking for a fix. The operations and support people work through the night and weekends. Marketing people aren't completely off the hook, though. They should be doing some scurrying around too. It's not all bad news First, though, some good news on the reaction to the AWS outage.

Portfolio Update Part 3

The Angel VC

To date, more than 80,000 companies have signed up for the software, which is marketed using a freemium model, making us the largest provider of our kind in the Polish market. Propertybase, based in Munich, offers a simple-to-use yet powerful software solution (do you see a pattern here?) Here's the third part of my 2010 portfolio review. If you're new here, please start with part 1 , move on to part 2 and then (hopefully) return to this post.

Developers, developers, developers…developers, developers, developers

The Angel VC

If there’s one thing that all fast-growing technology startups have in common, it’s that they’re constantly looking for great developers. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got it right: My portfolio companies are no exception, almost all of them are looking for engineers in various roles right now.

Building connections to your SaaS customers

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

But besides that, there is a lesson here that could be useful to software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketers. I'm one in a million. Actually, I'm number 172,370 in a million. So says the thank you note I recently received from Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn, as a way of showing his appreciation to me and the other first million LinkedIn users.

SaaS 100

Please don't sell me stuff I don't need

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

The truth is, though, there really aren't a lot of enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that can be used by everybody. My regular readers can skip the next two paragraphs. I need a minute to talk to my brethren in the PR community. privately. To the PR folks who have been pitching me on stories about computer viruses, streaming music to cars, online advertising solutions, and 3D mice, please stop.

How not to calculate a SaaS marketing budget

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

I hear this question often from software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers: "How much should we spend on marketing?" If these marketers have experience working in the traditional, on-premise licensed software world, they're usually familiar measuring marketing spend as a percentage of annual revenue.

Social media is a good fit for SaaS

Practical Advice on SaaS marketing

And they're an especially good fit for software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses. NPR's Fresh Air host, Terry Gross, recently interviewed Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter. She asked him, once the founders created Twitter, how did it catch on. Stone's candid answer, "Well, it didn't at first." He explained that for the first nine months of the product's existence, the only people using it were friends and family.

Geckoboard – Your Business in Real-Time

The Angel VC

The talent and the experiences to create software that looks and feels great is rare and probably under-rated, but Paul and his team have it. I’m thrilled to announce that together with Robin Klein at Index Ventures , Dave McClure ’s 500 Startups fund and my friend and former Atlas Venture partner Alexander Bruehl I’ve made an investment in Geckoboard. Geckoboard is a beautiful real-time status board that lets businesses keep an eye on all the indicators that matter to them.

2 Takeways From the CarrierIQ Situation

Aber Law Firm

Ok this CarrierIQ situation is really crazy, but there are some things (from a SaaS Attorney’s perspective) that every software or SaaS company should think about. While this is a complex question (and as of today all of the facts are not known) what we do know is Carrier IQ is the software provider and the carriers have licensed their software for use on mobile devices for sale to consumers. Software Litigation SAAS attorney

2 Takeways From the CarrierIQ Situation

Aber Law Firm

Ok this CarrierIQ situation is really crazy, but there are some things (from a SaaS Attorney’s perspective) that every software or SaaS company should think about. While this is a complex question (and as of today all of the facts are not known) what we do know is Carrier IQ is the software provider and the carriers have licensed their software for use on mobile devices for sale to consumers. Software Litigation SAAS attorney

2 Takeways From the CarrierIQ Situation

Aber Law Firm

Ok this CarrierIQ situation is really crazy, but there are some things (from a SaaS Attorney’s perspective) that every software or SaaS company should think about. While this is a complex question (and as of today all of the facts are not known) what we do know is Carrier IQ is the software provider and the carriers have licensed their software for use on mobile devices for sale to consumers. Software Litigation SAAS attorney

2 Takeways From the CarrierIQ Situation, from a SaaS Attorney

Aber Law Firm

Ok this CarrierIQ situation is really crazy, but there are some things (from a SaaS Attorney’s perspective) that every software or SaaS company should think about. While this is a complex question (and as of today all of the facts are not known) what we do know is Carrier IQ is the software provider and the carriers have licensed their software for use on mobile devices for sale to consumers. Software Litigation SAAS attorney

a16z Podcast: Software has Eaten the World…and Healthcare is Next

Andreessen Horowitz

Back in 2011, a16z cofounder Marc Andreessen first made the bold claim that software would eat the world. In this episode (originally recorded as part of an event at a16z), Andreesseen and a16z general partner on the bio fund Jorge … AI, machine & deep learning bio healthcare history software

Power Laws: A Look Back To Where 20 SaaS Break-Out Companies from 2012 Are Today

SaaStr

Let’s take a look back at where HubSpot, Upwork, and others were in 2011 GAAP revenue — and where they are today. Learnings for this year, for 2011 GAAP revenue (Inc. in 2011 GAAP revenue. in 2011 GAAP revenue. in 2011 GAAP revenue.

Best Business Process Management Software

Neil Patel

It’s actually quite simple: business process management (BPM) software. BPM software helps organizations of all sizes streamline operations and minimize waste. The Top 5 Options for Business Process Management Software. Any organization can benefit from implementing BPM software.

The decade software ate the world

Inside Intercom

Putting narrative order on the past decade, a 10-year-period that has somehow remained stubbornly nameless, is quite the challenge, but it’s impossible to make sense of the 2010s without understanding the role of software.

The Blockbuster Software M&A Market of 2018

Tomasz Tunguz

2018 is a blockbuster year for software M&A multiples. The growing sizes of the software market. The pace of innovation within software. As I wrote earlier this week, forward software multiples have reached eight year highs at 8.5x The prices companies fetch relative to their revenues surpass any of those in the past 7 years. Billion-dollar plus acquisitions in 2018 have commanded a median 17.7x trailing enterprise value to revenue multiple.

SaaStr Podcast #218: Twilio Founder, Jeff Lawson & SendGrid CEO, Sameer Dholakia on Why Developer First Is A Maturation In The Supply Chain Of Software

SaaStr

What does Jeff mean when he says, “the developer first approach is a maturation of the supply chain of software?” Really quickly, I am a software developer and I’d started multiple companies before Twilio. Number one, we use the power of software to iterate quickly, to build ideas for our customers, put them out in front of customers quickly, learn, and then iterate. Every time it happened I would say I’m, I’m a software developer.

The First Generation of the Talent Software Wars

Tomasz Tunguz

in December 2011, and Oracle bought Taleo for $1.9B In the late 1990s, two of the dominant talent management platforms were founded. Taleo and SuccessFactors grew very quickly after they entered the market, bringing novel delivery to the human capital market. Both companies eventually offered talent acquisition, performance management, and learning tools for human resources teams. But they started in different places.

What is a good SaaS Churn Rate?

SixteenVentures

Churn is the reason that – though you acquired a lot of new logos in 2012 – you had no significant year over year growth from 2011. Is 5% a good monthly SaaS Churn Rate?

Churn 103

47 – SaaS Customer Support, with Sarah Hatter

Natalia Luneva

Sarah is the founder and CEO of CoSupport, a business that has helped over 200 companies create excellent customer support experiences since 2011. . When she was working in customer support at a software company 10-15 years ago, she had a customer who wrote her 2.5

Know your user cohorts

The Angel VC

So, for example, I5 is the number of users who signed up in January 2011 and were active in February 2011, and I6 is the number of users who signed up in February 2011 and were active in February 2011. Example: I20 shows the number of users who signed up in February 2011 and were active in March 2011 (=user lifetime month #2 of the February 2011 cohort). cohort analysis metrics saas software as a service startups

Is Strategy Dead in Tech? The Winners Don’t Think So

OPEXEngine

Although the San Jose-based company has always been a leader in developing world-class creative software like Photoshop and Illustrator, its go-to-market model (licensing boxed software) eventually slowed it down. At a Glance.

Nate Schmidt Joins Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator as Managing Director

TechStars

It drove me to take a leadership role in the Birmingham startup ecosystem where I’ve been one of its most active startup mentors since returning from Seattle in 2011. In 2010 my brother Mike and I took our e-gift card startup, Instagift , through Techstars Seattle.