If you were in your twenties again, what would you focus on given the evolving trends in SaaS?
I wish I had that crystal ball, but a few higher-level learnings:
- We are still very, very early in mobile enterprise. B2B is 3–5 years behind B2C. Maybe even more in mobile. Many business processes that are field / mobile are still done on paper or in very, very simple apps.
- Most of the big, public successes in SaaS are now oooold. They are ready to be disrupted 🙂 Our hero companies like Box, Salesforce, Workday, Hubspot, Marketo, Atlassian have amazing CEOs and products … but are over a decade old, and in some cases, much older. They are just hitting their sweet spot as businesses, no question. Their momentum is huge. But it also means the small, innovative parts of the market are no longer of interest to them … the new trends are often too small. All the public SaaS companies are ready for disruption, at least in some small corner of their empire.
- Niche markets are more interesting than ever — if you do it right. It seems like every vertical, every niche that 3–4 years ago was a bit small … isn’t so small anymore. True, tiny niches of course remain so. Tiny markets are tiny markets. But what if you could do the one vendor in a vertical, and charge $20k, or $200k, or $2m a year? Could that build a $300m+ ARR business? More and more often these days, the answer is Yes.
- APIs, B2D and Everything-as-a-Service. Why build anything anymore that isn’t unique to your app? Why hire anyone that a service could provide instead — on demand? Every component of both software development, and businesses themselves, should be API’ified. We’re just getting going in the Everything-as-a-Service world.
Published on March 23, 2017