Top Ten Dos and Don'ts of SaaS

Build a successful software-as-a-service business

Copyright 2009 by Joel York at Chaotic Flow.

saas top ten dos and don'ts

Save it or share it with a colleague.

Click the image above to download the SaaS Top Ten PDF.

For more SaaS business strategy tips,visit or subscribe to Chaotic Flow by Joel York

Or, click below to read the SaaS Top Ten Dos and Don'ts online...

The Top Ten Dos of SaaS Success

SaaS Do #1 - Choose a Large Market

SaaS Do #2 - Create a Hub on the Web

SaaS Do #3 - Accelerate Organic Growth

SaaS Do #4 - Craft a Compelling Story

SaaS Do #5 - Build the Business into the Product

SaaS Do #6 - Reach across the Firewall

SaaS Do #7 - Monetize Creatively

SaaS Do #8 - Enable Mass Customization

SaaS Do #9 - Open Up to the Cloud

SaaS Do #10 - Leverage Your Community

The Top Ten Surefire Ways to Fail at SaaS

SaaS Don't #1 - Chase Elephants

SaaS Don't #2 - Waste Money Marketing Offline

SaaS Don't #3 - Launch without Online Trial

SaaS Don't #4 - Cover up Shortcomings with People

SaaS Don't #5 - Invest in Channel Partners too Early

SaaS Don't #6 - Bleed Cash Indefinitely

SaaS Don't #7 - Ignore the Long Tail

SaaS Don't #8 - Think You Can Control It

SaaS Don't #9 - Fail to be Creative

SaaS Don't #10 - Depend on Network Effects

Chaotic Flow

Streamlined angles on turbulent technologies

Software-as-a-Service Success

The Top Ten Dos and Doníts of SaaS Business Success

The Dos: Ten Proven Strategies for Software-as-a-Service Businesses

SaaS Do #7 Monetize Creatively

It has taken almost a decade for the software industry to absorb all the ramifications of moving from perpetual license pricing to SaaS subscription pricing. The longer payback period for investors, the headaches of high acquisition costs, and the upfront pre-revenue investments in infrastructure being just a few of the issues with which SaaS entrepreneurs and VCs have had to wrestle.

So, why go out on a limb looking for new revenue and higher margins by experimenting with even more unconventional monetization models? Won't this just make a bad situation worse? To temporarily borrow a well known trademark, the reason is simple: it's the network. If there is a common theme emerging from this short list of dos and doníts then this is it. It's the network. It's the Web.

SaaS is not software. New business value arises from the characteristic that your software-as-a-service offering, unlike licensed software, can become a network hub that can connect any business entity, user or system it touches to any other: your prospects, your customers, your partners, your customersí customers, your customersí vendors, your customersí partnersí customers, and so on all the way out to the edges of the Web. Given that value is created by the network, it follows that new network-based monetization opportunities are also created. Here is a quick (and very incomplete) list of new monetization opportunities open to software-as-a-service businesses.

Network-enabled services

Revenue models beyond subscriptions

The monetization opportunities open to you will depend on many factors, including the nature of your business, the attitudes of your customers and the sophistication of your product. But most importantly, it will depend on your own creativity.

[back to table of contents]