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

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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 Doníts: Ten Surefire Ways to Fail at SaaS

SaaS Don't #4 Cover up Shortcomings with People

Marketing a software-as-a-service application is more like marketing packaged software or consumer electronics than enterprise software. The reason is simple: enterprise software is delivered in an unfinished state. The so-called product is specified, configured, customized, integrated, tested and maintained from a base foundation to deliver a unique solutionĖa product of one. Taking a product from an unfinished to a finished state requires lots of direct labor. In a SaaS business, direct labor is your enemy. Automation is your friend.

It is easy to cover up shortcomings in your SaaS business with people. No online leads; go to a trade show. No online trial; give us a call. No online purchase; talk to a salesperson. Product too complex; speak to a services rep. Found a bug; contact technical support. Want to upgrade; speak to your account manager. When you neglect to automate core business processes and then cover it up with people, you ensure long-term unprofitability and engender a culture that undermines long term success.

Imagine that you are launching your product from a desert island with nothing but an Internet connection. Solve problems through automation, and then add people to push sales and service performance over the top, not to provide the basic function.

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