I have had SaaS on my mind for quite awhile. I have been slow to write my thoughts here, but after some recent conversations I thought I would pick things back up again. You see, in going through my “sandbox projects” it was interesting to see that I have tried a few different business models in the past; consulting/development (Dogsly/TodaysKicks), advertising on DoBlu.com and Multiplayergames.com, consulting, and of course subscription (SubscribeToIt.com). Yes the last one was a joke, but I still learned a lot!
For those that do not know, SaaS stands for Software As A Service – which is another way of saying a subscription web service. Typically these services present some kind of utility via a web app or online software that is provided in a freemium model. Many SaaS offerings have a monthly subscription plan behind them.
Since the early days of the Internet, charging a monthly subscription fee to users is a way to ensure revenue for a product or offering from the start. Its also a way of quickly quantifying the value of a customer. Some early stage companies shy away from charging, at least at first in favor of growing their network.
For me the appeal of these types of businesses are very simple; you are either a customer or you are not.
This is a binary outcome for every person. The idea that someone can sign up for a trial, see if the service provides value, then decide if they want to pay a monthly subscription rate is a very clean way to measure the effectiveness of the product. It is also a great way to quantify the value of customers you can send to the top of the conversion funnel (those that sign up for the trial).
Trying out a business model is of course not a reason to build something, but when I came across a recent problem that was being experienced by companies both big and small, I recognized a solution that I could provide that just happened to by in the form of a software as a service web app. I became so passionate about solving this pain for early stage companies that I have spent the past few months figuring out the best solution.
Any project I have launched to date has been a challenge for me and allowed me to learn new things, and this one is definitely the most ambitious yet. Exciting things ahead!