Paint By Numbers: From Productized Service to SaaS

Paint By Numbers: From Productized Service to SaaS

In which I try to convince would-be software entrepreneurs to not start a SaaS business immediately and, instead, start with a productized service (a type of consulting offering) and build from there.

I (patio11) presented this at Microconf 2017 Starter edition.

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Patrick McKenzie

April 16, 2017
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Transcript

  1. 3.
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  4. 11.

    THINGS YOU’LL DO RUNNING A SAAS BUSINESS ▸ Develop an

    app ▸ Design ▸ Testing ▸ Server administration ▸ Security ▸ Automated Deploys ▸ DevOps ▸ User management ▸ Customer support ‣ Monitoring ‣ Emails ‣ Invoicing ‣ Bookkeeping ‣ Marketing site ‣ Admin application ‣ Backups ‣ Data import/export ‣ Onboarding
  5. 18.

    WHAT MAKES GOOD PRODUCTIZED CONSULTING OFFERINGS? ▸ Operations: run a

    business process for them ▸ Reporting / Analysis: pull the numbers & make recommendations ▸ Training: teach people what you know
  6. 20.
  7. 21.

    WHAT TO CHARGE IF WE HAVE MULTIPLE PACKAGES? ▸ $49:

    I’ll teach; you do the work. ▸ $99: I’ll teach and inspire; you do the work. ▸ $249: I’ll teach, inspire, and get you started; you do the work.
  8. 22.

    WHAT TO CHARGE IF WE HAVE MULTIPLE PACKAGES? ▸ $49:

    I’ll teach; you do the work. ▸ $99: I’ll teach and inspire; you do the work. ▸ $249: I’ll teach, inspire, and get you started; you do the work. ▸ $499: … I’ll remind you that you have to actually do the work.
  9. 23.

    WHAT TO CHARGE FOR TRAINING ▸ On-site: $5k per day,

    minimum two days, you pay travel. $3k if you record it. ▸ Online (private): $250 a seat (or $5k) + $3k if you want the videos, for 1/2 day ▸ Online (public): $99 for a lecture, $249 a half day
  10. 25.

    THINGS TO BUILD, IN ORDER ▸ A landing page ▸

    Three artifact to demonstrate expertise ▸ A sales page for the offering ▸ A one month email course which sells offering ▸ A “premium” / “lead magnet” for the email course ▸ The actual offering
  11. 26.

    WHAT’S ACTUAL PRODUCTIZED CONSULTING HEAVY ON? ▸ Your raw brainsweat.

    You do you, very well, already. ▸ Repeatable outcomes which are visible to clients. ▸ Process, process, process.
  12. 27.

    TURNING A PERFORMANCE INTO A ROUTINE ▸ Do it once

    by the seat of your pants. ▸ Write down what you did. ▸ Do it according to the script. ▸ Automate parts of the script.
  13. 29.

    WHAT’S THAT LOOK LIKE FOR A REAL EXAMPLE? (BACKUP CZAR)

    ▸ 45 minute scoping call. ▸ Request for access to systems/services. ▸ “I’m going to do X for you every month. You will get your first X in Y days.” ▸ “I’ve done X. Here’s your beautiful report.” ▸ “Thanks for your business. We will X again next month.”
  14. 31.
  15. 33.

    A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE FROM STRIPE (FORUM STATS) ▸ Data

    Source: Admin login on Discourse. ▸ Value Added Work: Counting. ▸ Reporting: I update a spreadsheet (Google docs).
  16. 34.

    A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE FROM STRIPE (FORUM STATS) ▸ Data

    Source: A backup of our Discourse database. ▸ Value Added Work: Load database locally. Write SQL queries by hand. ▸ Reporting: I update a spreadsheet (Google docs).
  17. 35.

    A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE FROM STRIPE (FORUM STATS) ▸ Data

    Source: A backup of our Discourse database. ▸ Value Added Work: Load database locally. Execute a rake task. Output a CSV file. ▸ Reporting: Copy/paste the CSV file into a spreadsheet (Google docs).
  18. 36.

    A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE FROM STRIPE (FORUM STATS) ▸ Data

    Source: Integrate with Discourse via a plugin. ▸ Value Added Work: Load database in a VM. Execute a rake task. Output a CSV file. Save stats in persistent DB. ▸ Reporting: Output the graph to a URL, behind a login.
  19. 40.

    SOFTWARE IS SOCIAL ▸ Aggressively solicit invitations to colleagues early

    in onboarding flow. ▸ Write emails designed to be forwarded to other people. ▸ Integrate with Slack.
  20. 44.

    I LOVE TALKING TO PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU ▸ @patio11

    or patrick@kalzumeus.com or patio11@stripe.com ▸ bit.ly/atlas-mc17 <— If you want to incorporate with Atlas (and please talk to me!) ▸ bit.ly/patio11-mc17 <— free course about lifecycle emails ▸ https://stripe.com/atlas/guide <— Nuts and bolts of business ▸ https://training.kalzumeus.com <— You all should be on my email list.