Who Are You Building Your Business Applications For?

I have had the privilege of meeting with many early stage business software CEOs and teams over the past 5 years since moving from an operational role to an investing role.

Each of these teams is passionate about the products they are creating. However, many, in my personal opinion, share something in common that may prevent them from growing their companies as fast as they might otherwise.

Most are so intent on building their products for and then marketing/selling to daily practitioners they forget about creating a version of the product or a set of features in the product for the people who aren’t likely to use the product very often, or at all; the people who must approve the expenditure.

Back To The Future….

I recently had the opportunity and pleasure to speak on a panel held at Oracle HQ in Redwood City, CA. It was a small conference – sponsored by Oracle – and attended by current Oracle ISVs to discuss the issues of converting and/or building a SaaS business. The panel was moderated by Kevin Dobbs with Montclair Advisors .

Joining me on the panel were Byron Deeter, a GP at Bessemer Ventures and Joel York, CMO at Xignite. I really enjoyed the panel members and the audience interaction and was reminded again just how bright the people are throughout Silicon Valley and how fortunate I have been to work in an industry where the US still continues to lead the rest of the world.

The Value of Growth for SaaS Companies

I received a report from SaaS Capital titled “Leaders and Laggards: SaaS Growth and the Cost of Capital”. The subject of the report is how the public markets value a high growth SaaS company (their definition of high growth is >25% YoY).

The report states, “13 public SaaS companies tracked by Pacific Crest Securities have increased in value 40% since the beginning of 2008. During that same period, the S&P index has yet to return to its pre-recession value.”

More on User Experience – An Interview with Jon Innes

I recently made a post positing the notion that “killer applications” start with “killer UI”. Unfortunately, the vast majority of business applications are sorely lacking many of the ease-of-use UI features that consumer software is known for.

I thought it might be interesting to follow up that post with an interview with Jon Innes. Jon and I were colleagues at Siebel Systems and he has worked on enterprise software for Siebel and SAP as well as consumer software for companies such as Intuit and Symantec. He is currently a consultant who helps companies understand how to improve user experience. Jon is a member of UPA, HFES, and ACM CHI with a graduate degree in human factors psychology from New Mexico State and imminently qualified to discuss the impact and importance of UX/UI. He can be reached at info @ uxinnovation.com.

For 2011, I Gave My Blog a CrowdSourced Facelift — Well, Sort Of…

So, you may have noticed the new look for my blog and want to know, “Why the change?”

When I originally started this blog, I did it as an experiment; I didn’t give a lot of thought about the long-term breadth of topics I wanted to cover beyond “Software as a Service” nor the blog’s overall positioning. I thought that if it garnered a few followers I would circle back and consider its “look and feel” and branding.