Slides from "Decisions You Must Make to Grow" Your SaaS Product Business" (Presented at Dreamforce '13 Founders Forum)
Cloud Business Fundamentals: 5 Rules To Live By (Decisions You Must Make to Grow Your SaaS Product Business)
Presenting at Dreamforce '13 as part of Founders Forum
A hands-on session around company and product strategy which will help you make decisions on how to grow your SaaS product business, including how to:
-Measure growth and define success
-Identify common roadblocks to company growth
-Determine where to focus your efforts
-Refine company & product portfolio strategy and trade-offs
-Assess different potential opportunities
Thursday, 11/21/2013 10:00 AM
Click here to learn more about my session in the Dreamforce app
Recently a CEO suggested I consider doing some short term consulting work for his company. He wanted to know what questions I would ask to figure out how I could help his product management / products team.
This is what I came up with (what do you think?):
-How do you balance short term improvements with long term innovation and new revenue opportunities?
-How do you make product decisions using different market, portfolio, and client analysis techniques?
-What are the components (including success metrics) you include in a business case or MRD for different situations?
-Which among the many different PRD or requirement documentation options do you use?
-How do you change the organization of a team and its processes based on the stage and size of the product line and the company? (i.e. How agile should you be?)
Andrew McAfee’s (website and blog) is one of the main advocates in the Enterprise 2.0 movement. He actually coined the term and recently he released a book entitled “Enterprise 2.0” which I reviewed here. Enterprise 2.0 is the use of next generation collaboration tools in the enterprise or as he describes it the “use of emergent social software platforms (ESSPs) by organizations in pursuits of their goals”
McAfee believes in the potential impact of Enterprise 2.0: “ESSPs will have about as big an impact on the informal processes of the organization as large-scale commercial enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, Supply Chain, etc.) have had on the formal processes.”
I met him recently and I heard a few things:
- During the last 5 years collaboration technology tools have gone from bad to good. (However still email is the dominant collaboration tool; and email is “where knowledge goes to die.”) These new tools allow for creativity and less structured interactions.
- However organizations still don’t have the recipe to rollout these capabilities.
- Two recipes for failure:
o overstructuring offerings from the beginning (need to keep open)
o thinking “if they build it they will come”
- A few ideas for success
Hansen: Should a Collaboration KPI be Participation Volume? Is a KPI for your Overall Business Success the Number of Meetings Held?
Morten Hansen is a UC Berkeley School of Information professor and a part-time professor at INSEAD, France. He recently wrote my favorite book on “Collaboration” which I review here. Published by Harvard Business Press and written by an INSEAD/Berkeley professor, it is naturally very business focused which is probably why I found its insights so valuable.
Recently I had a chance to meet with him and I heard a few things:
-Diagnose your collaboration goals and problems first; tools aren’t necessarily required to get it right
-Create a business case and then back in to your tool strategy
-Consider changing incentives and creating communities of practice
-KPIs for collaboration need to consider benefits and costs; you can’t just measure volume of activity. It would be like measuring the number of meetings as a KPI for business success.