Essays

Oct 30, 2020
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Listen to an audio take on this essay on the SaaS Radio Hour’s podcast.

Flat-pack Ikea furniture can hardly rival the permanence of an oversized mahogany desk. But the mind’s a fickle thing, and you might value a desk you spent an afternoon assembling more than it’s worth.

That’s what a Harvard…

Aug 6, 2020
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One day, Internet Explorer was nearly the only game in town, powering 96% of website visits at its peak in 2002. Then, quickly it turned into the app you only used to download Firefox or Chrome, or so the joke went. And then Internet Explorer died and turned into Chrome.

Empires rise then quickly…

Jul 2, 2020
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When Jiro dreams of sushi, you’d hardly imagine him slicing sashimi with an ordinary, dull knife. Nor would you expect Usain Bolt to cross the finish line in shoes you could pick up at an outlet, the London Symphony Orchestra to grab the cheapest violins at the local music store, or Ford to take on…

Jun 11, 2020
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SaaS won. Piracy died.

It’s not that you can’t pirate software today; there are still cracked versions of Office and Photoshop out there.

But today’s best business software can’t be pirated. You can’t torrent Slack, pirate Salesforce, crack Notion to give you more features for free.

“Hardware…

Feb 7, 2020
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“The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.”
~ William Gibson

It’s hard enough to convince people to pay for software, much less unfinished software quits working merely 9 months after purchase. Not Apple. When the first beta of Mac OS X came out in 2000, fans paid $29.95 for the…

Dec 13, 2019
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This is the best thing you could buy, promises the internet, the holy grail, the be all end all, everything you’ve ever wanted. This product does everything at once—or maybe it only does one thing, but it does that task better than anything ever did it before.

You don’t have time or budget to try…

Nov 13, 2019
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A cardboard sign and chartered plane doesn’t make an airlines, nor a video and signup form an app. But neither does a full-fledged airlines—complete with check-in counters, planes, pilots, and safety videos—guarantee success, nor the most polished app in the App Store.

“Ideas are worth nothing…

Nov 5, 2019
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When Google launched their online office suite with Docs and Sheets in 2006, feature parity with Microsoft Office wasn't the focus. Neither was a price tag of free, or cross-platform support by virtue of being a web app. Instead, Google focused on the pain of emailing documents back and forth to…

Oct 30, 2019
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Software’s not all that expensive when you buy one app for one person. It saves time and makes you money, and all’s well.

Then your team grows, and by the time you pay for G Suite, Slack, GitHub, and all your other work tools, software’s not such an innocent expense anymore. Pay $75 per person for…