Essays

Dec 7, 2020
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Listen to an audio take on this story on Capiche's SaaS Radio Hour.

“Software is dead,” declared Salesforce’s original marketing at the turn of the century. It was “the end of software,” software as we knew it anyhow, as the hopes and dreams of a generation went up in dot com bubble smoke. Maybe…

Nov 6, 2020
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The craziest app came out a month after the App Store opened to the public, charging $999 for a digital red gem and the text “I am rich.” It sold six copies and shut down the next day.

The next craziest app came out April 1, 2014. You’d tap a button to send your friend a one-word message: “Yo.”…

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 27, 2020
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It almost felt like common knowledge that software was increasingly expensive. Yet was it, really? Had the move from boxed software and one-time licenses to subscriptions and SaaS had actually resulted in higher prices, we wondered?

So last year we picked 100 popular business software, dug through…

Jul 15, 2020
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The tipping point was May, 2011.

For the first time, the same number of people searched for app as software, ending software’s decades-long reign as the popular term for the stuff we run on computing devices. Program, application, software, applet, all replaced with a three-letter-word.

When Steve…

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…

Jan 24, 2020
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You found new software, it’s free to try for a couple weeks, and it turns out to be perfect. All you need to do is to close the deal and pay.

Here there be dragons. You're signing up for a subscription, something you'll pay for over time. It's something you want to get right. Yet every part of the…

Jan 17, 2020
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Education is expensive. If there’s one tiny bright side to the costs of tuition and textbooks, though, it’s that tech is far cheaper as a student.

It’s not only the regular back-to-school discounts on laptops or Apple Music and Spotify’s half priced student plans that help. You can also get much of…

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 21, 2019
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Grab coffee at the same café every week, and you’ll rarely think about the order or price. Switch up your routine, though, and you’ll stumble over the order and fumble for additional change. Travel to a new country for a cognitive overload not only in language, sights, and smells, but also in the…

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…

Oct 16, 2019
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It starts with a shiny new app in beta, free while you try it out. It sticks, and its paid plans make sense. You happily upgrade and bring your team onboard.

Then one day you get an email about amazing new features and their associated rise in price, or add another team member and notice the price…

Oct 3, 2019
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The best time to get software discounts is when you first start your business—and to get those discounts, you need to sign up with the best deal. $1,000 off AWS or 30% off HubSpot might sound great, until you realize you could get $100,000 in AWS credit or 90% off your first year of HubSpot with the…