How to measure a good SaaS company

I had an enjoyable lunch meeting with a general partner in a leading Bay Area VC firm and during the discussion he wanted to compare notes on the way I evaluate a good SaaS company. I thought that my answer may be of general interest for employees or investors in the space- so here goes… Continue reading “How to measure a good SaaS company”

How to measure a good SaaS company

The iPhone Economy

You thought you only bought an iPhone. $199+ sales tax and you are all set. Little did you know that Apple disguised a little robot inside the iPhone that has one goal in life: boost the sluggish economy. Just like Bill Gates and his foundation Steve Jobs joined the philanthropic club of successful CEOs, dedicating themselves for the greater good- in this case, introducing the Apple version of the economic stimulus package. Continue reading “The iPhone Economy”

The iPhone Economy

Should you give your iPhone app for free?

I am in an iPhone mood. Just like the rest of the world. It will go away, I promise. Last week I tried to answer a more fundamental question: Should you build an iPhone app? Now that you built one: how would you price your iPhone application?

Here are some interesting statistics: based on Tech Crunch’s mid day iPhone App Store download statistics from Friday, the top 10 free apps had a total of 68,452 downloads where the paid ones (mainly games) got a total of 4,484 downloads. It means that only 1 of 15 downloaded app was a paid one. I suspect the overall numbers are even lower. Why? The ratio between the number one paid app (Monkey Ball) and the number one free app (Remote) is about 1 paid to 9 unpaid. If you look at the last apps in the top ten list the ratio is now 1 to 25- which means that the longer the tail is, the more unlikely you are to make money on your app. Continue reading “Should you give your iPhone app for free?”

Should you give your iPhone app for free?

Should you build an iphone application?

There is an incredible amount of buzz surrounding the launch of the iPhone app store today. You walk around University Ave. in Palo Alto, CA and it sounds like everyone is building an iPhone app… Before you had out and build one for yourself, here are some things to remember:

  • Watch the numbers– Apple is hoping to ship 10-12 million iphones this year. This is 1% of the total estimated phones shipments this year. When compared to the total number of phones in the world (3.3 billions), the share is even smaller. If your success rely on mass penetration, go look elsewhere.
  • Ignore the numbers- Continue reading “Should you build an iphone application?”
Should you build an iphone application?

How not to Measure Customer Satisfaction

Last week I wrote about measuring customer satisfaction using only one powerful question. Between then and now I was approached by two companies to gauge mine: Netflix and Telenav. I like both services a lot but Netflix proves time and again that they have mastered the web 2.0 techniques of measuring satisfaction and performance whileTelenav looks like it outsourced customer engagement to an agency from the 90s… Continue reading “How not to Measure Customer Satisfaction”

How not to Measure Customer Satisfaction

The Long Tail—A Short User Guide

The long tail has been here forever. Seth Godin ended his blog post about the topic with the following: “The question isn’t, “Is this real?” The question is: “What are you doing about it?” Since I aim to please, I sat right away trying to help the readers answering this question: What should I do about the long tail? Continue reading “The Long Tail—A Short User Guide”

The Long Tail—A Short User Guide

Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?

In a typical Silicon Valley speed, Facebook coverage moved from being all glamorous to more realistic coverage that focuses on the challenges ahead. It looks as if the company has matured in a matter of weeks and now needs to deal with the real world problems and not only with the hype.Seth Godin compared Facebook with good old Hotmail. He foresees similar monetization challenges for Facebook, since they never developed a permission asset and a real relationship with their customers. (It is amazing to see that the question of how to monetize a free service is still open, more than 10 years after Hotmail was launched.)

Alas, I am not going to discuss monetization today. I think Facebook has another big challenge for long-term sustainability (and they have $15B to sustain…): it does not solve any real problem for its customer base. Continue reading “Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?”

Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?