Autocompletion vs Automation

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The media cover at lengths how software is replacing people in more and more jobs. In parallel of this trend, I’ve noticed a growing number of what I call “autocompletion software”, which, instead of completely automating a task and taking the human part out of the equation, helps users accomplish tasks faster, or better, based on their input and the context (hence the autocompletion and not just automation).

The example that most people know is probably the text autocompletion that you see on web search engines: you start to write some letters in the search bar, and the search engine suggests complete words or sentences. …


In the past couple of years, the evolution of the UI/UX of developer APIs has been stunning: we went from very “rough” products, mainly composed of a text documentation describing an API that developers access through their terminal, to much sleeker and easier to use interfaces.

I currently see more and more developer tools that take the “Lego” approach: on top of their API, they offer modular blocks, ready out of the box, that users can combine the way they want to build what they need much faster.

This “Lego-isation” of developer tools UI/UX is materializing through the functional and visual aspects. …


Test new products, reach new user segments and acquire new customers

I covered this topic in more details in “A landscape of the major SaaS app stores”, but I believe we’ve entered the “SaaS app stores” era. The rise of SaaS platforms impacts many aspects of building a SaaS company, one of which is the go-to-market strategy. The way you develop and bring a product to a specific customer segment can be achieved differently if you leverage software platforms (such as Salesforce’s AppExchange).

In the rest of the post, I illustrate how founders can leverage SaaS app stores in their go-to-market strategy.

Testing New Products

Before the rise of SaaS app stores, the main way to test a new product — or a new feature — was, well, to build a product or add features to an existing product. Which generally takes a lot of time and resources. Now that many businesses use software platforms, another option is first to build a native plugin/ extension to validate customers’ need, and after to make a standalone product. …


Last year I explained in a video, embedded below, that I believed the B2B software industry was entering a new stage: the SaaS wave was now in its deployment phase, and at the same time, the next big innovation wave, driven by AI, was in its installation phase.

In the past months I’ve structured my thoughts about this topic, and in this post, I will try to expose how I think this AI wave will develop in the next years.

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As a side note, the “bigger picture” is the B2B software industry here. In my article “SaaS” is not to be understood as an industry, but rather as an innovation wave (product and business model innovation) which impacted the B2B software industry in the 2000s and came after the “on-premise” wave. …


We are in 2019, an unbelievable number of articles, guides, and other white papers has been written about customer discovery already, and yet, I feel like plenty of early-stage founders could spend much more time talking to potential customers.

This post aims to share a very simple and actionable plan to conduct customer discovery at early-stage.

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Goal: Talking to more prospects to articulate better Persona — Pain Point — Value Proposition.

Let’s start by defining what the goal of this customer discovery plan is: to articulate clearly Persona — Pain Point — Value Proposition.


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Before you jump in the comment section with your (Tesla) flamethrower to burn my “clickbait title”, let me share some context. Since I’m covering the rise of alternatives to VC funding in the SaaS industry, I’ve discussed with several people who are thinking about creating such financing solutions. What strikes me during these conversations (almost every time), is how bootstrappers are considered a homogenous category of founders, when in fact it’s much more nuanced than that.

I have the privilege to interact with some of them, and I definitely see very different profiles of founders who have a variety of financing needs. This is what I wanted to share in this article. …


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Most marketing tactics (content, social media, events, etc.) can be approached from the performance or the branding angle. For example, if you approach content marketing with performance in mind, you’ll focus heavily on tracking keyword rankings, traffic growth, conversion funnels (what content converts, how, where) and create content accordingly. But you can also approach content marketing from a branding perspective and focus more on “awareness”: the emphasis is not on lead and revenue generation, but more on how your brand is perceived.

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50 B2B software marketplaces listed & four observations

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50 Shades of SaaS App Stores - Spreadsheet

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Written by a VC 😂

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Since I started to cover the rise of SaaS companies which don’t necessarily want to take the VC path (or cannot), I regularly get asked to share the name of companies providing alternatives to Venture Capital. Clearly, this landscape is starting to evolve fast, and I meet more and more people who are working on new approaches to finance bootstrapped / profitable SaaS companies. As a consequence, I’ve decided to share a list that I will update regularly.

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Ceilings that can cap your growth

I recently read this fantastic article, Invisible Asymptotes, in which the author explains that one of the key things he was doing at Amazon (in the strategic planning team at the time) was to try to find ahead of time the different factors that could cap their growth. He calls these factors invisible asymptotes: “ceilings that our growth curve would bump its head against if we continued down our current path”. For example, they concluded that an invisible asymptote for them was shipping costs. It was the main friction that would prevent customers from buying more and more. They worked on solving this issue before it arose, and it’s how Amazon Prime was born. …

About

Clement Vouillon

@pointninecap Alumni

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