Simon Willison’s Weblog


14 items tagged “saas”


Build v.s. buy: how billing models affect your internal culture

Something to pay attention to when making a build v.s. buy decision is the impact that billing models will have on your usage of a tool.

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What are Good Conferences for SaaS Marketers?

Business of Software has a very good reputation.

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Log Management: What is the complexity behind Loggly and similar services?

Pricing isn’t about how hard it is to build something (and building a reliable, highly-scalable centralized log search and archiving system isn’t trivial). It’s about how much value it provides to the customer.

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Why do so many London based SAAS startups only price in dollars?

UK customers are used to paying for some things in dollars. US customers are likely to be very uncomfortable paying for something in a foreign currency. So if you are only going to support one currency at first, it makes sense to pick dollars.

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What should be my minimum requirements for a cutting edge SaaS business product?

That depends on your customers. If you’re building software for banks or hospitals you probably need to support older versions of IE. If it’s for software companies or web freelancers, requiring a modern browser version is fine.

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What are the best ways to get traffic to my SAAS project management app?

At your stage you won’t be able to get meaningful paying customers from regular web traffic. You need to be building up your customer base manually, one at a time, through a high touch sales process.

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What are some early examples of SaaS?

37 Signals’ Basecamp was one of the pioneers if modern SaaS back in 2004.

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What is “Software-as-a-Service”?

Software which is hosted for you by the providing company, so you don’t need to install and manage it on your own servers.

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What is a good, simple SaaS tool for testing SOAP calls?

I doubt you’ll find one. The words “Simple” and “SOAP” don’t deserve to appear in the same sentence, and SOAP is massively unfashionable these days (for good reason) so you’re unlikely to find any modern SaaS companies developing tools for it.

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What are the pro and cons of outsourcing the coding of an SaaS tool?

Pros: if you can afford it and are completely incapable of hiring an in-house development team, it will get a version of your software built.

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What are key considerations when building behind the firewall web apps?

CSRF and XSS are still important: don’t leave any security vulnerabilities which might allow an evil website out on the internet to run JavaScript that steals data from your behind-the-firewall web application.

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What are some websites that can help me have people upvote or downvote a list of ideas?

Any web framework would be capable of this. In fact, it’s such a simple project it’s s great opportunity to build the same thing in more than one framework and find out for yourself which one you like best.

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What are some good analytics software for SAAS products? wrt to customer churn, segmentation of customers and product metrics

The two big ones at the moment are and They are both excellent, and both offer free trials... do I suggest giving both of them a go and seeing which one you find most useful.

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What are people’s top cloud business apps for 2014?

The combination of GitHub and Campfire has been working extremely well for us.

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