August 5th, 2014

Dear SaaS companies, we are not enemies but friends.


While catching up on the ol’ twitter feed one of my favorite tweeps (is that still a word we use?) Yong Fook, a serial entrepreneur with some awesome products, shared a post from his blog that spoke to something we’ve been seeing more and more lately: SaaS (Software as a Service) companies with ads using phrases like “Fire your marketing team” or “Fire your developer”.  As you can imagine, this kind of messaging does not jive well with us.

Why can’t we all just get along?

SaaS companies, which a lot of time were development companies in origin, seem to be out to get consultants lately.  But why?  Well to be frank, I think the fault lies squarely on our own shoulders.

Destroying trust, one botched project at a time

We talk to people every day who have been burned by their developer.  There is a massive influx of developers (and marketers, and designers, etc) of every skill level, but guess who gets hired the most?  Yes, the lowest bidder.  Guess who’s bidding the lowest?  Not the cream of the crop.

Unfinished projects, poor client management, and the tendency to vanish from the face of the earth has not really done a lot to damage a potential client’s perception of not only the quality of your service, but the quality of your character as well.  And these SaaS companies are capitalizing on that like there’s no tomorrow.

“It just works!” – Repetition does not truth make

It’s rallying cry of SaaS companies that want their customers to eschew all ties to their development team, but repeating it over and over does not make it true.  Customers see this and think “Well surely they know what they’re talking about!”, after all they built a business on it, right?

The web is a medium with tens of thousands of variables present in every interaction- server architecture, software platform, every node between you, the DNS, and the server, your own computer, browser, operating system, etc.

This is the perfect storm.  Fear and respect those who plumb its murky depths.

And confused customers abound

So where does this leave us?  

  • We have customers who have had bad developer experiences putting their lot in with the SaaS company
  • A SaaS company that dangerously over promises the flexibility of their platform
  • A lot of arduous phone calls, live chats, and general back pedaling until finally…
  • Compromise (noun): a solution in which none of the participating parties are satisfied

When it comes to providing our mutual customers with the best possible solution and experience, there’s no escaping the fact that we all need to get along.

Our powers combined

Ever seen a SaaS company and developer work together in the interests of their mutual customer?  It’s a beautiful thing.  I understand that straw man attacks with just a hint of confirmation bias are a time honored sales tactic, but positive reinforcement will always win out.

There are so many great SaaS platforms out there doing amazing things for their customers by embracing the developer community and creating an environment where both businesses thrive.

So come on, lets all stop and reflect on the truth of the situation- we’re better together.

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