materials I recommend for every SaaS entrepreneur – WAU
Anyone who knows me and reads my blog (which has been standing still) knows that I am in love with SaaS. I study a lot, I update myself and I like to share my learnings about the things I learned with the economics of recurrence. After all, Websites Are Us operates and grows using the SaaS model (CaaS, maybe? Hehe) But yesterday something happened […]
Anyone who knows me and reads my blog (which has been standing still) knows that I am in love with SaaS.
I study a lot, I update myself and I like to share my learnings about the things I learned with the economics of recurrence.
After all, Websites Are Us operates and grows using the SaaS model (CaaS, maybe? Hehe)
But yesterday something happened that made me think about this post. I heard, from my friend Rafa, the following question: Diego, what do you recommend books for those who are starting out in the SaaS world?
At the time, I stopped, thought and said: I’ll think a little more about the subject, I’ll send you an email later, will you? As I always hear this question, this time I set out to go a little deeper.
No sooner said than done. It was a difficult choice, after all, I didn’t want to recommend books too much and leave people lost, but I also didn’t want to be superficial.
So at first I tried to recommend only 3 essential titles.
Essential Saas Metrics
This is a simple and didactic book, written by my friend @Leandro Faria (founder of SaaSmetrics). It is the first book I always recommend, as it helps SaaS startups to measure themselves in the right way, since day 1.
I remember well that when I and my partners (Edmar Ferreira & Vitor Peçanha) started to undertake, it took us a long time to understand how operating a SaaS business is different from operating a conventional business.
It took so much work to learn this, that at the time I even translated an article on the subject to help new entrepreneurs. Reading this book, the entrepreneur already starts the right way.
From Impossible to Inevitable
If the first recommendation is elementary and fundamental to begin with, the second is almost a promise of growth.
From Impossible to Inevitable is a guide that shows the SaaS entrepreneur where he can go and brings some of the best practices in a simple and clear way.
This book has such a wide menu of ideas that it gives a new entrepreneur a global view of what it is like to scale a startup at high speed and what are the fundamentals needed to get there.
Read a summary of this book here.
If you read the first recommendation, you already understood about the cash flow challenge that the SaaS businesses face, right? If not, don’t worry, you’ll understand when you read it.
This challenge means that in SaaS startups, capturing Venture Capital investments is something very common and often necessary for companies that want to grow super-fast.
This book teaches the inexperienced entrepreneur in a simple and practical way how the world of angel investors and VC funds works. It is highly recommended, if you intend to seek resources for your startup.
Okay, until then I had separated the 3 books “to start”. But again I stopped to think and felt that I should share other things that also helped me a lot in the beginning.
Books help, but “gold”Happens every day, in the most diverse corners of the internet.
O “gold“Actually, they are simple things, that take me a few minutes a week (ok, sometimes hours), but that helped me a lot to better understand the market I was entering.
The idea here is to give content to you who are starting to drink at the source and be able to go it alone. Here we go:
SaaS blogs and guys to follow
If you are entering SaaS, you have an obligation to read these blogs and subscribe to their newsletters:
Jason Lemkin, in my opinion, the guy who contributed most to the recent growth of the SaaS industry.
Few guys have been so generous in sharing the challenges of being an entrepreneur in this field.
Furthermore, he has 2 exits as a founder, is a very active investor in the segment and organizes the largest SaaS conference in the world. Mass, right?
Before Mr. Lemkin, David already shared a lot about SaaS on the interwebs and today he remains more relevant than ever.
The guy is a board member of Hubspot, has done IPOs and invests in the market. The SaaS Metrics 2.0 article is probably the article I have most shared in my life.
This guy was one of the first investors in Zendesk and had 2 other exits on the market. Shut up and just subscribe, hehehe!
The guy founded Pardot (marketing automation) and sold the company to Salesforce for $ 100 million in a few years.
The coolest thing about it? Bootstraped. He is also an investor and has one of the most active blogs in the industry.
An investor specializing in SaaS who has the most data driven blog in the space. Required. Thanks for the reminder, @Robson!
Quora about SaaS
Imagine a place where several founders from some of the largest SaaS in the world answer your questions? And is the content high-level? This is Quora and you have to be there. Follow and participate in the following topics:
If you like it, I suggest you follow me there too. Sometimes I participate in topics that I find interesting.
Financial models and other materials
As the market matures, more and more companies and founders share models of financial spreadsheets and benchmarks. This is another very valuable part of “gold“.
There are dozens of great options out there and it is worth doing a lot of research to put together your SaaS business plan. I will leave here 3 models that are fantastic and always ended up coming back in them:
Finally, since my list was getting longer and longer, I thought. Why not give the Bonus a little historical context for the entrepreneur interested in SaaS.
2 slightly older books that help you understand how things were in the past and how the SaaS market came about.
A new database startup appears. 1980s. What could go wrong? Softwar tells the fantastic story of Oracle and Larry Ellison, its CEO.
The book gives us a cool insight into how the world of enterprise software worked before the advent of SaaS.
The cool thing is that Larry Ellison had a young prodigy on his executive team, called Mark Benioff. This guy went out to start his own startup, and Ellison himself invested in the company.
Let’s go to the second “historical” book tip:
Behind the cloud
Salesforce is the largest SaaS company in the world, with nearly $ 7 billion in recurring annual revenue. She practically coined the term SaaS and Behind the cloud tells that story.
Benioff created an entire industry from scratch (and of course, using some of what he learned at Oracle too) and he shares his memories in this book.
Have you ever imagined launching a startup with a big party and a show that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? Yes, this guy did that and more. Read a summary of this book here.
That’s it for today! I take the opportunity to leave an invitation here: If you have a SaaS startup, be sure to mark which readings / materials and the “gems” that helped you most in your learning.
* Content originally posted on Diego’s LinkedIn Pulse. You can see more cool content like this, weekly, by following it here!