Streamlined Angles on Turbulent Technologies

Joel York

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Top Stories by Joel York

A few months back, Gartner placed big data at the peak of its hype cycle for cloud computing, meaning most big data products are solutions looking for a problem. I always find this bad entrepreneurial habit to be one of the most frustrating of our industry. Having recently joined Meltwater as head of marketing and product (BTW Meltwater is hiring marketing and product managers!), I think a lot about big data and how to unleash it’s value to solve important business problems, because that is our business. How does big data go from “so what” to “must have”? The Big Data Challenge Big data is a by-product of the Internet and the ever increasing power of computers. Kind of like petroleum sludge. We know there must be great value buried within this vast, raw resource, but the challenge lies in figuring out how to turn it into something useful like plastic, or the other th... (more)

Breaking Through the SaaS Ceiling

It’s the dream of every Internet entrepreneur to build a business that goes viral. Yet the sad truth is that most do not. It’s hard to think of any other industry with such a winner-take-all mentality as Internet software. The volatile combination of small market entry costs and big network effects creates wave after wave of disruption and consolidation, and quite a few millionaires along the way. Alas, virality is an elusive goal, particularly in SaaS. For this reason, SaaS Don’t #10 insists that you should not depend on network effects. Instead you should focus first and foremo... (more)

What Is SaaS? | Software-as-a-Service Myopia

It seems a little late in the game for me to be asking a question like “What is SaaS?” But, I’ve always harbored a few embarrassing little secrets on the subject and I think it’s time I came clean. There is a classic Harvard Business School case study called Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt that is familiar to every MBA student since the 60′s–the moral of which is not to define your business too narrowly lest you become obsolete. Well I don’t think software is going away any time soon and neither is service, but what about software-as-a-service? Between the rise of the cloud ... (more)

Crowdsourcing Web Traffic Control: SaaS Startup CloudFlare

Like most small website owners, I have a very limited view of what really goes on under the covers at Chaotic Flow. I know my own source code and I have Google Analytics and basic Web logs, but without a fleet of operations and security IT staff, I really have no clue who is coming to my website beyond the browser types, IP addresses and keywords they use. I routinely have to battle comment spam and I’ve definitely fended off a couple of real attempts to hack my site. It’s amazing when you consider just how small a part of the Internet Chaotic Flow represents, yet the bad guys ha... (more)

Eleven Secrets of SaaS Product Design

SaaS product management professionals should always remember that there are four P’s in marketing, one being product. Unfortunately, software companies have a bad habit of thinking about product in isolation from the rest of the marketing mix. This is a particularly costly mistake in SaaS and is the root cause of many a SaaS Don’t. Unlike other businesses, SaaS creates a real-time, always-on connection between the customer and the company through the SaaS product. Smart SaaS product managers look to establish this connection as early as possible and to leverage it throughout the ... (more)