Monthly Archives: June 2011

How SaaS and Agile Software Development coevolve as a disruptive innovation

Agile Software Development is continuously gaining momentum in the last decade since the introduction of the Agile Manifesto in 2001. Software-as-a-service (and cloud-based web applications in general) is also gaining momentum in the last decade, roughly during the same period. Is this a coincidence?

Time and again, the technology landscape exhibits parallel fast advancement of synergetic technologies and methodologies.

For example, in the late 90’s, my colleague Elan Dekel has started a company called EarthNoise, offering a video sharing website. Sounds familiar? In 1995, a company called YouTube was founded with a similar idea. It was acquired in 2006 by Google for $1.65b. EarthNoise, on the other hand, went out of business as early as 2001. In the four years that passed, broadband internet access became popular, and so did digital video cameras. The three areas—video sharing, digital cameras and broadband internet—evolved hand in hand to create a new phenomena—user generated video on the web. The ability and desire to share videos online drove increased adoption of broadband internet and digital video cameras (and yielded brand new products such as the now-defunct Flip). The increased consumer demand for broadband and cameras drove down prices and accelerated technology advancement. This in turn increased adoption of video sharing sites. Now, video sharing sites are an inseparable part of our lives.

Arguably, the success of the iPhone is—similarly—largely due to technologies that co-evolve with smartphone advancement: 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi connectivity, touchscreen technology, low-consumption processors and—at least to a certain degree—HTML5.

I would assert that software-as-a-service and agile development methodologies are likewise coevolving and drive each other’s adoption. It may not be obvious, but this creates a spiral effect (or—in Geoffrey Moore’s terms—a tornado) of disruptive innovation that will eventually displace many of the software development paradigms.

Here’s why.

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Creating a SaaS Marketing Site in 10 Minutes

I was recently amused to bump into what seemed to be a silly offer: instead of developing your own marketing site for your
software-as-a-service business, buy a ready-made SaaS template site, swap in
some text and perhaps a few images, and get yourself a working site in minutes.

SaaS Template Site ScreenshotI had never spent time thinking which professions could use
ready-made site templates. If I had been forced to provide a quick answer, I
would have probably come up with some freelance professions (there would always
be “About Me” and “My Portfolio” pages, for one thing).
But, coming to think of it, it isn’t as clear that many professions or business
categories can truly live with a template-based site. I’m wondering: would all
local cleaners tell their story in a similar way?

Well, it may be that marketing SaaS businesses is simpler than
marketing local cleaners.

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