Category Archives: Webcollage

Are small businesses doomed to fail, or can SaaS help?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, only 44% of small businesses successfully make it through four years of operation. One reason is that because of their size, small businesses cannot master the skills that larger organizations have (such as marketing, sales, service and technology). So, it should not be a surprise that they have a hard time competing in the marketplace.

One of the areas that has been a weak spot for small businesses is the use of technology in general and software in particular.

From a software vendor standpoint, small businesses were traditionally overlooked as a target market. In fact, in the 1990’s, common wisdom was that successful software vendors should focus on large enterprises, where the money resides, and apply the direct sales model, with a $100K+ price tag. The wisdom at the time was that smaller price tags did not justify a direct sales force, and required indirect selling. Selling through resellers, however, was and still is hard to crack. It’s hard to get resellers to commit to sell a product before it gets traction. And even later, it’s hard to educate resellers to sell a product proficiently.

From a small business point of view, buying software is—simply put–not easy. How can a small business be expected to have the skills to evaluate new software? How can they be expected to master how to operate the software? How can they be expected to integrate it with other software? And, when it comes to on-premise software, how can they afford to deploy and manage the software?

But then SaaS came along.

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Answers Acquires SaaS Platform Webcollage

After almost 14 years since founding Webcollage, it is now public information that Webcollage was acquired by Answers (http://www.answers.com).

More information about the acquisition and some of the thoughts around this opportunity are available in this press release.

Without delving into the specific thoughts and opportunities in this merger, I would like to point out the potential in powerful combinations of B2B (SaaS) businesses and B2C (consumer web) businesses. As one example, LinkedIn, which is generally known as a “consumer” (or “personal”) business, generates its revenue by selling its services to (other) businesses (for recruiting and similar purposes). It thus leverages its consumer scale to generate revenue from businesses, essentially operating as a SaaS company.

Similarly, the combined Answers/Webcollage company will have a strong B2C arm with broad reach and strong advertisement-driven revenue (Answers.com is a Top 20 site in the US), alongside with a solid B2B platform and team (coming from our own Webcollage), and with many potential areas of cross-leverage.

More to come…