Every Spreadsheet Shared is Another SaaS App

For software and SaaS entrepreneurs out there, Patrick McKenzie is a must-follow on Twitter. Recently, he tweeted out something that really stuck with me:

Every spreadsheet shared in a business is an angel announcing another SaaS app still needs to be built.

Frequently, potential entrepreneurs tell me they want to start a business but can’t come up with a good idea. Well, just look at all the spreadsheets shared in a business and start there when looking for ideas. Now, the inherent scale might not be there with some of them but that’s part of the evaluation process.

Here are a few more thoughts on every spreadsheet shared is another SaaS app:

  • Spreadsheets have some structure but lack business rules, validation (usually), processes, etc.
  • Spreadsheets are easy to create and well understood whereas most SaaS apps require training and effort to understand
  • Think of the common apps you use on a regular basis and ask which functions you used to do in a spreadsheet (e.g. accounting, project management, customer relationship management, etc.)
  • Most SaaS entrepreneurs flop due to failing at customer acquisition, not due to failing to build a workable product

The next time a spreadsheet’s shared with you, ask if there’s a SaaS app opportunity.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that every spreadsheet shared is another SaaS app?

2 thoughts on “Every Spreadsheet Shared is Another SaaS App

  1. When those spreadsheets are pricing, risk management or financial modelling spreadsheets, then the SaaS solutions is spreadserve.com. SpreadServe serverizes calc heavy sheets, and turns them into enterprise services. No coding or re-engineering required. XLL, RTD & VBA all supported.

  2. Love this – the first version of our app (Allbound.com) was built nearly 5 years ago when a client sent us a collection of spreadsheets for managing their channel sales and marketing partners and said “can you help us automate this.” We did…and today, here we are. Couldn’t have said it better! What’s next??

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