Within the B2B SaaS world, one of the common entrepreneurial aspirations is to build a platform company. A platform company, like it sounds, is one that achieves a level of success and market penetration such that a number of other companies build add-ons or integrations to programmatically interact with the platform. Salesforce.com (owner of Pardot) is the most well known SaaS example.
Here are seven elements of a SaaS platform company:
- Large, fast growing customer base (thousands of customers)
- Publicly available API
- Mature partner program with hundreds of integrations
- Major annual user conference and regional conferences
- Continued thought leadership and innovation
- Category definer
- Often publicly traded
For SaaS entrepreneurs, building a platform company means a tremendous level of success. While there’s no single definition of a platform company, these seven elements are often a good indicator.
What else? What are some more elements of a SaaS platform company?