7 Elements of a SaaS Platform Company

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?

One thought on “7 Elements of a SaaS Platform Company

  1. David – you’ve definitely got the core elements in the 7. Some additional attributes would include Monthly/Annual Subscription Software License (market loves predicable, recurring revenue), Robust Developer Program, and with it being “B2B” and a platform for other companies…must have a Global NOC supporting a Cloud Infrastructure that is redundant, geo-distributed with automatic failovers, ultra-secure, and extreme high-performance (no latency/lag during peak periods…ability to dynamically burst capacity, much easier these days if you can ride on the coat tails of Amazon AWS EC2 or MS Azure).

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