Yesterday I was talking to a very successful SaaS entrepreneur and the topic came up of when the next generation NetSuite replacement is going to emerge. NetSuite, an enterprise resource planning platform (think accounting, inventory, etc.), is incredibly powerful, but has an interface unchanged for 10 years along with a very difficult customization process. Taking the idea one step further, every public SaaS company already has several next generation upstart competitors building a product that is better, faster, or cheaper (pick two).
Here’s what every next generation SaaS winner will have:
- API-First – In lieu of a slow, cumbersome API, the next generation has fast, elegant REST APIs that make connecting to quick and easy.
- Rich, Responsive UI – In lieu of basic web interfaces, the next generation has rich, responsive interfaces that feel like a native app.
- Approachable Pricing – In lieu of cryptic, talk-to-a-salesperson-only pricing, the next generation has straightforward, readily understandable pricing (see Zoom).
- Modularized Platform – In lieu of a large, monolithic platform, the next generation is built on micro-services that allow for much more rapid development and cloud-native scalability.
Technology innovation goes in waves every 15-20 years and SaaS is no different. The next generation winners are already out there, just give it a few years and you’ll start to notice them.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that the next generation competitor to every public SaaS company is already out there and building momentum?