February 2023

The Paradox Of More Value To More People In SaaS Products

When it comes to building SaaS products, all founders dream of having killer Product Market Fit (PMF). It’s the idea that your product is so good, and solves such a pain, that it basically flies off the shelves.

To do this, founders and product managers think about ways to increase the value of the product. One way to do this is to make the product valuable to a larger set of users across a company. As Clark Valberg, CEO and Founder of InVision once told me about Troops, “your product is so good because it is like tentacles into the entire organization.” The idea is if more people at a company find value, then obviously, the more valuable the product will be and the more likely it will be to sell that product.

However, the paradox of creating more value for more people, is that more people may feel like they need to weigh in on the purchasing decision. And more people, means more meetings, more friction, more decision-makers, more gatekeepers, and a longer period of time to sell the deal, if ever.

So what to do? Well, one approach is to focus on creating a valuable product for just one individual persona, thus limiting how many other people need to weigh in on the decision. Less friction! If you do this, you can get better bottoms-up adoption for that group of people. And perhaps after you’ve done your job here, you can move on and create value for other people in the company. But, making this transition from a single-use, single-persona product, to many personas is not that easy either.

This is the paradox of adding more value, to more people, in SaaS products.

Making Ideas Tangible

Many of us have ideas for things we’d like to create and invent.

They could be projects or businesses. They could be projects that turn into businesses.

Whatever the case, it’s easy to get stuck in the idea phase but never evolve that idea into reality.

This is true for a lot of people looking to start companies.

I have an idea, but how do I start a company around it?

This is a question I’ve heard a lot over the years.

One trick that’s worked for me is to make that idea tangible by giving it a name.

When you give it a name, it becomes something you can almost touch and feel.

And then it’s easier to talk about and point to.

And the easier it is to talk about and point to, the easier it is for consistency theory to kick in. And this idea of consistency theory, where you must be consistent with what you’ve said or intended to do, will make it more likely that you’ll want to see that idea come to fruition.

So if you have an idea you’ve been thinking about, just try giving it a name to make it more tangible.

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