O'Reilly logo

From Impossible To Inevitable by Jason Lemkin, Aaron Ross

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 14For Startups Only

Startups are a special breed.

Every Tech Company Should Offer Services

Many companies, especially early tech companies, are afraid to build a professional services team (or do anything manually) because “it's not scalable.” But you can't scale something that doesn't work yet. And there's no better way to understand what it takes to make customers happy than to work hand-in-hand with them.

Especially if you're doing SaaS for the first time (or even the second), the whole idea of charging for “services” may seem anathema. It sure seemed like that to me at EchoSign.

  • If your product is so easy to use that you hardly even need sales people, why in the world would I need to charge for implementation? For support? For training and engagement?
  • And isn't it a bit unseemly to charge for services? Doesn't it label your product as old-school, too clunky, inelegant, or complex?
  • And isn't the revenue from services a waste? For example, it's not recurring and it's not true ARR. Does it even count? After all, I'm a SaaS company.

Maybe. Perhaps for the 15% of the world of super-engineers or Early Adopters, charging for services doesn't make any sense.

First, let's assume you've nailed your product offering. But you probably haven't, not to the extent you believe. Services gets your people hands-on with customers, and can be the best way to learn the details of which customers find it easy, and which ones find it hard, to get value from you stuff.

Okay, so you've ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required