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Self-serve first: the overlooked but essential paradigm underlying great software companies

🔒 medium.com

Reducing friction to all parts of a business can yield tremendous results.

Most self-serve first products start being used by small customers (typically entrepreneurs or developers) that are overlooked by the incumbents since they are too hard (for said incumbents) to acquire and cost-effectively serve. This initial footprint serves as the beachhead for the company, helping it developing strong customer loyalty and word-of-mouth acquisition through great experiences, as well as a much lower cost to serve them. In some ways, it serves as the base camp for the assault on the incumbents’ bread and butter, financed by the profitable low end customer base. As the company inexorably acquires larger customers and creeps upmarket, the lower cost of customer acquisition — powered by word-of-mouth — coupled with higher customer loyalty and retention and lower cost of serving the customer, makes it an extremely formidable competitor for incumbents to compete with. This is the definition of disruption.

This is a solid playbook for many markets.

Posted on October 3, 2019

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