Slack, Zoom, and Consumerish SaaS Businesses

Howard Xu
1 min readJun 7, 2021

Previously in there’s an open web, consumer internet companies are really competing on who has the best product, and enterprise software is constrained by distributors, channels, and relationships with CIO, so is a mix of product and sales. Poor products with good distribution also win.

Now, attention is controlled by the few companies Apple, Facebook, and Google, consumer internet companies become more of a competition on product + distribution/marketing. The opposite thing happens on the enterprise side because of SaaS and bottom-up adoption without gatekeepers. The better your technology is, the better you can do in the market. Zoom is a perfect example.

Enterprise sales become more like consumer sales where products need to win individuals who win the team and impact the organization.

Sales come in when customers already have a strong interest in the product. The efficiency of S&M is a lot better because there are already many users at the customers. We already proved we are driving benefit for the team; we come in and reduce pain by putting in a centralized controlled version that is compliant. Especially in communication apps where CIO needs to keep records of everything for SEC — also Dropbox.

Enterprise software is fascinating in this era, because the competitive dynamics rewards being a better company with a better product, more so than consumer internet company.