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PaSH is the New SaaS, or How to Jump the Long Slow Ramp of Death


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My thoughts on product/service hybrid apps as an alternative to the traditional SaaS model.

PaSH apps always have the option to charge for the service component. The basic premise is that the service component delivers more value than just the monthly cost of the product, but costs less than an equivalent consultant or contractor. This can lead to large cash flow spikes and incremental monthly revenue much higher than the $60 you could charge for a code-only solution.

This potentially allows you to ride out the most grueling part of the ramp. Even one or two service add-ons might mean the difference between crashing into the end of the runway versus achieving takeoff velocity.

I had to read through the article to know what PaSH means:

A more recent phenomenon I’ve seen in the wild is the notion of Product & Service Hybrid apps.

PaSH: Product & Service Hybrid

In this case, we are talking about:

  • Product: stand-alone products or traditional SaaS apps
  • Service: in the sense of trained human consultants

The typical PaSH app can be thought of as a SaaS app with a micro-consultant add-on to help you leverage the SaaS app.

For example, Optimization Robot is an upcoming combination AB testing platform and set of experts to help you run tests, suggest new tests, and monitor the results. Lead Genius is a combination of lead gen lists as well as lead gen army. Churn Buster is a combination of email dunning as well as humans who call expired accounts. No SaaS app can compete with voices on the phone.

I think the reason PaSH is in vogue is that investors won't fund SAAS companies until they have dozens -- if not hundreds -- of customers.

PaSH lets early stage SAAS companies bootstrap with consulting services.

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