What is the problem with the term “Green?” what are the top 3 mistakes entrepreneurs make that can prevent them from enjoying the sweet taste of success? And what should young entrepreneurs always keep in mind?
Continuing our expert interview series, we asked entrepreneur Tom Gorski to share some of his secrets to success with us.
Gorski is the CEO and Co-Founder at SaaSGenius.com, and an Inbound Marketer & Growth Hacker at InboundWay.com. His career spans over 12 years of developing and implementing online marketing, SEO and conversion optimization campaigns. He defines his biggest accomplishment to date as “achieving 4500% growth for one of my clients over a threeyear period.”
Q: It’s no secret that the SaaS market is saturated, as new companies are having very hard time acquiring, retaining and monetizing users. In your view – what are the top 3 mistakes SaaS companies make? What are some key differentiators you recognize in a successful product?
A: Mistake No. 1: Product-market fit is not good enough
There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that inertia, incumbency and bureaucracy are all working against you. For emerging companies, this means finding a way to be exponentially better with fewer resources. As a result, focus is key.
Mistake No. 2: Not Specializing Your Sales Roles
When you specialize your sales people, you allow them to focus, which creates greater output form your sales team.
Mistake No. 3: You Need a Niche
To be able to market and sell well, you need to have a niche. The world is noisy and messy, and you’ll struggle if you don’t have a sharp, direct message. When you try to speak to everyone, no one can hear you.
Q: Which innovative trends do you recognize in the high tech world nowadays?
A: “Green” was a mega trend of the last decade and while it will continue to be very important, there will be a shift towards “smart” solutions, which are intelligent, connected and have the ability to sense, report, and take the right action. Smart solutions will be everywhere around us from smart clothing, phones, to smart homes and smart cities.
Q: What is the most significant advice you can give young entrepreneurs?
A: Being very successful means learning from those who have already achieved success. Having a mentor is an amazing blessing to an entrepreneur, but not everyone can find one in person. My advice is to work smarter, not harder. This is the most non-intuitive observation I will probably make. If you want to compete in the arena, hard work isn’t enough. And judging yourself on how hard you work, rather than how smart you work can be fatal.
Q: We are flooded with buzzwords lately – VR / AI / Bots… where do you think the software world is heading?
A: AI and bots are a very hot topic in 2016 and it’s sometimes hard to distinguish the real potential behind the hype. My point of view is that, like with many things, there’s no revolution but evolution. It’s unrealistic to think that AI can become mainstream in SaaS products without proper AI infrastructure. SaaS delivery will significantly outpace traditional software product delivery, growing nearly five times faster than the traditional software market and will become a significant growth driver for all functional software markets. By 2019, the SaaS software model will account for $1 of every $4 spent on software.
Q: Let us in on some of your secrets… where do you look for innovation? For inspiration and revolutionary ideas?
A: Ideas for new startups often begin with a real problem that needs to be solved. And they don’t come while you’re sitting around sipping coffee and contemplating life. They tend to reveal themselves while you’re at work on something else. Start with brainstorming with problems that you are personally invested in. Building a business is hard and takes the kind of relentless dedication that comes from personal passion. Perhaps the greatest factor that determines whether or not an entrepreneur will be successful isn’t the business idea itself, but rather the entrepreneur’s willingness to try to turn the idea into reality. Great ideas are abundant, but it’s what we decide to do with them that counts.