I recently presented the QuickBase business to 50+ marketing leaders at Intuit. During the presentation I made the statement that, "there’s a new market forming and QuickBase has the lead".
I backed up the statement that "the market is forming" by saying that:
1) in the last year there have been many startups launching in our space, and
2) some established "packaged application" SaaS players have recently been trying to generalize their brands (e.g. salesforce.com and what they are doing with force.com)
I backed up the statement that "we've got the lead" by saying that:
1) Independent sources like compete.com show the startups not growing quickly, and
2) If you think about the packaged players with traction in their respective markets, I haven’t seen much public evidence of success with the more generalized offerings.
Compare that to QuickBase where we have over 200K purchased seats using 10’s of thousands of business applications…AND NO TWO APPLICATIONS ARE THE SAME! Because we’ve been focused on ease of use and customization for the last 5 years we’ve seen that every customer’s unique needs are being met by their owner personalization.
After I said that, someone asked me a simple question that, I must admit, I didn't expect. He asked, "what's the name of the new market"? I answered by referencing these "markets"…
1) "PaaS" (Platform as a Service). More and more bloggers are starting to place us and others like us in this category. For example, checkout Phil Wainewright's great roundup of the PaaS space or what Duncan Riley wrote recently about PaaS.
2) Enterprise 2.0. Bill Ives from the Fast Forward Blog suggests we are an Enterprise 2.0 play.
3) Online Database. Many have described QuickBase as an online database. Most notably, checkout what Sean Aune wrote on Mashable.
I think the attributes of the new market are:
1) Targets business users and makes creating and customizing business applications simple,
2) Helps teams track and manage their business processes and workflow, and
3) Is offered through a SaaS model.
When flying home it occurred to me that I should see what others think. So…what market do you think we’re in- one of these or something completely new?