The Perfect SaaS Application

July 20th 2010

The perfect Software as a Service (SaaS) application provides:

  • an efficient workflow (to DO)
  • a resource library (to LEARN)
  • an eco-system / community (to CONTRIBUTE)
  • a spiral of positive feedback (to GROW)

Efficient workflow (to DO)

Your app’s way of doing [insert your app’s main feature here (email, project management, contact making, to-do lists,…)] is the best out there for a large enough number of users.

Resource library (to LEARN)

Your app offers, through self-production, user contributions and/or partnerships, rich content in a variety of formats (blog posts, how-to articles, templates, best practices, video interviews, etc.) that enables your users to better understand and make the most out of your application and the workflow it implements.

Ecosystem and community (to CONTRIBUTE)

Your app has built-in integration with other applications and services (API, data import/export, streamed authentication, etc.) and community-oriented features (forums, wikis, etc.), as well as a set of tools and processes that allow people to connect to with each other and/or with other apps.

Spiral of positive feedback (to GROW)

Your app has an unique dynamic that drives the user to become better at doing whatever it is your app is supposed to help them do. This is the result your app’s hard and soft qualities, and their mix: the way your app leverages the tie between Doing, Learning and Contributing, the quality of its metrics and statistics system, its game dynamics, the way it facilitates, synthesizes and communicates progress (or lack of progress), etc.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think about this model? Is it useful to help you analyze your idea or application? Which apps could be used as examples of “perfect” SaaS applications? Do they fit this model?