Silicon Valley veteran Feyzi Fatehi is a business revolutionary and disruptor. If you want to dramatically grow your business, take a lesson from the software industry: give the power to the people.
According to Fatehi, it’s no secret that software as a service, aka SaaS, has become a staple of our lives, from personal entertainment with video streaming platforms like Netflix to business development with powerful tools like Salesforce.
In his new book is Democratizing SaaS: Unleashing a Multi-Trillion-Dollar Industry by Empowering a New Generation of SaaS Entrepreneurs, Fatehi shares a remarkable vision for a game-changing disruption in the software industry. There are lessons for every business leader who wants to disrupt their industry.
Fatehi was the 2019 recipient of the prestigious CODiE Lifetime Achievement Award. Other recipients have included Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
A visionary innovator and entrepreneur, Fatehi currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Corent Technology and is a sought-after inspirational speaker on entrepreneurism and leadership.
“It’s no real surprise once you consider the inherent advantages to the software as a service distribution model and its ability to quickly attract customers,” says Fatehi. “When customers can simply subscribe for a monthly fee to a service that would have cost them a substantial investment to buy or license for themselves, and the subscription price includes all the ongoing operations and maintenance costs, it presents a very attractive proposition.”
How could you reinvent your product or service? Consider ways to change your pricing or financing model. The history of business is filled with such disruptors, such as how Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com disrupted the retail industry. Disneyland has disrupted the model of attending theme parks by offering passes with monthly payments (for full disclosure, I have to reveal I own a little Amazon and Disney stock).
I met Fatehi, a former executive at Hewlett Packard, when he asked for some early editing advice about a book he was writing about the technology his company Corent invented that can empower software companies to grow tenfold. The discussions were riveting.
Fatehi shared that Salesforce.com was widely regarded as the litmus test for whether the SaaS model would be successful in changing the way software services were acquired, and it succeeded beyond expectations.
“It was a big gamble at the time and they invested years and millions upon millions of dollars to bring it to market as a service,” says Fatehi. “That ‘as a service’ capability was on top of the actual customer relationship application functions of their offerings, and it was the platform upon which they could change the industry norm.”
Fatehi notes that as Salesforce.com grew, they leveraged their “as a service” capabilities by selling access to that SaaS platform to other companies who had services that added value to their core business, creating an ecosystem of SaaS businesses.
“Since then we’ve seen hundreds of SaaS companies start up, some growing into giants,” says Fatehi. “What isn’t as widely recognized is the extent to which all companies are becoming more reliant on this SaaS model of services and the extent to which software supports it.”