In this episode of SaaS Connect by the Cloud Software Association, Russell Smith, tech guy, ops lover, CTO and Co-Founder of Rainforest QA, speaks honestly about the elements of high-quality platforms. He provides real examples to learn from, and explains what makes a platform high quality.

Rainforest QA was started in 2012 by him and his partner, and today the company has grown to 130 employees and 300 customers.


In this worthwhile, value-packed presentation, learn about what makes some platforms such high-quality, and how you can emulate them in your own business. Also, learn about:

  • The universal challenges platforms experience while delivering value and quality.
  • The definition of a quality platform.
  • Why measuring the quality of your platform is critical. 
  • According to Russell, examples of good platforms are AWS, JIRA, Segment, Zapier, GitHub, Stripe, Twilio, Salesforce, CircleCI. He also explains what makes them good. For example, AWS works well, provides good documentation and many services, and is relatively easy to try out. Twilio is simple to use, but also has a lot of depth, amazing documentation, asks a quick one-liner to get started, offers pay-as-you-go pricing and solves a real problem.
  • Why some platforms have a love-hate relationship with their users, like for example DOMO, which works but is hard to use, and has terrible API and documentation.
  • Lessons learned and how you can learn from them too:
    • Time kills all deals – the longer a process is, the more likely it is to fail.
    • Understand your customer’s stack and how you fit into it.
    • Learn from other platforms.
  • Best practices:
    • Make it easy for customers to sign up.
    • Enable partner success.
    • Know your market.
  • Why your API matters.
  • Nailing down your documentation.
  • Changelogs and why you need them.
  • Sandboxes and why you should offer them.
  • Sunsetting (how you get rid of stuff) and why it’s important.


Resources Mentioned:



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