So last week, Jason Lemkin of SaaStr, our SaaS prophet and savior, drops this bomb.

Is SaaS dead?

At 9am on Wednesday morning. That is way too early for that.

“Jason, not you surely!” I groaned.

Then I read the post. It hurt, but in an oh so good way.

If Jason is seeing what I was seeing too, it wasn’t just me. I honestly thought it was just me attracting negative vibes for whatever reason.

As deflating as the post was, it made me feel a lot better and a lot clearer about what to do.

Let me answer the question. SaaS is not dead.

SaaS is making $200B/year roughly. That is no small potatoes. In fact, it’s 15x the entire $31B global GDP of potato production.

SaaS is in pain. If you’re in pain, you’re not dead.

But are you dead?

You really should know the answer to this.

No, you’re also in pain. And if you’re in pain, you’re not dead.

I’ve met so many demoralized people complaining about their CEO, the product, their teammates, the customers.

That’s just the dagger of self-doubt turned outwards into anger and blame.

Where is this doubt coming from?

For way too long, money was too cheap and everything was easy. SaaS didn’t really need to productively solve customer problems to grow revenue.

When the money printing stopped, the truth was revealed.

Now we find out we don’t really know what worked or didn’t work. We don’t know what companies are good or bad. We don’t even know what customers are good or bad.

And you know the pain:

If you stop believing in yourself, it’s hard to take risks.

If you don’t believe in your company, you can’t sell customers.

If you don’t believe in your customers, you can’t build great products.

If you don’t believe in your teammates, you can’t be happy at work.

From uncertainty back to confidence

The knowledge is out there, it’s just not evenly distributed

If I could give you back your belief, I would. So, I will try.

It doesn’t matter if valuations wrecked the cap tables of so many SaaS companies. Most of us aren’t owners.

What we do own are our skills, our values, and our relationships. We just need to keep developing ourselves. The capital will find us when we do.

The SaaS industry is making $200B / year. Our adjacent licensed software industry is making nearly $800B / year.

Customers still want what we’re selling. Things are still working. The knowledge on what to do next is out there.

It’s just not evenly distributed.

Let’s get it organized and into our hands.

I have been going back to basics. I have been collecting and organizing all the expertise on how to solve go-to-market and product-market-fit challenges I can. I’m writing out actionable guides for myself.

I am doing that for me. I can start to share.

Fix your company culture now

Advice for leadership

This is my fourth tech crash. I’ve learnt one simple trick to get out of this vibe.

When people stop believing in the company, the company is dead.

The fastest way to move forward again is to focus relentlessly on happy customers.

Aggressively share stores of happy customers with the team. Use short videos in Slack, daily emails to the team, posters to paste on the wall. Do it every day if you have to. Make it a game.

If leadership lets it sit too long, you will have to replace a lot of people to survive.

If leadership stops believing, you’re in deep trouble.

How long has it been since you talked to a happy customer? If it’s measured in anything but hours, time to change.

It’s so much easier to sell a product to the next customer when you know the last customer you sold is really happy.

It’s so much easier to build great products when you’re focused on delighting happy customers.

If you don’t have happy customers, the next best customers are angry customers. They at least care! Focus on converting angry customers to happy customers.