XaaS: Anything as a Service: Marketplaces, Recurring Income, Jumping to SaaS

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🔍 Problem

Some things require a human touch.

Property management, podcast editing and website maintenance are problems with solutions that have not been automated.

💡 Solution

Anything as a Service describes a service that solves a recurring problem with a fixed scope and fixed price.

🏁 Players

XaaS Types

XaaS Examples

XaaS Marketplaces

🔮 Predictions

☁️ Opportunities

😠 Haters

“XaaS has lower margins than SaaS.”
There’s no free lunch. XaaS is faster to revenue but comes with higher marginal costs than SaaS. All else equal, would you prefer XaaS or consulting?

Anything as a Service means Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Data-as-a-Service. Not lawn care, massages and bookkeeping.”
Anything means anything. For this report, I narrowed the scope to anything except for software and one-time services. Recurring productized services.

“You can’t make money with a white-label service like WP Buffs.”
Retailers sell the same products. What’s the differentiator? Service. Convenience. You can add value to standardized products.

“Some of these services will be automated in the future.”
The purpose of this report is to identify opportunities right now. Look at what’s not going to change if you want to play long term games.

“Atrium didn’t work out.”
Atrium failed as a venture play. Maybe the XaaS model is not venture scale. They tried to go fully automated towards the end but it was too late. Bench raised $49.1M and the jury is still out.

“The marketplace model won’t work for all XaaS.”
Marketplaces may not work for “sticky” services like bookkeeping and property management. Some services have lower switching costs. ClassPass for copywriters?

🔗 Links

  1. Growing a Productized Service from $0 to $50,000/monthRobin Vander Heyden wrote a book (in 24 hours) about how he helped build ManyPixels.
  2. Offering X as a ServiceEd Gandia explains how to find out what your clients need on a regular basis.
  3. The Ladders of Wealth CreationNathan Barry describes the major types of income as time for money, your own service business, productized services and selling products. Check out The Stairstep Approach to Bootstrapping by Rob Walling.
  4. From Productized Service to SaaSPatrick McKenzie makes a great case for starting a productized service before a SaaS. Quotable moment: “Turn a repeatable outcome into a repeatable income.”
  5. Stair-Stepping From Productized Consulting to SaaS Jane Portman, co-founder and CEO of Userlist, shares how she made the jump from productized consulting to SaaS in an interview with Brian Casel.
  6. How to turn a Service into a Product?Brian Casel explains how to move from a customized service to a productized service. Pick the right customer, pick a valuable problem and build a predictable version of your service.