Why we are building All Things SaaS?
The crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… if we didn’t know any better, we would have thought Steve Jobs was describing the SaaS professionals when he said this…
To tell the story of All Things SaaS, we need to take two trips down the memory lane.
Mukil, the lanky.
Kris, the scrawny.
This is the story of us…. and how we got adopted by the SaaS ecosystem.
“It was 2015 when I got the first taste of the ‘corporate life’ – sprawling office campus, indoor games, big lunch halls. For someone who was desperate for any job, that was more than what I’d set sights on.
Average spoken English. Little bit of writing. Basic Adobe Photoshop. – my skill set was a classic case of square peg trying to hack its way into round holes. If it were any place else, my pseudo skills that were all over the place wouldn’t have made past the first round.
But as fate would have it, the ‘Zoho’ way of doing things was just what I needed.
At that point I didn’t know what the Zoho way meant – heck, I couldn’t tell the difference between a product company and a service company if my life depended on it – but turns out whether it is Zoho or any SaaS company for that matter, the Jack of All was the proverbial King of Trades!
I still remember what a couple of highly experienced SaaS professionals said early in my career – SaaS loves (and still does) generalists who can write website copy one second, switch over to designing banners the next, put together an email, and measure their performance.
It took me 3 years – but slowly and steadily I went from being very average at 4-5 different things to being really good at 1-2 things – and if it weren’t for the opportunity and freedom that early in my career, things might not have turned out as great as they did.”
It’s now been 5 years since Mukil started his career – after innumerous bumps, experiments, and failures along the road, he’s now at a place where he can say he’s finally managed to figure out the important junction of: what is was good at, what he loves doing, and what companies want; in other words, his professional ikigai.
Fast forward to August of 18’, it was scrawny turn to take the same roads;
This is scrawny’s story:
“It was 2018, and I’d graduated with a 3-year degree in Commerce but still struggling to tell P&L from the Balance Sheet – CA was NOT an option. With a keen interest in writing and a desperate need to find a job, I set out on a hunt.
After mindlessly scrolling through LinkedIn, applying for any and every role, lucky paved way in the form of an Angel… list and before I could process, I was sitting across one of the smartest, nicest CEOs in the Chennai SaaS community, who was patiently hearing out my half-assed understanding of SaaS – a raw, awkward regurgitation of whatever definition I could mug-up the night before the interview.
Somehow, that was just about enough to land me a job as a ‘content writer’ for a B2B SaaS company!
So walked away I did, with a job offer.
But also with 50 questions in my mind.
What was SaaS?
What was B2B? Why was it different from B2C?
Why did the IT guys even need writers in the first place?
What did the CEO mean when he said that they were a product company and not like TCS or CTS?
What did these folks do differently that their office looked more like a scene from the Silicon Valley tv show and less like what I am used to hear seniors complaining?
I did get my answers to most of them; eventually – as I stumbled, and fumbled every step of the way on the job. Nearly 3 years into SaaS, I can say with a certain level of conviction that I finally understand how SaaS works!”
Scrawny & Lanky – two kids who’d both come from Trichy, taking the same train, but with different stories and perspective.
But the questions we had were the same.
The shocking part?
With both of us now having moved into roles where we interview freshers’ for our teams, we noticed that nothing has changed for the large part – 99% of the candidates walking in (through no fault of their own), are still in dark when it comes to their exposure to SaaS.
We want to absolutely stress that this is not an attack at anyone in particular but a mere observation of the ecosystem, which for some reason has struggled to bridge and facilitate that transition of graduates from college into their first jobs.
This is all the more ridiculous when you consider this fact:
Unlike other industries that have flat growth charts or worse, where growth has dipped in the last few years, SaaS has continued its bullish run and recruiting folks left, right, and center despite everything else going on around the world.
Imagine an industry way ahead of the curve compared with typical Indian businesses scaling and raising millions in the middle of a global pandemic and perennially on the lookout for good builders, designers, writers etc. but totally inside its own bubble and is just not a part of the mainstream job-hunt conversations in colleges!
This is what didn’t sit right with us – an industry with an overarching theme of serendipity and lucky breaks; that, some of the biggest and life-changing events of a young professional’s career was left to happenstances!
Is this it?
Is this the best that the SaaS community can do for the next generation of talent coming in?