profile

👋 Hi, I'm Adam.

🚦 Boring categories → exciting businesses

Published 5 months ago • 3 min read

THIS WEEK'S CTAs:

1.) For PLG practitioners. Please consider taking this year’s PLG survey. I’ll be working with Kyle Poyar (OpenView, Growth Unhinged), Sandy Mangat (Pocus), and Leah Tharin (Productea with Leah) to analyze the results. I’m excited to dig into the data and would greatly appreciate your input. 🙏


2.) For HubSpot CRM users. I’d be honored if you check out Keyplay for HubSpot. 🧡🎯 I’m super proud of this one. If you’re doing account-based anything, you need the right accounts. HubSpot CRM users have been neglected by overly complex, expensive ABM platforms for too long!


THIS WEEK'S SAAS GTM RESEARCH:

I love shiny new objects.

Like many tech marketers and GTM leaders, I’m naturally attracted to businesses that create new categories, follow hot trends, or participate in flashy segments.

But I noticed something interesting about this year’s Cloud 100 winners...

Boring categories dominate.

No surprise to see AI rising fast, but the other categories at the top of the list piqued my interest just as much.

Of course, I’m tagging them as “boring” to be pithy, but looking at the top 100 list, I noticed two things that I'd like to explore more with some examples...

1.) Most SaaS companies succeed by entering large, existing categories.

It’s rare to see true category creators.

Lemkin made this point about public SaaS companies awhile back, showing that 70% of SaaS IPOs are new versions of an existing thing.

Klaviyo, the first notable SaaS IPO in forever, is a great example of this dynamic. Impressive story with ~$600M ARR, nearly 60% y/y growth, and profitable.

But by no means a category creator in marketing automation. Nearly 30 years of entrants. Each wave has produced billion-dollar exits.

Klaviyo entered late and built one of the largest businesses. They aren't alone in the new wave -- Iterable and Braze have also grown to impressive heights in a short time with different focus areas. All of these marketing automation platforms are doing similar things at the core (email, audience data management, campaigns, automation workflows). But the category seems almost bottomless for new solutions taking new angles.

2.) Many of the “new” categories are born from big, old sectors.

Entrepreneurs keep finding new ways to approach security, back-office, data, and vertical problems.

Security Compliance Automation is a good example. Here we see a rising need around SOC 2 and compliance automation from companies of all sizes. An exciting group of SaaS companies have been built around this problem -- most of them less than 5 years old:

I dove into security as marketing a few weeks ago (by crawling security pages). The tailwind for these vendors is clear. 18% of SaaS firms now prominently feature security pages on their websites. This rises to 26% for those with Enterprise offerings, 21% for all Fintech, and 29% for Fintech with Enterprise solutions.

It looks like this category will support multiple billion-dollar companies.

These compliance automation players are just one example from the vast and ever-expanding security space. Within Keyplay, we have identified thousands of US-based SaaS companies playing in security & compliance. BTW, the industry categorization we've built helps you find niches like this for your ABM strategy.

I'm considering digging deeper into all the different parts of the security space, so I asked ChatGPT to break it down. Here's what it came back with:

I'm sure ChatGPT's market mapping is not perfect, but it does a good job showing how this big ole category has become vast and varied.

Wrap Up

While the allure of the new and shiny is ever-present in the tech world, there's undeniable value in the tried and true. I’d bet there's still a lot of room to innovate in "boring" categories.

There are surprisingly large opportunities in refining, reimagining, and redefining what already exists. Whether you're diving into a well-established category or carving out a new niche, there's always an opportunity to make a mark.

What other examples fit this narrative?

I’d love to study your favorites.

Reply or join the conversation on LinkedIn.

Best,
Adam


Have a B2B tech company in mind you’d like us to track?

Fill out this form.

👋 Hi, I'm Adam.

I'm chief analyst here at PeerSignal and CEO/co-founder of Keyplay. Join 17K+ B2B SaaS leaders who study modern GTM with my almost-weekly newsletter.

Read more from 👋 Hi, I'm Adam.

Quick ask: If you are the Keyplay customer who shared this case study with Scott, can you email or DM me? In a time when efficiency is key, I love seeing a 60% reduction in cost per opportunity! I'm hoping to hear more about the details. 👇 We're finding a lot of leverage from bringing ICP into focus for 2024. TALE OF TWO CITIES? These 30 B2B software companies have added a whopping ~26K employees in the last 18 months. They’ve grown ~43% in that time and continue hiring today. Some never...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read

Welcome back and happy new year! 🎉 Entering 2024, we have reason to be optimistic in SaaS. Maybe a few green shoots? I shared this chart on LinkedIn today. Following a big drop in H2 2022, we saw the number of open roles in PeerSignal's index of 10K SaaS companies start to climb in the back half of 2023. Across our index there are ~92K open roles at the start of this month. Not quite back to the levels we saw in mid-2022, but a positive trend since January 2023. Note: This focuses on...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read

I'm proud of these G2 reviews. Hoping to see 1 more before Thanksgiving. 🦃 THE AI GOLD RUSH AI features have very quickly become table stakes in SaaS. We all see it happening. Today I analyzed 17K SaaS companies to better understand how & where it's happening. Overall, a whopping 33% of SaaS companies now promote some AI features or capabilities. This graphic shows a quick breakdown (keep scrolling for details) AI isn’t new. But the Generative AI gold rush kicked into full gear following...

4 months ago • 4 min read
Share this post