Subscription Businesses

While the Zuckerberg appearance before the Senate got an incredible amount of negative media attention, and a tonne of memes, subscription system Zuora’s landmark IPO may have just gone under the radar. 

Zuora first entered the entrepreneurial imagination with the “Best Sales Deck Ever“, and it truly was incredible.

Started by a former CMO of Salesforce, Zuora’s subscription billing model is something I personally believe is in line with the future. Marc Andreessen memorably said that “Software is eating the world“, but I think subscription is going to be a business model that is going to be wider than just SaaS.

We are seeing subscription businesses everywhere, right from subscription in content (Netflix), fashion (Stitch Fix), groceries (Home Chef), staples (Amazon), shaving (Dollar Shave) to even fitness (Class Pass).

Subscription allows both predictability & excitement to a customer, while simultaneously providing predictability and deeper relationships to companies. Acquiring customers in the digital age has never been harder, and subscription businesses allow companies to focus less on marketing (customer acquisition) and more on product (customer retention).

Zuora’s IPO is a great sign for the future of subscription in general. 

This week, I look at Reddit, MySpace and Starcraft et al. 

  1. [Large Startups]: Tesla looked like the future. Now some ask if it has one.
  2. [Work Culture]: What to do if you’re passionate about nothing
  3. [Growing Startups]: The cult brand whisperer behind Casper & Birchbox
  4. [Buzzwords]: This app uses AI and ML to teach you how to draw
  5. [Life x Startups]: Reddit and the Struggle to detoxify the Internet
  6. [The New Monopolies]: MySpace Tom beat Facebook in the long run
  7. [Data!]: China’s new frontiers in dystopian tech
  8. [Modern Economics]: Economics renames itself to appeal to students*
  9. [Classic Economics]: How much is a worker’s hour worth?
  10. [Business is Entertainment]: GG – The story of the staying power of Starcraft
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