Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 and the growing consumer-grade bar for enterprise software
This week Mary Meeker released her brilliant and powerful Internet Trends 2018 report. While it covers everything from mobile and internet growth to the aggressive competition among the tech giants to commerce and consumer spend, we wanted to direct you to something important (and somewhat buried on pg. 262!): the enterprise software experience is improving!
Growing consumer-grade bar for enterprise software
The report calls out that consumer-like apps are changing enterprise computing, and subsequently a "consumer-grade" bar is growing for enterprise software experiences that just work.
Meeker includes the great success story of Dropbox, which pioneered a consumer-grade product with enterprise appeal. Founder of the Y Combinator application Drew Houston said,
[Dropbox] takes concepts that are proven winners from the dev community and puts them in a package that my little sister can figure out. Competing products force the user to constantly think and do things. With Dropbox, you hit "Save," as you normally would and everything just works.
Dropbox’ significant user and revenue increases:
Via Kleiner Perkins
Another success story offered was Slack, which pioneered the enterprise-grade product with a consumer look and feel. Slack Founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield said,
When you want something really bad, you will put up with a lot of flaws. But if you do not yet know you want something, your tolerance will be much lower. That’s why it is especially important for us to build a beautiful, elegant and considerate piece of software. Every bit of grace, refinement, and thoughtfulness on our part will pull people along. Every petty irritation will stop them and give the impression that it is not worth it.
Slack’s significant usage and paying share increases:
Via Kleiner Perkins
Enterprise software success formula
According to Ilya Fushman of Kleiner Perkins, for enterprise software success, organizations need to:
- Build an amazing consumer-grade product
- Leverage virality across individual users to grow personal and professional adoption at a low cost
- Harvest individual users for enterprise go-to-market with a dedicated product plus inside/outbound sales
An enterprise-grade platform plus the ecosystem will net low-cost, product-driven customer acquisition and a strong, sticky business model.
Keeping pace with the consumerization of enterprise software
Both Houston and Butterfield stress the importance of creating loyalty by delighting enterprise customers with intuitive, easy-to-use apps and eliminating any friction that may frustrate and steer them away. A reliable and predictable way to do this and meet the growing demand for consumer-grade enterprise software is to create great experiences powered by human insights.
By continuously capturing human insights, enterprise software businesses can understand and capture the reasons behind their customer’s satisfaction with their experience—empowering everyone to know the why behind every customer reaction—to keep pace with the consumerization of enterprise software.
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