A short history of “software as a service” June 2024

Spreadsheet Assassins by Matthew King
So well written!


Excerpt quotes

Some SaaS companies achieve gross profit margins of 75 to 90 percent.

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More than the quality of any given code, the value of the largest SaaS companies is their locked-in network effects. Once a piece of software has entrenched itself in the bowels of corporate IT infrastructure, it’s a nightmare to dislodge.

Consider the colleges and school districts terrorized for decades by a crappy EdTech software, courtesy of a regional sales rep and nephew of the head administrator.

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In the Kafkaesque realm of health care, software giant Epic’s 1990s-era UI is still widely used for electronic medical records, a nuisance that arguably puts millions of lives at risk, even as it accrues billions in annual revenue and actively resists system interoperability.

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Billions of public pension and university endowment dollars are being burned on what amounts to hackathon curiosities, driven by the machinations of venture capital and private equity.

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