Two and a half years ago my co-founder and I left our jobs on the product team at Intercom to try and build a startup. We went through YC and launched an analytics tool on top of Segment that allowed you to generate some pre-made reports for common product metrics (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26155327
). We raised a seed round, then spent a year building templates of reports for startups.
After a year of building our product we tried to monetise and failed. Our free users weren’t willing to pay us money for individual reports.
Among the users we had, there were a handful of later stage B2B companies with few customers but a lot of revenue (one had 50 customers and $1m in annual revenue). These companies looked at their analytics in a different way. They cared a lot more about specific individual users than consumer apps do, and they spent a lot of time using our product.
After learning this we spent some time trying to understand the differences between product analytics for a B2C product versus a B2B one. We learned three main things that led us to pivot our company into building a product analytics tool for B2B SaaS companies:
(1) Most of the revenue in B2B products comes from a handful of customers. In Slack’s case, 500 customers out of 700,000 made up to 40% of revenue!
(2) Most of the revenue B2B products make comes from expansion. Contracts start small and grow over time, as a company wins more trust and delivers value. This means that growing product usage among existing users, over time, draws in more users and more revenue.
(3) Product management in B2B is a lot less quantitative than in B2C. It is more a collaboration with Sales and Customer Success teams. The kind of insights you need from analytics are different. You need to know “Are our key customers adopting the new feature we launched?” and not “Does our new redesign improve activation by 2%?”
After learning these things we went back to the drawing board and rebuilt our product with them in mind. That is, we built a product analytics tool that (1) has automatically set up reports that allow you to track acquisition, activation, retention and feature usage; (2) supports measuring metrics both in terms of how many users or companies use your product; and (3) helps you answer common questions for your users like “Who used our product the most in the last 90 days?”, “Who tried our new feature once and never came back?”, “What’s our feature with the highest retention? How many people use it?”
This realization happened a year ago and we’ve now reached the point where more than a thousand B2B SaaS companies at seed and Series A use us every month.
We would love to get some feedback from the broader HN community! You can find our product at: https://june.so