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The hockey stick


Mar 31, 2009

Today we announced 6000 customers.  Doubling our customer base in the last 3 months.

Xero operating update – 31 March 2009 (pdf)

Many have asked us to share our customer growth chart, which we’re happy to do because we believe as an industry we’re still coming to terms with how to build and fund a SaaS business.


I think the key learning to date is that no one thing will accelerate the curve. It’s a bunch of factors which include

  • People have heard about your solution from enough people they will now trust you.  Especially so in the accounting space as it is a referral sell and very sticky.
  • The feature set steadily becomes more compelling, as you rapidly build out the product.
  • The ecosystem starts to kick in, initially as a validator but eventually your natural channel will begin to work.
  • Your true scale model starts function.  Over half our customers in March came through accountants, an obvious early scale channel for our particular business

I personally believe that SaaS is about having the capital to give you the time to do things properly ahead of the curve.  SaaS business are complete businesses and require you to form a multi-disciplined team that can execute on all facets of the business.  Software development, platform development, testing, customer care, marketing, business development, sales, finance and operations.

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