“What’s happening is that the subscription economy is just taking over the world,” says Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta. It shows up for our consumer lives with Netflix, Amazon, etc. It shows up at work as well. Because of that, all of those companies just can’t afford to just sell to their customers and move on. They’ve got to make them successful.”
I just heard about the deal (Salesforce buying Tableau Software for $15 billion) this morning. It just felt perfect for both sides. Tableau is one of the most respected companies in general and Salesforce has proven that they can buy companies and put them through their distribution channel. I think both customers are very committed to customer success.
I think it just keeps accelerating. If you look at it overall there is a Subscription Economy Index that Zuora puts out and it shows that companies that are in subscription businesses are growing five times faster than the average S&P traded peer company. What’s happening is that the subscription economy is just taking over the world. It shows up for our consumer lives with Netflix, Amazon, etc. It shows up at work as well. Because of that, all of those companies just can’t afford to just sell to their customers and move on. They’ve got to make them successful.
Subscriptions are great for consumers. We get to choose what we want, we get to turn it on, and in most cases, we can turn it off. Sometimes we have to make a phone call to make that happen. The phone call is annoying but we have choice. In the business world that’s happening now. They have choice. Before they used to buy things, install them, and have no ability to switch. You were just stuck with what you got.
In this new world customers have choice and therefore all the vendors, whether it’s a Salesforce or a Tableau or a Slack, have to proactively make sure that you are using all the stuff you buy and getting more value. Also, not just getting more value, that you are getting more value than any other alternative out there.
Slack is a very special company. It’s sort of this triple threat. Customers love it, we run our whole business on Slack. The numbers are amazing in terms of growth rate, in terms of efficiency and net retention. Their existing customers keep spending more money with more than 140 percent net retention. They are also a great culture. I think Slack is one of those businesses that is built for the long term. They can go public in any market.
There is a huge megatrend that is happening. We have almost this dissonance where technology in some ways is coming more into our lives and taking away more and more of humanity and the people in business. But on the flip side, all of us are longing for a more personal and human connection to the businesses that we work with. We are not ready to turn the whole world over to AI and machine learning. We need that human connection. What’s happening is companies are saying I need to treat my customers more like human beings. I need to be more proactively focused on customer success and make sure that they are getting value.
They’re also saying I need to treat my employees more like human beings. I need to give them great technology like Slack, like Zoom, and like other great technologies that are going public this year that are helping employees be more successful. There’s this big approach, we call it human first business, which is really changing the way people think about work.