Bill Janeway has lived a double life of ‘theorist-practitioner’, according to economist Hyman Minsky. As ‘practitioner’, Bill’s been an active investor across five decades.
As ‘theorist’, he’s an affiliated member, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University, board member of the Social Science Research Council and the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. He’s also a co-founder and member of the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). His book, Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets Speculation and the State, was published in 2012: the second edition will be published in 2018. You can see him talk about the value of bubbles to society at BoS Conference Europe 2014 here.
The Fall and Rise of Enterprise Software
Once upon a time, enterprise software was a safe bet for entrepreneurs and investors. This is no longer true. Since Salesforce.com launched in 1999, SaaS has shifted software from being a capital investment to recurring operating expense for customers, but for startups the funding from big upfront licenses is gone. SaaS has become canonical, but four other profound changes have transformed the world in which enterprise software firms operate:
- Open source software.
- ‘The Cloud’.
- Internal IT departments have largely changed focus to “keeping the lights on” and protecting systems from cyber attack.
- The decline in access to public equity markets
What are the implications for building a B2B SaaS business?
Bill discusses the opportunities and challenges that the new enterprise paradigm presents entrepreneurs from the perspective of someone with five decades of experience investing and founding software companies.