SaaStr 2022

Vanity vs Value SaaS Debate at SaaStr 2022

Where’s the burn, we ask?

If you’re here, you probably caught the Twitter crossfire between us and Jason Lemkin, the founder of SaaStr about the bad first day at SaaStr Annual 2022. Well, to be fair, for the both of us!

But what triggered it? We’re still clueless, TBH!

Let’s backtrack a little.

13th Sep, it’s morning, right ‘outside the San Mateo Community Center - Upekkha partners, founders and backers reach the SaaStr Annual Venue with our clarion call for Value SaaS, or when inverted, ‘No Vanity SaaS’!

Just us and a bunch of peaceful protestors talking about how Vanity SaaS hurts founders, and why we won’t stand for it!

While we champion founder Optionality - learn more about it here- we are asked by the SaaStr team to stop or be canceled, or worse, be forever banned! For a constructive intervention outside the event premises!

Where’s the rub, we wondered in a cause that puts Founders First?

Faced with an arbitrary threat, we do what anyone would do in the moment -
wrote a blog titled SaaStr threatened to cancel Value SaaS and put it on Twitter

That certainly got Jason’s attention. And he said…….

Forceful, but not too helpful, we’re afraid.
So,we persevere. And ask again?

We wait. And then, we just get blocked :)

By now, we had folks asking - hey! Where did this come from?

Let’stalk, Jason! We could have more in common than you think

While we wrap our heads around the alleged ‘hurt’ we’ve caused, and wait on a response, we can only assume a misunderstanding about the term ‘Vanity SaaS’ is at play here.

We don’t blame you! We get that a lot.

This is why we recently wrote our Value SaaS Manifesto. Read it here along with frequently asked questions on what Value SaaS is, what Vanity SaaS is and is not, and how Value SaaS multiplies founder Optionality. Click here

Salesforce, Atlassian, Veeva, Amplitude, Confluent, Expensify, GitLab, Olo and SEMrush are all Value SaaS.

The 90+ startups and 190 founders at Upekkha - who are building and scaling their businesses the capital-efficient way- most definitely vouch for the Value SaaS way!

Some of them have raised funds, some are looking to raise VC funds, some continue to scale bootstrapped and some have taken the strategic exit path. We call this Optionality and it is only available to founders who trek the Value SaaS road.

All in control of their growth journeys, all winners in their own right. And that really is our vision. We’re sure something you’d love to get behind too!

Your move!

We will wait to hear from you and hope to keep that conversation going.

Thiyagarajan M (Rajan)
Co-founder & Partner, Upekkha

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