Paul Kedrosky writes:
With 37signals’ launch today of Highrise, its small-business CRM product, I got to thinking about 37signals and the small & medium business market for software. One of the hoariest and most accepted bits of wisdom about the SMB market is that it sucks. Not that it’s small, because it demonstrably isn’t, but because the market is full of tiny companies who don’t purchase enough to justify the sales/marketing to get to them.
Enter 37signals. What Jason et al., have done well is to recognize that the path to profitable SMB sales is to become the default choice of a new generation of companies. Their Basecamp, Backpack, and, now, Highrise, are part of a suite of hosted tools that are near-ubiquitous at startups, not just because they’re well done, but because they are what everyone else is using. Yes, they’re hosted, and yes they’re simple, but it helps to be everywhere in a self-referencing niche too.