Welcome to the DjaoDjin Blog!

A place to share experiences in building Software-as-a-Service.

Vendor Landscape for Enterprise-Ready SaaS

by David Schoenbach on Thu, 6 Apr 2017

Enterprise-ready SaaS: The term suggest feature-rich, scalable, and secure -- qualities at the core of any cloud-based service for enterprise customers. But the bar is trending higher, and developers now have greater expectations to meet as they set their roadmap for enterprise-ready SaaS. read more...

Analysis of Runtime Behavior of Boutique Software-as-a-Service

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 12 Dec 2016

We define a boutique Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a business from one to fifty people, which primarily sells a software product through an online subscription service. We were curious to find out the technology stacks behind those businesses, as well as the usage of administrative features (User profiles, Billing, etc.) that need to be built up as part of running a Software-as-a-Service but which are not core to the service delivered. read more...

Breaking The Curse of Negative Cashflow in SaaS

by Sebastien Mirolo on Thu, 1 Sep 2016

It has become a custom that a SaaS company will sacrifice its cash flow and profitability when chasing after revenue growth and growth of the customer base. This is obviously made possible if a SaaS company is backed by a large amount of investment, specifically from Venture Capital firms. read more...

Boutique entrepreneur, LLC or Corporation?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 25 Jul 2016

You are starting a Software-as-a-Service business to clinch this nagging pain you had at the company you just left. Now swimming into the business legal jargon, you are wondering should I create a LLC or incorporate? I am neither a lawyer nor a certified accountant. The following blog post cannot be construed as professional advise. It is merely the thoughts of a boutique entrepreneur that has spent way too much time reading through documents available on the Web. None-the-less I hope it helps you. read more...

Hiring a technical co-founder

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 3 Jul 2016

You are starting a Software-as-a-service business to clinch this nagging pain you had at the company you just left. You have connections and some business expertise but the only line of code you have ever seen was in an 80s movie where a kid prevented a nuclear war by having a computer play tic-tac-toe against itself. You are definitely looking out for a technical co-founder. read more...

Mental Preparation for the Future CEO

by Aurélie Pérez on Sat, 28 May 2016

Is it time for you to create your own company? Are you ready to begin the amazing adventure which is entrepreneurship? Today we are having a guest post from Aurélie Pérez, Advisor about Happiness At Work on the mental preparation you will need to become a CEO. read more...

In the year ahead

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sat, 23 Jan 2016

Jan 1st 2016, we survived. Bigger fishes didn't make it. Two customers are going live with their product next week. Three deals were signed. The quota for January was met. Time to look at what lies ahead. read more...

How to set pricing for my subscription business?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Tue, 6 Oct 2015

Getting the perfect pricing will make a huge difference on a business, from sales velocity (how fast do you sign customers) to free cash flow (how much can be re-invested quickly into growth). Every market, product and situation is different. It will take trials and errors to get it right. Let's just remember rule #1. read more...

Whitelabel Domain with TLS

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 24 Aug 2015

The first and easiest thing to do to start a business on the Internet is to register a domain name. There are a few gotchas to be aware of before you select a DNS provider and hand over the domain name to your technical team. This post is a little bit more technical than usual but reading through it will avoid a lot of headaches and frustration later on. read more...

A typical day building a boutique hosting platform

by Sebastien Mirolo on Fri, 17 Jul 2015

Mark Suster's blog is always on the edge between a strong opinion and a pragmatic approach to moving forward. I like it. Recently Mark wrote "How the Hell do I Prioritize Work, Blog & Find Balance?". It prompted me to reflect on "What do I myself do in a typical day?". read more...

How to bring your own service online

by Joe Bonadio on Thu, 11 Jun 2015

There are two opinions when it comes to building a service on the Internet: if you are willing to work for free for a while, you don’t need much capital to start a web service - $37 is enough. On the other hand, the math of SaaS favor large amounts of capital early. Surprisingly both lines of reasoning are true. read more...

StartUp Discussion Panel

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 1 Mar 2015

On February 18th, DjaoDjin organized a discussion panel to the benefit of 32 students from ESCP visiting diverse companies in San Francisco for a week. read more...

Happy New Year 2015!

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 4 Jan 2015

Happy New Year to You! Happy New Year to all those who entrust DjaoDjin with the technical challenges of running their boutique services online. Happy New Year to all those who support DjaoDjin with their time and money. read more...

Where the road leads - Vasilios Pavlounis

by Joe Bonadio on Sun, 2 Nov 2014

A first generation Greek-American born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Vasilios Pavlounis graduated with a business degree from Dalhousie University in 1986. His life changed course, however, when he saw an ad for a computer consultant job three years later. As he recalls, “I literally had to look it up. Once I did, I said ‘I think this computer stuff is the future.’ ” read more...

Back to school: lessons learned this summer

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 25 Aug 2014

Last week, yet another DjaoDjin client processed his first payment through the DjaoDjin subscription firewall. In this post, I will share what the team learned completing the DjaoDjin Minimum Viable Product (MVP) over the summer. read more...

From Cycling to IoT - Eran Frohman

by Joe Bonadio on Mon, 11 Aug 2014

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman read more...

Resources for SaaS businesses

by Sebastien Mirolo on Fri, 6 Jun 2014

To wrap up, we recently came across some articles providing very insightful angles to running a SaaS business. read more...

Born Entrepreneur - Hasan Mirjan

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 10 Nov 2013

Entrepreneurship is in Hasan Mirjan's genes. His father was a successful businessman manufacturing insulation material in his native Iraq. Mirjan’s journey into entrepreneurship began at the age of 20 with a chicken farm. read more...

Landing in Silicon Valley - Eric Olivier

by Sebastien Mirolo on Wed, 7 Aug 2013

Fifty-four-year old Eric Olivier is widely traveled and has dabbled in a wide variety of businesses ranging from hospitality to information technology. read more...

RapidSaas Meetup Notes

by Sebastien Mirolo on Fri, 17 May 2013

After all, one of the most compelling arguments for building a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business is that you can do it on a shoestring and be profitable within a few months - No ‘Angel’, no VC, fully bootstrapped. read more...

Is baseball the best sports analogy for entrepreneurship?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 21 Apr 2013

There are a lot of sports metaphors thrown around in business. I have already written about technology for the sports fan. Most prevalent in the startup world is the home run hit. Baseball is a popular sport, and since the San Francisco Giants are at the top of their game, it is quite understandable that baseball gets thrown around a lot around in the bay area tech circles. read more...

Business Anatomy

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 7 Jan 2013

[UPDATED] A physical person is made of limbs and organs each with a dedicated function. Amonst them, the heart, by pulsing blood through the body at regular intervals, defines life and death. In a shortcut analogy, bussiness law organize companies as moral entities with roles and procedures and, if anything, financial statements and taxes give the pulse of a company. read more...

Focus on Profit

by Sebastien Mirolo on Mon, 10 Dec 2012

I had the pleasure of attending Joel Gascoigne’s presentation on Buffer at a recent San Francisco Financial Startup Meetup. Joel cited some interesting numbers:

  • 400,000+ registered users
  • 1.7% conversion rate
  • $10/month membership
read more...

On Startups

by Sebastien Mirolo on Wed, 14 Mar 2012

Between all the overly hyped articles covering launch events, plancast postmortem is a refreshing must read. read more...

The Future of the workplace

by Sebastien Mirolo on Tue, 7 Feb 2012

I work from my house, as well as several coffee shops next door, and client's labs once in a while. When you are in a software development industry, you can pretty much work from anywhere as long as you can connect to the Internet. I recently attended an event at Rocketspace presented by Podio and Liquidspace. While Podio can feel like a generic tool, check out Screenlight (featured in Zencoder blog). Screenlight is a good example of an enabler of distributed workplaces for a very specific market, in this case the market of video screening. read more...

The N Rules of something

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 15 Jan 2012

Happy New Year! Big resolutions for 2012? If you haven't picked yours yet, these lists of rules to live by are always a lot of inspiration. Enjoy! read more...

Here Comes Everybody

by Sebastien Mirolo on Thu, 8 Sep 2011

I picked-up "Here Comes Everybody" from Clay Shirky. It is a very interesting and entertaining read. read more...

Books I read this week

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sat, 23 Jul 2011

I picked up "Only the paranoid survive", "Cowboys and Dragons" and "The Shockwave Rider" from the library this week. read more...

Startup Sales Meetup

by Sebastien Mirolo on Thu, 31 Mar 2011

Yesterday I attended the Startup Sales Circle Inaugural Meetup provided by SalesTie. It was a great venue, with a lot of interesting people to meet and a very informative panel discussion moderated by Adam Rodnitzky at RelTel Technologies. That was definitely one of the most professional meetup I went to. read more...

Summer Readings

by Sebastien Mirolo on Wed, 1 Sep 2010

September is here again. The summer is almost over and as usual the cold and foggy days have given ways to the warm season here in San Francisco. It is a good time to compile a list of the articles and books I have read through the last months that have held my thoughts. read more...

Open source business models

by Sebastien Mirolo on Fri, 23 Jul 2010

There are many reasons to structure your business as an open source business. For example, your business largely relies on open source software itself and it sounds like fair practice to do such yourself. A second example is that your business is small. It does not have the resources to seek out talents and knowledge on its own. This is a real problem in a knowledge-based economy where a business competitive edge relies increasingly on who, what, as much as when you know something. An open source business can leverage contributions from diverse relevant sources around the world. In the end though, noble or practical, a business only survives through sustainable profits. It is thus important to control costs and setup channels through which revenue can stream into the business. read more...

What is the other guy in the office doing?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Tue, 25 May 2010

Coming up with innovative technology is an art. Building an actual product out of that technology is an art. Making money out of that product is an art. In every case, there are plenty of opportunities to screw-up along the way but as the saying goes: "Smithing makes the smith. Sailing makes the sailor. Cooking makes the cook. Tailoring makes the tailor". At some point you need to jump in the unknown and start doing; practical experience will come with the years. Nonetheless, failing because "we did not know" is not an excuse. The ones that succeed are always the ones that can draw on the experience of others. When given a situation, they will obtain the technical advantage from their accumulated knowledge. Experience is a guide, not a master. read more...

Technology careers explained to sports fan

by Sebastien Mirolo on Thu, 14 Jan 2010

Most people do not understand the skills thare are needed to work in technology. The stereotype is that you need to wear glasses and talk in intricate mathematical formulas. Well, I argue that everyone is fit to work and have fun in technology, even if you are a sports buff. read more...