Review: The SaaS Playbook

Books, Entrepreneurship

I recently cruised through The SaaS Playbook by Rob Walling. If you haven’t heard of Rob Walling, then you’re missing out. Rob is best known as the former founder of Drip (the email marketing company) and, more recently, for his contributions to the bootstrapped tech business space with his podcast “Startups for the Rest of Us”, his online/offline community MicroConf, and his other books, all targeting smaller or bootstrapped startups.

The SaaS Playbook is a very clear and actionable guide on how to tackle the biggest parts of building a Software as a Service business. This book is a self-described spiritual successor to Start Small Stay Small, an earlier book on getting started, which famously sets out the “Stair Step Method” describing steps to start an entrepreneurial journey. The SaaS Playbook targets an entrepreneur who’s a bit further in their journey and looking to start a standalone SaaS company.

The book covers six major topics: Market, Pricing, Marketing, Team, Metrics, and Mindset

book cover photo

I found the sections on market, team, and mindset to be the most impactful. They cover a lot of high-level approaches that will be applicable to everyone. That said, those are areas that particularly interest me, so be aware my bias is showing.

The SaaS Playbook is very good and it is clearly a culmination of Rob’s experience over the years, distilled into a very well thought out format. If you’re already a fan of Rob’s, then you’ll find that a lot of the lessons, thoughts, and strategies outlined in this book are not new and he has covered them at length on his podcast.

Overall, The SaaS Playbook is a fun, easy read packed with information for bootstrapped entrepreneurs targeting SaaS models. There are no new earth-shattering concepts that Rob hasn’t touched on, so if you’re looking for that, you might be disappointed. I’d pick this one up for a nice Sunday read.