Kyle Samera

Will AI kill SaaS?

Today, I saw a Twitter thread, "SaaS is dead. Here's why...". The author, the CEO of a popular DTC company, started explaining that in a few years AI will eventually be able to create fully capable software applications from a simple prompt. Inevitably, when those barriers to entry lower, we'll see an onslaught of clones. He explained, "we'll go from 30 review apps to 30,000". SaaS becomes a commodity, anyone can do it.

And I agree, ChatGPT is already wonderful in my development process simply because it can debug code scripts in seconds. We WILL reach a point where anyone can clone software (even though SaaS products have been getting cloned forever but oh well).

But, the hypocrisy reeked when he explained that there will be a "Physical Product Renaissance" meaning HIS DTC company will be fine after effectively deeming the entire tech sector, besides OpenAI, dead.

It was then that I closed my Twitter app and went to Amazon. Typed a description of his physical product in the search bar and hit enter. 1,035 matching results. Lol.

But, he's built an incredible company. I have one of their products and love it. I could have bought this product from tons of other brands, but I bought from his brand.

You see where I'm going with this right? Maybe this will help.

Bi-monthly I walk down the frozen pizza aisle at my local Cub Foods and I'm astounded by how large the selection is. And somehow, I come out with Red Baron every time.

If everyone in the world knows how to make a pizza, and there are still companies making pizzas, I can absolutely promise SaaS is not dead.

There will be change, though. The playbook to win will shift further from the technology, to the intangibles like brand, customer experience, content, marketing, etc. AKA, SaaS owners will have to deal with the reality that physical products have already been dealing with for years.

This is a welcomed change. It will lead to consumer conscious product, i.e. better products.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. This was probably a hook to garner attention on his thread. And it worked. But as someone who has built in both eCommerce and now moving to SaaS, I can confidently say that we're simply going to see the democratization of code (more than we already have) in the same exact way Shopify made millions dropshipper clones out of thin air.

Build a good business, not just an app, and you'll set yourself up for success.