It’s Fine to Outsource a Key Integration First. Get It Done. | SaaStr

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This post from Gorgias the other day, after it’s $700m valuation Series C, reminded me of a key mistake many founders make.  They often wait too long to build a fully native integration:

Gorgias is now the leading contact center on Shopify with over 10,000 customers, and so it started there as the #1 platform in e-commerce.  It build this integration in-house.  It had to — it was core to the product.

But it then expanded as many of us do into other leaders, from Magento to BigCommerce.  And at first, it used third parties that knew those platform and ecosystems to build it.  Then, as you can see, bring the 2.0 edition in-house.  A much better, more feature-rich version in-house:

A lot of us go through this.  Back in the day, we were the first esignature natively integrated into Salesforce.  But then to do our 1.0 Netsuite, Oracle, and Microsoft integrations, we found experts to build the 1.0, using our original Salesforce integation as the framework and playbook.  Were they quite as good and feature rich as the original integration we built ourselves?  No.  But it also means we got it done that quarter, instead of maybe … almost never.  They were still decent, pretty good 1.0 editions that let us close customers.

My only real point on this simple post is that I’ve seen so many other SaaS leaders do this.  They have customers that want an integration with Saleforce, or Shopify, or QuickBooks, or Bill, or whatever.  And it’s clear that it’s worth doing, but you just don’t have the resources.  And even if you have an API, your customers often don’t have the engineering resources to do it themselves.

My recommendation is almost always just outsource the 1.0 integration.  A good plan today is often better than a better plan next year.  And then .. you can learn.

Don’t stall, don’t wait, don’t lose a few key customers you could close now and lose from because a second tier integration, or a new integration you don’t understand well, isn’t built yet.  This is 2022.  There’s someone out there that can do it for you, and has done it for 10-100 other vendors.  And quickly, and probably much cheaper all-in than you could do it yourself.

Get it done.

More on a deep dive on the learnings here from MaestroQA at $12m ARR on the Salesforce platform here:

Published on August 25, 2022

Go to Publisher: SaaStr
Author: Jason Lemkin