On SaaStr: Part 1

What is SaaStr?

Depends who you ask.

My answer: SaaStr is community, content, and events focused on empowering SaaS start-ups.

SaaStr’s answer comes in the form of quotes by SaaStrites. What’s a SaaStrite? A SaaStrite (like a stalagmite, for the upwards trajectory) is my term for attendees of SaaStr Annual 2018, SaaStr’s main event that took place in early February.

As a 10-year veteran of Salesforce and first-time SaaStrite, my main comparison was DreamForce. The two had a downtown San Francisco location and absurdly long registration lines in common. Beyond that, the paths diverged.

If DreamForce is the solo performance of a name brand pop star, SaaStr is a jam session of impromptu musicians, each with their own instrument and style, playing together as one.

I was front row center cheering for the encore.

Over the next few posts, I’ll share SaaStr snippets, soundbytes, and secret sauce. But first, a few questions about…

Collective Nouns

Have you ever wondered why a group of fish is a school but a group of wolves is a pack? Why do dolphins swim in a pod but geese fly in a gaggle? Has David Attenborough’s soothing narration of Planet Earth caught you by surprise when he describes a pride of lions, a murder of crows, a parade of elephants or a cauldron of bats?

These oddball terms for groups of animals are collective nouns, and the more you explore the topic, the weirder and wilder it gets.

There’s cute: a tower of giraffes, a troop of kangaroos, a romp of otters or a prickle of porcupines. There’s odd: a pandemonium of parrots, a descent of woodpeckers, a maelstrom of salamanders or an audience of squid. And there’s downright terrifying: a conspiracy of lemurs, an intrusion of cockroaches, an ambush of tigers or a thunder of hippopotamuses.


What does this parliament of owls have to do with SaaStr, you ask? I love collective nouns but couldn’t think of one to aptly describe the eclectic crowd of SaaStrites: C-levels sharing secret sauce, baby-faced SRs on booth duty, developers geeking out, VC-types basking in the glow of founders’ pitches, and of course, your friendly Salesforce consultants from OpFocus.

What collective noun would neatly describe this cast of SaaSy characters? The answer hit me like a Salesforce Lightning bolt. Cloud.

A group of SaaStrites is a cloud of SaaStrites.

Thank you for taking this linguist journey with me. In my next post, we’ll learn the 10 things Marketo’s founder would do better next time.

Post soon!

Adrian Barek

P.S. OpFocus helps as-a-Service businesses run better on Salesforce. We’d love to talk about growing your business by aligning people, process, data and technology.