• Welcome to Platformula1

  • We are Partner First Startup Builders for the Age of "Anything as a Service" (XaaS)

    Our Core Belief:

    Partner First startups achieve product/partner fit and scale faster than "user first" startups--Especially with the right partner success framework, aka "platformula".

    Call us heretics. We hold a uniquely counter-intuitive point of view on the "growth challenge" facing SaaS, cloud, IoT, and app startups in the XaaS economy.


    We see far too many digital services startups building "growth engines" based solely on "User First" inbound marketing--while providing no coherent growth framework to attract, incentivize, and monetize sticky partnerships in the XaaS economy.


    At best that's half a growth engine.


    At worst it's a trip to the dead unicorn cemetery, given the high cost of sales and marketing inherent in "user first" businesses.


    We work side by side with your team to help you define, message, and monetize Partner Viable Products (PVP) that drive profitable adoption and distribution of your cloud-native building block services (e.g. an API as a product). We will help you grow inside incumbent ecosystems and/or new developer centers of market gravity.


    We describe this inside/out adoption and growth model as "3rd foothold" disruption.


    Platformula1 is led by founder and senior consultant Joseph Bentzel, author of "Asymmetric Marketing: Tossing the 'Chasm' in the Age of the Software Superpowers".


    Our Services

  • For XaaS Startups & Digital Enterprises

    Partner First growth engines need 3 things.


    A Partner Viable Product.


    A XaaS distribution playbook.


    A bulletproof category frame & compelling content to evangelize partners.

    Partner Viable Product (PVP) Strategy

    In the XaaS economy, the fastest & most repeatable path to profitable growth at the lowest cost of marketing & sales is a Partner Viable Product (PVP).


    User-first 'MVPs' or minimum viable products are built to engage downstream users as crash test dummies for a 'not ready for primetime' offering. In contrast to this, Partner Viable Products or PVPs focus on monetizing your technology as digital experience "building blocks" inside incumbent centers of market gravity and their pre-existing customer networks. This provides tremendous growth leverage going forward, while reducing sales/marketing spend. Step One. We'll audit your current MVP offering and help you drive its reincarnation as a PVP. And we'll also help you optimize your developer outreach by separating the alpha partners with real revenue potential and growth inheritance from long tail tire kickers.

    XaaS Distribution Playbooks

    The XaaS economy enables new "plug & play" embedded distribution mechanisms while supercharging traditional partnership models. We call it "Partner @ the Core' mindset.


    The XaaS economy is not your father's 'channel marketing' landscape. In that world your partners lived 'at the edge' of your product serving as last mile VARs & integrators. But in the age of XaaS, via APIs, open source communities, cloud partner marketplaces, and 'white label' XaaS, you can embed your PVP upstream--"at the core" of your partner's app, cloud, network, system, solution or experience. This Partner First approach takes 'sticky' partnering to a new level and means you don't have to rely on expensive inbound direct marketing campaigns to drive direct user growth and revenue. We'll help you build a multi-modal XaaS distribution playbook that's unique to your business and optimized for your category.

    XaaS Content Creation

    The XaaS wave is the quiet riot in cloud native tech. New "As a Service" categories are continuously emerging inside of cloud & app developer ecosystems. These emerging category startups & enterprise digital platform initiatives require rich, fact-based messaging and content creation to power Partner First growth programs.


    What XaaS platform innovators need to win is "3 dimensional' content that frames their category innovation & building block goodness for rapid partner adoption---By alpha vendors and alpha developers in search of the next big differentiator.


    And SaaS players---once entirely focused on downstream "market of 1" user adoption---are also monetizing upstream developer integrations and embedded partnerships by exposing their offerings and data as plug/play APIs.


    We help you build the messaging, content, & category thought leadership you need to frame your digital building block services as must-have capabilities for alpha developers and partners.

  • We Help You Win
    in the
    XaaS Economy

  • Direct-only SaaS has evolved into

    plug & play Partner First XaaS

    To rust proof your growth engine, answer one question....

    Are you XaaS partner ready?

    Fact: The XaaS economy is inherently partner-centric.

    At Platformula1 we eat, sleep and breathe the cloud powered "as a service" revolution called XaaS.


    We help direct-to-user SaaS players pivot their business models and go-to-market strategy to capitalize on partner advantaged XaaS, i.e. to XaaSify.


    We show cloud startups how to leverage the 1-click XaaS marketplace initiatives of the cloud superpowers to drive growth.


    We also serve cloud/mobile/API savvy enterprises as they plan and execute their digital transformation initiatives and become partner focused platform companies via XaaS distribution best practices.









  • A platformula is a Partner First growth & monetization framework for XaaS innovators... from startups to enterprises.


    "User First" startups regularly burn massive amounts of capital on sales & marketing. This places them at risk of catastrophic failure when capital markets dry up and they can no longer use capital as a "performance enhancing drug".


    Partner First startups grow more efficiently, becoming ruggedized by symbiotically attaching to pre-existing networks and incumbent centers of market gravity.


    The key to symbiotic attachment is what we call a "platformula".

    Platformula mindset begins with a partner viable product strategy multiplied by XaaS distribution readiness--i.e. your product's ability to symbiotically attach to multiple partner distribution modalities and capitalize on XaaS economy asymmetry.


    A partner viable product can be delivered as a XaaS 'product ingredient', e.g.. a "security as a service" API baked in to your partner's app, cloud or solution.


    A partner viable product can also be delivered as a XaaS 'process ingredient', e.g. a multi-sided cloud hub, marketplace or collaboration catalyst that streamlines or re-invents supply chains, demand chains and digital interaction workflows.

  • Pivoting to a Partner First growth model?

    We'll help your startup craft its unique platformula, while reducing your sales & marketing burn.

  • Platformula1 Blog

    Intermittent commentary well worth the wait.


    "I argued that Uber “won” because they used cash as steroids to hack liquidity. Going forward,...
    "As software developers, and as a business, we see the world through the lens of building blocks....
    February 20, 2016
    Christensen's "Two Footholds" In the December 2015 HBR, Clayton Christensen (and co-authors...
    January 1, 2016
    Just cut over to new mobile-first Strikingly-hosted site at Platformula1.com. Easy to work with,...
  • Also check out the

    Platformula1 blog on Medium



    Client Case Studies

  • Cloud, Mobile, IoT & Beyond

    Our Partner First growth framework. Your innovation DNA.


    FinTech Platform

    Partner Viable Product & XaaS Distribution

    A fintech & payments platform innovator decided to pivot their growth strategy from direct app distribution to a Partner First XaaS approach leveraging an API as a product combined with an OEM/white label app offering. We helped their management team drive the transition to a partner viable product (PVP) model and identify distribution prospects and fintech partner ecosystem options for their leadership.


    CX & Content Platform for eCommerce

    Platform Marketing & Messaging Refresh

    A global innovator in responsive content management & omnichannel experience delivery for premium e-commerce brands & their platform partners wanted to refresh their category messaging to drive their next phase of growth. We worked with their senior leadership to help them re-frame & differentiate their unified cloud content as a service as the next big thing in digital commerce and online retail.


    Cloud-Managed Branch/SMB Office Platform

    Pre-Launch Partner Marketing

    An IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) startup wanted to pre-launch to a targeted set of white label partners including Telcos, MSPs, & enterprise networking OEMs. We helped them unveil their hybrid services branch office platform & partner-customizable management console 'under the radar' through event marketing & analyst coverage.


    IoT & Smart Grid PaaS

    Building a Partner Distribution & Co-Marketing Program

    An API & microservices development platform pioneer with a strong presence in the utility industry, "smart cities", and IoT field service apps wanted to expand via the creation of a new partner network. We developed a Partner First growth framework, new partner-focused category thought leadership and content, and helped onboard key Wave One partners, including leading enterprise software incumbents & SaaS players.

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