Our top 5 SaaS Products that pass the toothbrush test.

A SaaS Spring Clean

April isn’t the traditional time for Spring Cleaning, but with the Easter Break behind us, we spent some time reviewing our multiple SaaS subscriptions.

Over the past three years, we have probably tried and tested more than 50 SaaS applications. Many we realised weren’t a fit after just a week or so, however, others have lingered around, the cheap monthly pricing enough to convince us to ‘keep on trying it out’ for another few months. But as many businesses will know – subscribing to SaaS applications can quickly start to add up.

SaaS-y and Expensive

According to Gartner – SaaS solution providers generated around $US105 billion revenue in 2020. A lot of that would have come from businesses like ours that hang on to products like a poorly used gym membership. The team at Blissfully have attempted to breakdown this wasted spend according to duplicate and orphaned apps. With their estimate of companies churning through 30% of apps, it doesn’t take a BI team to highlight that there can be some significant savings made by keeping an eye out on neglected and underutilised solutions.

Is it like water; or does it pass the toothbrush test?

In our most recent cleanup, we took a pretty simple approach to decide the fate of our apps – was it as essential as water or did it pass the toothbrush test (ie were we using it more than once a day).

Below is a snapshot of what we’ve come up with. Our most essential apps for 2021.

As Essential As Water

We may not love them, but these are the apps that are critical to keeping the Poplin Data team operating on a daily basis.

GSuite – Along with most other startups and scaleups around the world.

Xero – Making finances less painful. Bonus that it’s a New Zealand born enterprise!

Snowplow – Our core data collection platform; for both our customers and our customer’s customers.

GitHub – When version control is business critical.

Slack – Helping reduce concentration spans with the under 30s tech scene.


Passing the Toothbrush Test:

We’ve tested out a lot of utility apps; and these are the ones that we’re pretty stuck on that help make our day to day jobs easier.

Asana – Has proven to be the perfect fit for project and resource management. The yogi in me also loves the name.

Float – We tested a myriad of solutions to help with our cash flow and forecasting – including good old Google Sheets – but Float has come up a winner with its simple UI and elegant synching with Xero.

HubSpot – There wasn’t much competition out there for CRM and Email Marketing – but for the moment Poplin is sticking with the orange team over the blue.

Miro – more than a wireframe app; this virtual whiteboard has been the starting point for all of our new ideas – from products, to workflows to decision trees.

Zendesk – The only way our team manages support.

So what’s the take out?

That really depends on the angle you’re taking. Putting on my financial hat, it’s amazing how fast running apps ‘even just to test’ can add up. Having the discipline to really review what’s being used versus what you think is being used is worth it.

From a technical side, it’s working out the best way to test a new product and see how you can make it work for your own team’s use case. Often we found that when a tool ‘didn’t work’ it was more to do with lack of muscle memory than the tool itself. For a while we tried every time tracking tool available, but it wasn’t until we committed to actually use the tool properly that we found it “worked”.

What are your team’s top toothbrush tools?

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