Last Fall I enjoyed a great Netflix film in a somewhat unusual place — a movie theater. I saw Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” in a beautiful single-screen theater in Manhattan called the Paris Theater. Then again maybe it wasn’t that unusual, since Netflix owns the theater.

I was reminded of this when WarnerMedia announced that all 17 of their new movies next year (including titles like Dune and Wonder Woman 1984) would stream on HBO Max on the same day that they debut in theaters. A predictable freakout ensued. The end of cinema was declared.

“Some of our industry’s biggest…


A Conversation with Jeroen Tas, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at Philips

Welcome! This week I’m discussing digital transformation and healthcare with Jeroen Tas, the Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer of Philips, a Zuora customer. Most of you are familiar with Philips, the $25 billion Dutch manufacturing conglomerate that makes everything from smart LED bulbs to MRI systems. Jeroen has been with the company for ten years, after impressive tenures at Citibank and Hewlett-Packard. He was kind enough to speak to me from his home in Amsterdam.

Tien: Jeroen, you’ve got a big role as Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at a legendary $24 billion technology company, where it’s not an exaggeration…


In the Subscription Economy, how do you know when it’s time to kill a product?

A couple of weeks ago I talked about product offerings with Zuora’s Amy Konary, and our research data on this topic is clear: revenues of higher-growth companies are typically concentrated in a more highly curated set of products. Less is more.

And now I have an excellent example of smart product editing from GitLab, a hugely popular developer platform that is growing like crazy.


We may have just shot forward ten years in ten months.

The pandemic has acted as a dramatic accelerant for the Subscription Economy in terms of agility, flexibility, and autonomy. It has been the ultimate forcing function for digital transformation.

Here in the US, roughly 40% of the workforce are currently sitting through Zoom meetings in their sweatpants. That percentage will drop by the end of the year, but the data is clear: when the dust settles on the pandemic, there will be roughly twice the amount of remote workers as before.

And many of those remote workers have already…


By Tien Tzuo

Want to triple your sales efficiency? Think about trimming your product catalog. That’s according to the new benchmark study from the Subscribed Institute and McKinsey & Company (you can download the full report here). This week I’m talking to Amy Konary, VP of the Subscribed Strategy Group, about these surprising key results.

Amy, as VP of our Subscribed Strategy Group, you advise some of the biggest companies in the world on how to improve their subscription models. You’ve seen all sorts of successes and pitfalls. When it comes to B2B companies, or businesses that sell to other businesses, you’ve told…


Netflix recently announced that it has over 200 million global subscribers, an impressive milestone. But more importantly, the company is “very close” to being free cash flow positive, despite previously forecasting a loss of up to $1 billion on the year. As Barron’s put it, “the big news was the revelation that Netflix is no longer a money pit. It’s now well on the way to becoming a cash machine.”

This is the same publication, I might add, that wrote an article called “Netflix Shares Could Dive to $45” in 2016. “Investors continue to overlook increasing cash burn and relatively…


In the late Nineties, Yahoo was the Internet. Technically it was a human-compiled directory of web sites, but it was essentially the home page of what was then a very new and exciting space. When I was looking around for a new job after business school, I discovered Salesforce on Yahoo.

Here’s how it worked: If you had a web site, you submitted it to Yahoo, and if someone there thought it was worth including, they categorized it accordingly. The company hired librarians and book store employees to do this job. …


GM’s EV-focused keynote at the virtual CES this week was literally electrifying: an entirely new battery system, a new business unit dedicated to delivery solutions, a cool new EV Hummer, even a flying Cadillac air taxi. But perhaps more than all of the new product announcements, I especially appreciated Mary Barra’s stated goal for a world that has “zero emissions, zero crashes, and zero congestion.” It was a powerful statement that placed all this innovation in context: GM is working to make the world a better, safer place.

And that’s good news. We need more players in the EV market…


The Future of Payments in the Subscription Economy

These days it feels like cash is disappearing by the minute. Just look at fintech giants like Ant, which started as an e-commerce escrow service and now handles over $16 trillion dollars in payments for over a billion users. Rural market purchases in China don’t involve yuan anymore, they’re done with cell phones and QR codes.

Last year, over two-thirds of the world’s 37 billion mobile money transactions happened in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Sweden, where less than ten percent of all payments are made in cash, the government is considering moving completely…


Salesforce bought Slack this week for $27.7 billion, the eighth biggest tech merger in history. There was a lot of racehorse commentary about the tactical and competitive reasons for the deal, but I tend to look at it as part of a much broader story. It’s a story about the power of platforms, and I think it has lessons for every sector of the economy.

Salesforce has bought at least 60 companies in its history, including 27 in the last five years, according to S&P Capital IQ. I had the good fortune of being involved in the company’s first four…

Tien Tzuo

Founder and CEO of @Zuora (NYSE: ZUO) and the author of “SUBSCRIBED: Why the Subscription Model Will be Your Company’s Future — and What to Do About It.”

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