Slack is the B2B communication tool. It started out as a work chat app that was easy
to use and free to try. Over time, its feature set expanded to include video calls, integrations with other SaaS
products, and collaboration features.
Slack’s PLG motion was built into the product. The app was easy and
free to install. The chat feature was the perfect WhatsApp alternative for professionals. And the desktop-first
interface was ideal for work teams.
Most importantly, Slack users benefitted from other people installing
the app. The more of their team joined, the more people they could talk to on Slack. This, plus a frictionless
self-serve sign-up process, made the app spread like wildfire.
Result: Slack came out in
2014. By 2015, 10,000 daily active users were signing up each week. Today’s daily active user count is
10+ million - and 2 in 3 users convert from free to paid accounts.
Why do we use Zoom and not Skype or Google Meet? The latter two SaaS products came
first. Both had a much bigger user base than Zoom by the time it came out.
The answer is simple. Zoom is
easy to use, doesn’t require a Google Workspace account, and supports a large number of participants. It has
high-quality audio and video, as well as a free version (with a 40-minute time limit).
When the world
needed a video call app during the pandemic, Zoom was the natural answer. Ease of use and the free version won
users over. Support for large meetings quickly made the app spread through
Result: 300 million daily users, $2.6 billion revenue in 2020.
HubSpot is a multi-functional platform with features that help marketing, sales, and service.
HubSpot does all kinds of things, from hosting your website to managing customer relationships and giving you data
Unlike most PLG motions, HubSpot’s isn’t 100% product-focused. Instead, it comes in the form of
Hubspot has thousands of useful blog posts, videos, emails, webinars, etc. These make
it easy to use the product to its full potential, getting more value out of it. The content is also highly
shareable, encouraging users to drive referrals.
The product itself makes trials, conversions, and upsells
easy for users as well. Signing up for content and basic HubSpot features costs nothing. The path to upgrades,
renewals, and extra features is frictionless.
The combination of incredible educational resources, a free
trial, and easy upgrade helped make HubSpot the go-to solution for marketing and
Result: HubSpot has over 100,000 users. Its annual revenue exceeds $1 billion.
Today, many people know Atlassian as the company that bought Trello. But back in the
day, Atlassian was best-known for creating Confluence and Jira.
As a pioneer in cloud-based enterprise
apps, Atlassian caught on to PLG early on. They gave out free product versions, made their software valuable, and
provided lots of useful integrations.
The tactics were simple but effective. They helped spread Jira and
Confluence early on in the SaaS era.
Result: Atlassian is one of the biggest SaaS
providers in the world, with over 200,000 customers and a whopping $1.6 billion in annual revenue.
Calendly is the world’s most popular appointment-setting software. Users program their free
hours, then get a unique URL that lets others book them for appointments in those slots.
because of an excellent product - fast and easy to use, intuitive to set up - and a feature-rich free version. The
free version was useful, giving users a taste of what Calendly can do.
This drove sign-ups… And also made
people booking appointments sign up for their own Calendly accounts. This, plus a deep list of integrations (e.g.
with Google Calendar), helped put Calendly into hypergrowth.
Result: $70 million revenue,
over 10 million users.
Monday.com is a newer case study. It’s an Israeli project management and collaboration
tool with a deep feature-set. PLG-optimized shareability is built into the product; it’s made for teams, so a
single user will encourage colleagues to join if satisfied.
Another PLG element here is convenient
pricing: a free trial, a low-cost plan for small teams, and an easy upgrade path. It’s easy and frictionless to
join and onboard your team. You can start out paying very little, and increase spend in step with
Last but not least, the product is easy to get value from. The core product is intuitive, but you
also get hundreds of templates that make work easier for teams… And a huge knowledge base consisting of
blog posts, FAQ pages, and more.
All you have to do to make Monday.com work for you is basically show up!
No wonder users spread it to their organizations so quickly.
Result: Between the quality
product, easy onboarding, and lots of valuable templates, Monday.com ended up going into hypergrowth. In 2020,
their revenue reached $613 million - with 100,000 paying users.