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You're being nonchalant about security

Abby Sullivan Oct 16 2019

Today, we have our eyes across the pond to SaaStock Dublin. We’re also looking at data breaches: Have they become commonplace? Are we nonchalant about sufficient security?

We wrap with a new member of the subscription class, and Zuora’s Tien Tzuo weighing in.



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Across the pond to SaaStock

We’re super-tuned in to SaaStock Dublin coverage—one of our favorite places to travel as a ProfitWell crew. 

The likes, the tweets, and the retweets are rolling in, with footage so good we’re all practically there. And as I scrolled through my morning Twitter session, something about SaaStock particularly caught my eye...

You may (or may not) have heard of silent discos, during which a bunch of people get together to dance to music from wireless headphones, as opposed to playing it over speakers.

SaaStock featured a similar initiative in Dublin—but instead, a silent podcast—which is essentially the same concept, but with speakers and a captivated audience. During it, they’re filming a headphones-on Godard Abel, Co-Founder and CEO of G2 Crowd, with Philippe Botteri of Accel Partners—and a whole bunch of onlookers with their own headphones.

From the POV of the person taking this video, you can’t hear a word the speakers are saying. So you might now be wondering... how does this differ from a normal podcast?

I think, for the audience, this concept could still catch on. Because it's still about seeing the speakers live and in person, potentially getting the chance to meet them thereafter. I’m personally really digging it, although I do wonder how our own CEO, Patrick Campbell, would feel if he signed up for a talk, and this was his outlet of communicating to the audience. 

It leaves us a bit curious as to whether speakers and/or general audience members would be into this. Our crew on site in Dublin wraps up today, and when they're back, I’m keen to see if they checked it out. This could very well be the future of conferences: Minimal sound, maximum listening.

What do you think? Will this catch on? If you've ever tried it yourself, send me a note at I'm intrigued.


Another day, another data breach

Pluralsight releases a compelling piece on data breaches in today’s world, written by Dale Meredith, Microsoft Certified Trainer and project consultant, which asks questions like: 

  • Why do data breaches seem so commonplace now? 
  • Have we become so immune to almost weekly news headlines of large-scale data breaches that solving the problem seems insurmountable? 

These are the questions that have left Dale wondering if we're learning the right lessons from others’ mistakes. He reminds us,

“With the right mindset, data breaches shouldn’t discourage us into inaction, but motivate and remind us why security best practices are so important to follow, and continually question and improve, in the first place.”

And if you’re thinking: “What are you talking about? We’ve never been breached. Our network is invincible.”—Dale highlights that threat reduction is a journey, not a destination. If you ever get comfortable and feel that you’ve arrived at a point of perfect security, you're likely at your most vulnerable. So this piece outlines security takeaways for corporations and their employees, IT professionals, and consumers. 

I also spoke with Michael Cox, our Director of Engineering here at ProfitWell and our constant in-house reminder on the importance of security. He says the most important aspect here is that you need buy-in that security is important from someone at the C-level of your organization.

“Otherwise time/money/effort sunk into security at any level can feel like it's being wasted. It becomes a line item cost for someone to question: ‘We've never been breached, so why do we need to spend money on this?’” 

He advises making investment in security a priority, “because there will be plenty of organizations and people who won't take this seriously... who will then look like more compelling targets to any would-be attackers. Unfortunately this is why a lot of municipal governments have been targeted in recent memory. Limited budgets to spend on security, but high value to attackers in terms of the services they provide and the data they're storing.” There are various modern viruses that can get your company's PCs and MACs infected. The most well-known are spyware, adware, Trojan Horses, and ransomware.

This resource could be a beneficial one to pass around to the team. It’s better not to look at the if with breaches, but the when.

Deep dive

Sonos, welcome to subscription

 “It’s never about the box, it’s about what’s inside it.” -Tien Tzuo

Earlier this month, Sonos speakers launched Sonos Flex—a subscription service for just that: speakers. First launched to just 500 homes in the Netherlands, this is very clearly an experiment on Sonos’ part.

With three subscription plans of the Flex offering, it feels like there’s an option for most every music devotee, in the company’s latest effort of lowering the barrier of entry to Sonos gear. The Verge reports that the Flex pilot also offers additional choice to consumers who value “freedom and flexibility,” and who prefer subscriptions for services—like meal deliveries, entertainment, and home fitness.

It’s no secret that Sonos speakers are pricey for the average music lover, so this all seemed to make a lot of sense. But Zuora’s CEO and Founder (and subscription master) Tien Tzuo isn’t very impressed by the rollout

Why not? Well, Tien says it doesn’t feel that exciting, because it strikes him more as an equipment rental plan than anything else. And that “successful subscription services are constantly changing, iterating, improving themselves.” 

We know today you can subscribe to essentially anything but Tien reminds us, “the key to a truly successful program is a compelling digital intelligence (or content offering) that becomes smarter, better, and more customized over time.”

“If Sonos had rolled out some compelling new digital features that you could only access through a subscription plan, then they would have had my attention. It’s just hard to get excited about a pricing plan.”

What are your thoughts on the Sonos speaker subscription drop? Props for trying Sonos, but as always, time will tell if this one’s a boom or a bust.

If interested in more of Tien’s take, check out his book Subscribed, which we’ve featured in our ProfitWell Book Club, so you can hear the lessons we’ve digested from cover to cover. 


ProfitWell Book Club: Zero to One

On today’s ProfitWell Book Club, I dive deep into Zero to One written by Peter Thiel—who claims we live in an age of technological stagnation, and even though IT has improved rapidly, there's no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley.  

That is a wrap for your October 16 subscription news. Send your teammates to to sign up for episodes on the daily.

If you have news to share, send what's going down—from product launches to webinar drops—to and let's collaborate. We want to feature you, our neighbors in the space.

By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.