In my work helping organizations design and optimize subscription pricing and membership models I am always looking for kindred spirits who write interesting content on this topic. Here are a few of my favorites. Please note, the people on this list are here not for the businesses they run, but for the content they post here, on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in an assessment on subscription management technologies, check out Mark Thomason’s report for IDC on that topic here.
This list is updated from when I first posted in 2018. If there are others I failed to mention–please mention them in the comments.
They are listed in alphabetical order–with their LinkedIn profile pic so you can recognize them when you see them at events:
Babak Azad is a performance marketing expert with deep experience in the direct-to-consumer space–think Beach Body. He provides great insight on which campaigns work and why, always taking lifetime customer value into account. I always learn something when I talk to him or read his articles. He’s at the intersection of subscriptions, data analytics and marketing.
Peter Fader is a Wharton professor who has deep expertise in Customer Centricity. He has written multiple books on that topic. Additionally, along with Dan McCarthy, also on this list, he developed a new way to value businesses with an emphasis on Customer Lifetime Value (#CLV) called Customer Based Corporate Valuation (#CBCV).
Anne Janzer wrote the book on subscription marketing, literally. She understands the mindset required to build long-term relationships with customers, and writes beautifully on the topic. No surprise there since she has also written a great book on writing called “The Writer’s Process”.
Richard Kestenbaum is a partner at Triangle Capital LLC and a contributor at Forbes.com, focused on the future of apparel and retail, with a deep interest in new models around membership. He has great insights about how retail is being reinvented in light of major disruption.
Jason Lemkin is the co-author with Aaron Ross of”From Impossible to Inevitable, How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue” a book that breaks down how to acquire and retain subscribers and other types of customers too. He’s also the founder of SaaStr, a SaaS community which puts out loads of content and hosts events throughout the year.
Daniel McCarthy, is a professor at Emory University focused on valuing subscription businesses. Along with Peter Fader (see above) has developed a new way to do valuations, called Customer-Based Corporate Valuation #CBCV that is becoming increasingly influential.
Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures has a lot of interesting things to say about SaaS, Customer Success and subscription models in general. His writing is prolific and provocative, and he’s a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Greg Piechota is Researcher-in-Residence at the International News Media Association (INMA) and an expert on the business of news. He has done some fascinating work on emerging trends in both membership and subscription among publishers, both for INMA and in more academic settings at both Harvard and Oxford.
Georg Richter is the CEO and Founder of OceanX, the company that is “powering the physical Membership Economy”. He has been leading organizations that sell physical products on a subscription model for his whole career–from books, to beauty products to dog food. Georg’s standup comedy training means he is entertaining as well as informative.
Aaron Ross is the author of several books, including one he cowrote with Jason Lemkin “From Impossible to Inevitable, How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue” a book that breaks down how to acquire and retain subscribers and other types of customers too. This is one of my favorite books.
Kathleen Greenler Sexton is the publisher of Subscription Insider. She looks at the operational challenges of subscription businesses, covering everything from billing to legal issues to marketing.
SUBTA: I’m giving you three names here for the price of one (bonus!), because there are three founders the Subscription Trade Association (affectionally known as SUBTA). They are primarily focused on subscription box companies, but I’ve met content and software subscription executives at their events as well.
Mark Thomason is an analyst at IDC, who covers monetization strategies and related technologies. Subscriptions are just one component of his research, but he’s a great resource for understanding infrastructure challenges of the Membership Economy.
Tien Tzuo is on this list for his writing, and not for his role leading Zuora. His book, Subscribed, is full of great stories and frameworks for anyone scaling a subscription-based business.
John Warrillow wrote “The Automatic Customer”, in which he focuses on ways to build what I call “forever transactions” with customers, no matter the size of the organization. He’s a thoughtful speaker and writer, committed to helping entrepreneurs build recurring revenue businesses.