Case Study - Xero, Payroll, and the demise of the "All-In-One"

January 1, 1970
TLDR;

We believe the concept of an "all in one" is a unicorn - and one that many gym owners buy into. The allure of "one place where I can do it all" and "only one system to learn and pay for" is strong, but the dangers of this trap are real. The dangers are numerous and evident:

  • Strained customer support. It's hard to provide great support when your product offering keeps getting bigger and bigger.
  • "Check the box" products and features. Ones clearly built just to add another feature to the "all in one" feature set, but not well thought thru or implemented with precision.
  • Slow or non-existent updates to existing features. Again, it's tough to revisit your features and upgrade them when you're stuck building horizontally.
  • Lack of choice. Using an all in one? Then you are forced to use their version of every feature they build, whether it works best for you or is actually a great product.

Xero Realized The All In One Fallacy

If you're not familiar with Xero, they're a largely successful online bookkeeping and accounting platform. One that we use personally here at PushPress.To date, Xero has raised $381 Million in funding to help them solidify their product and market position.A few years ago, Xero announced they would be getting into the lucrative Payroll space, and they launched their Xero Payroll product. As a customer of their services, I was interested in this, as I was paying Gusto for payroll and Xero for accounting, and I could easily see how the spaces overlapped.After about 30 minutes of playing with the Xero attempt at payroll, I realized how subpar it was in contrast to Gusto.

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