Is the SaaS business equivalent to “girl math”?

August 25, 2023

Peter Armaly

Category: Customer Success as a Service, Customer Success Maturity, Customer Success Strategy, Digital Customer Success, Monetizing Customer Success, Our Knowledge

Written by Peter Armaly


It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and the month of August is the most languid month for business. Even half-worked December has more spark if only because of all the excitement that bubbles in anticipation of quick trips to the Caribbean or to Florida where we can lay on a beach still threatened by a late season hurricane or, for the stay at homes, because of office parties filled with stale canapes, soggy flatbread, and, well, bubbles.

So, to close this most languid of months, a month during which we vacation to become reacquainted with and to reintroduce ourselves to our families, I thought I’d focus my monthly article on a very serious meme that’s captured the flighty attention of TikTokers everywhere. Of course, I am referring to “girl math”.

Maybe it’s been going on for a while and it only came into view for this old man because of this article in the Washington Post, the very opposite of a youthful leaning channel like TikTok.

The meme provides hilarious examples of how in “the latest viral TikTok trend, young women are explaining money habits or spending choices that make no mathematical sense. Such as if you buy anything that costs less than $5, it isn’t real money because, at that price, it’s practically free.”

There’s more…

  • You’re losing money if you don’t purchase something when it’s on sale.
  • You’re losing money if you don’t spend enough to qualify for free shipping.
  • You’re making money whenever you skip your daily coffee or soda run.
  • Anything in your Venmo or Apple wallet that isn’t immediately spent is free money.

Now that you’re either on the side of seeing the humor or being a scold, how about we play a game?

What’s more fun than poking fun at your own profession? Business leaders tend to think they’re above the fray, that they have no time for the frivolous, and that only they have access to a rarified and brainier atmosphere where Ayn Rand’s thoughts still predominate and where crassness and course behavior cease to exist. But we know better.

So, let’s go. Instead of girl math, how about bro math?

  • You have free money when you cut the marketing team’s event budget
  • You’re making money when you eliminate your Customer Success org and your balance sheet turns black
  • You’re making money when an analyst says something good about your product
  • You’re making money when you set stock options strike price unrealistically high
  • You’re making money when all of your customers renew at 100%
  • You’re making money when your sales team convinces prospects that your product can deliver the moon and the stars
  • You’re making money when you move fast and break things
  • You’re losing money if you invest in customer enablement
  • You’re losing money if you allow your CSMs to veto a poor fit customer
  • You’re making money if you move salespeople into CSM roles without training
  • You’re losing money if your CSMs contact your customers outside of a renewal period
  • You’re making money when you design a CSM comp plan that isn’t achievable
  • You’re making money when your customers need to contact their CSM to add a license
  • You’re making money when you don’t close the feedback loop with customers
  • You’re making money when you eliminate an entire tier of CSMs during an organizational RIF
  • Not compensating your CSMs for a CSQL is free money!
  • You’re making money when you return laptops for refunds after laying people off – free money!

We could go on and on and on but you get the idea. We love girl math. Bro math? Yeah, I suppose. Although it’s too easy.

Okay, one more.

  • My Tesla is basically free because I never have to pay for gas (credit to Stephen Colbert)

Disclaimer: other than ego, no bros were injured during the writing and reading of this piece.