When I initiated the development for a first "software service" based application in 1997 using ColdFusion 1.5, I had no idea of the development of this industry. It was just ment to interact with our 4,000 resellers in 20 countries and client/server software was obviously not the right way to go.
In 2001 I founded BlueRoads, one of the early Software as a Service companies and the first with an enterprise class architecture in mind. The company experienced great success, grew in market awareness, customerbase and usage. Many other Software as a Service companies where founded in the meantime. I watch over 200 today.
Now - I'm working with some very interesting people (also SaaS pioneers) on a next generation Software as a Service solution and will continue to help this new business to grow fast.