Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

October 10, 2005

Paula Tompkins

5 Secrets to Staying Power

Outliving the latest software business trends and surviving to meet your customers' needs takes discipline - and patience. Here's how.

By Paula Tompkins, ChannelNet

Running a software company today can be confusing. On the one hand, Wall Street applauds consolidation. On the other hand, venture capitalists and analysts reward startups jumping on the current trend bandwagons - software as a service, open source, offshoring. What's a well-intended executive to do?

Focus. Tune out the rhetoric and focus on your customers. That's what we've done and our software company turned 20 this year.

Sound simple? It's not. It takes a lot of hard work and patience but the experience of driving a company through the ups and downs of the technology market is rewarding in many ways. I've got five tips for enhancing your company's longevity.


Discover New Tech-Enabled Service Opportunities

Mark your calendars for the Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association (SIPA) annual event on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Cupertino, Calif. The one-day gathering will focus on the dramatic market shifts and opportunities created in the area of technology-enabled services.

Get an executive perspective when Sand Hill Group's M.R. Rangaswami moderates a panel of four leading CEOs - Joe Krause of Jotspot, Zach Nelson of Netsuite, Umang Gupta of Keynote Systems and John Roberts of Sugar CRM - speaking on software-as-a-service. Other topics to be covered include vertical/domain specific search and knowledge process outsourcing.

Visit to register for the event.

A Bigot Rethinks Build vs. Buy

Vinnie Mirchandani of SourcingWorld Partners admits he's a packaged software "bigot." But today's high maintenance costs and new technology are making him think he might switch sides. Read the thought process that's on the minds of many CIOs these days in this post to a new Blog, The Build vs. Buy. Dilemma.

Toppling the Enterprise Software
Industry Structure

Software vendors at both ends of the spectrum are being impacted by the combination of consolidation and new technology. S. Sadagopan of Satyam looks closer at the impact of composite applications on the enterprise software landscape in this week's post to the Blog, New Era, New Thinking.

Share your insight on the software business. Email with your submissions to the Blog.

Poll: 5 1/2 Years to Exit?

An analysis of third quarter data shows that it takes 5 1/2 years for venture-backed technology startups to go from funding to acquisition or IPO - the longest period in more than a decade. Considering today's software business climate, do you think an exit for startups today will happen faster or slower than 5 1/2 years?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, visitors speculated on the impact of a sub-$100 laptop on the developing world.
Give your opinion and see the perspective of visitors >>

Redirecting Silicon Valley's
Troubled Teens

Meet Christa Gannon, founder of FLY, Fresh Lifelines for Youth. The Silicon Valley-based non-profit rehabilitates juvenile offenders at a rate nearly four times better than that of the justice system and at just 1/20th of the cost - how's that for a great ROI?

Find out more about Christa, FLY (this year's recipient of the SHG Foundation grant) and what software vendors can learn from FLY's teen participants in this month's installment of Software Personalities.

More at

Can open source help China curb software piracy?
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Enterprise data warehousing supplier Kalido receives $13.5 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Check Point buys Sourcefire.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Terry Leahy named president and CEO of Revivio.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
- Earl Wilson

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group