Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

October 20, 2008

Nilofer Merchant

Killing Ideas That Waste Resources

In a down market, companies can slow their progress by developing too many ideas. “Murder Boarding” uses a 5-step process to recognize what matters and kill what distracts.

By Nilofer Merchant, Rubicon Consulting

Idea generation is important. It stimulates innovation and drives growth. But for a more direct path to success, businesses need to know how to effectively handle any and all initiatives that come their way.

It’s critical to learn how to distinguish the good ideas from the bad ones, and, perhaps more important, kill those ideas that don't make sense for the organization.

We've developed a method that can facilitate this process. The following 5 steps provide an approach that ensures that each new idea is thoroughly scrutinized. The steps also provide the tools to eradicate ideas that just don't make sense – the kind of ideas companies often find multiplying like rabbits during a down market. Ultimately, it's a strategic, problem-solving process with the potential to save every business a lot of time -- and money. Some might call it a trip to an intellectual playground. We call it "Murder Boarding". Here’s how it works.


A Successful Cloud Summit

Sand Hill Group would like to thank speakers and attendees of the Cloud Summit Executive for a thought-provoking and productive conference. Visit to read coverage of the event and review speaker presentations. And mark your calendars for next year’s Cloud Summit which will take place on Oct. 6, 2009.

How LinkShare Realized a 47x Exit Value

Javier RojasIn a conversation with Javier Rojas of Kennet Partners, Heidi Messer, co-founder, president and COO of LinkShare, explains how the firm went from a $17 million investment to a $472 million acquisition. Hear her tips on efficient use of capital in this post to the Blog, Return Leaders.

Will the Credit Crunch Accelerate the Cloud Punch?

Billy MarshallBilly Marshall of rPath looks closer at how the financial crisis may force enterprises to take another look at the benefits of cloud computing. Read why in this post to the Blog on Cloud Computing.

Publish Your Perspective! wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to editor, Maryann Jones Thompson ( and have your opinions published on our site.

DON’T MISS: Creating Organizational Transformations

If organizational transformations are to succeed, change can’t be thought of as a single, standardized process. Read the results of this new McKinsey Global Survey in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: The Silver Lining

A future in the cloud looks likely; plus Symantec gets collaborative and Gartner predicts four disruptors. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Idea Overload?

Does your company suffer from too many ideas?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave us their opinion on whether SaaS vendors will benefit from the economic downturn.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Red Hat CEO: Vista marks the end of “planned software.”
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

VC investment down 7 percent in the third quarter.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Novell acquires Managed Objects Solutions.
Size up last week’s software M&A deals >>

Skip Vaccarello named president and CEO of Applied Weather Technology.
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

If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have asked for a faster horse.”
— Henry Ford

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group


Acresso Software

For over 25 years, Acresso Software has helped software and hardware producers maximize revenue, cut costs, and eliminate manual processes. Acresso solutions, powered by FLEXnet, provide software producers with powerful licensing, updating, and delivery solutions, as well as entitlement and compliance management. Join Acresso at SoftSummit 2008 where leaders from software and hardware producers and their enterprise customers come together to discuss the business of software.
Find out more.


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