Business Strategy for Software Executives
October 24, 2005
How Chimp-sized Software Companies can Survive Against Gorillas
A look at technology battles of the past can provide insight into how smaller software vendors can compete against the megavendors of today.
By Steve W. Martin
In a meeting last year, Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems asked George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, what he thought of Sun. Colony replied, "Sun risks becoming the Data General of the decade. The company could easily slide toward becoming a ‘zombie’ - a lot of cash but no life, staggering and lurching with a fading heartbeat at each step." Like many other high-tech companies, Sun is battling for survival against IBM.
Whether it’s IBM, Microsoft, or Oracle, every market space has a dominant vendor also known as an "Eight-Hundred Pound Gorilla." So how can smaller "chimp-sized" companies survive against Gorillas? A look back into Silicon Valley history actually provides part of the answer.
Guy Smith of Silicon Strategies Marketing says "ecosystem" has quickly become one of the industry’s most overused words of marketing hype. But ecosystems play an important role in product marketing. Read Smith’s tips about how to truly cultivate a productive ecosystem and what benefits your company can earn in this week’s post to the SandHill.com Blog on sales and marketing best practices.
For more best practice insight, don’t miss K. B. Chandrasekhar’s advice on how on-demand firms need to build their own ecosystem in last week’s oped.
Share your insight on the software business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your submissions to the SandHill.com Blog.
Poll: Unions in India?
Last week, SandHill.com visitors speculated about the future success of Salesforce.com’s App Exchange.
More at SandHill.com:
Half of local government bodies in Europe are using open source.
Vidient Systems receives $12 million.
CA buys iLumin Software.
Black Duck names Douglas Johnson SVP and CFO.
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"The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong."
Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group
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