Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

January 9, 2006

Ray Lane

The Innovate-Dominate Imperative

There are two paths to long-term survival for today’s enterprise software companies. The problem is that very few companies are heading in the right direction.

By Raymond Lane, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers

2006 is a year of challenge. Software companies are facing a confluence of trends which are changing the very nature of the industry. New technologies, new business models and industry consolidation are combining to create a new breed of software provider.
To their credit, few software executives are sitting on their hands, hoping things will return to the “good old days.” Many are experimenting with business model changes and new offerings. But how many companies have a solid plan to deal with death-wielding market forces such as open source, megavendor offerings and offshoring? In my estimation, very few.
There is a new kind of software Darwinism going on. The harsh reality is that over the next 5 to 10 years, most of today’s software providers will not fare very well.  The only way for enterprise software suppliers to survive this wave of industry evolution is to innovate and/or dominate.

And 2006 is the year to get started.


Big Keynotes at Software 2006

The biggest event in the software business takes place on April 4 and 5 in Santa Clara, Calif. and many of the industry’s biggest players will be there. Ray Lane, C.K. Prahalad and David DeWalt will be a few of the headliners. Add those names to in-depth workshops and numerous networking opportunities and you’ll get the biggest compilation of software business insight available anywhere. Find out more and register now at

More Outlooks for 2006

Can’t get enough of the crystal ball? Don’t miss the roundup of forward-looking opinion pieces from 2005 – including pieces from Romesh Wadhwani, Larry Augustin and Kim Polese. Also included are 2006 predictions from AMR Research’s Bruce Richardson, Goldman Sachs’ Rick Sherlund and many other analysts and executives.

Mitchell Levy offers a variety of executive perspectives in his new book, Happy About 2006, a collection of forecasts for the year in technology. Read more in an excerpt from the book on

Poll: Your Prediction for 2006 –
Last Chance!

The analysts have had their say. What do you think? What will be the story which best represents the software business in 2006?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Or better yet, send us your two cents about what the year in software will bring. We’ll post them as part of the Blog. Email us at

A Reality Check for Big Decisions

The McKinsey Quarterly takes an in-depth look at Distortion and Deception in Strategic Decisions. The greater the risk, the more important the decision, the more likely it will be made poorly due to human error. Read this analysis before undertaking any new initiatives.

nSite on the Radar

Don’t miss the latest scoop on nSite. The company’s on-demand, channel management solutions leverage Web services in cutting-edge ways. Read more in this Radar profile which presents software industry players we’re keeping an eye on.

More at offline again. Oracle leaves trade group. McAfee settles.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Browster receives $5.8 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

CA buys Wily Technology.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Ram Gupta named CEO of Cast Iron Systems.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

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Parting Thought

“Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.”
— Al Ries

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group