Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

November 3, 2008

Steve Hamm

The Race for Perfect

This excerpt from a new book describes how the relentless drive to create better products has produced a succession of soaring successes and embarrassing flops.

By Steve Hamm, BusinessWeek

Just after lunchtime on January 15, 2008, at Lenovo Group’s offices in suburban Morrisville, North Carolina, it seemed as if a four-alarm fire had broken out. Peter Hortensius, the senior vice president in charge of the laptop business, stormed through the cubicles on the fourth floor of Building 2 shouting to his secretary: “Phyllis! Get me one of those interoffice mail envelopes!”

Phyllis Arrington-McGee ransacked filing cabinets until she found one and handed it to Hortensius, who was waiting nervously in his office with Sam Dusi, the head of laptop marketing. Hortensius hoisted a slim black notebook computer, the ThinkPad X300, off of his desk and slipped it into the envelope. Then he shouted: “It fits! It fits!” Such is life in one of the most competitive marketplaces on earth: the portable computer business.


Watch Video from the Cloud Summit

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Ten Questions for SaaS Vendors

Bahan SadeghAs enterprises review their SaaS options, Bahan Sadegh of NETtime Solutions offers ten points for buyers to consider when choosing an on-demand vendor in this post to the Blog on SaaS.

How to Waste Money on a Trade Show - Part II

Elizabeth Cook Elizabeth K. Cook of CEO Growth Advisor continues her recap of marketing mistakes witnessed at Oracle OpenWorld in this post to the blog on software marketing.

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: Eric Schmidt Shares Google’s View of the Future

A McKinsey & Co. interview with Google’s CEO reveals how the Internet will change the nature of competition, innovation, and company operations. Read the interview in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: The Next 4 Years

A new U.S. President may usher in an IT revolution; plus SAP goes back to its roots, color the cloud azure, and the economy impacts CRM apps. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Pursuit of Perfection?

To what degree does your marketing organization suffer from a relentless pursuit of perfection?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers assessed of their sales team’s personality.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at wants to host your web site.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Novariant received $40 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Oracle acquired Haley to bolster government contracts.
Size up last week’s software M&A deals >>

GFI named Walter Scott CEO.
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

The natural progression of business: Innovators, Imitators and Idiots.”
— Warren Buffet

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group



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