Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

March 6 , 2006

Jack, Portelli, Salesky, Vasan

CEO Strategies for Building Value

Leaders of young, successful software companies share best practices on innovation, funding, marketing, leading - and getting out of the way.

By Maryann Jones Thompson, Sand Hill Group

The excitement of running a fast-growing software company is infectious. The fulfillment of creating a brand new product. The enthusiasm of the team. The satisfaction of solving customer problems. Each day brings new opportunities, challenges – and lots of hard work.

Yet this same excitement can spell disaster for an undisciplined CEO. Too often, the sheer volume of projects and influences can send an executive - and his or her company - veering off-course.

Today, a number of impressive private software companies are gaining attention as the industry emerges from the downturn. These companies boast disciplined leaders who can maintain focus, drive growth and ensure customer satisfaction.

At Software 2006, twenty executives from these companies will detail their companies’ achievements as part of the Software Showcase, which highlights innovative and successful vendors. spoke with several CEOs who will be presenting at Showcase.

  • John M. Jack, president and CEO, Fortify Software
  • Bill Portellli, president and CEO, CollabNet
  • Joe Salesky, CEO, ClairMail
  • Srikant Vasan, president & CEO, StorePerform

These Showcase CEOs shared their advice and strategies for building value in emerging software companies today.


Get Your Software 2006 Video Briefing!

Play a video invitation by Sand Hill Group's M.R. Rangaswami which presents the highlights of the conference. Be a part of it! More than 2,500 senior software executives and professionals will be there on April 4 and 5 in Santa Clara. Calif. to discuss the key issues which will shape the next era of software business. In addition to insightful keynotes, Software 2006 will host dozens of tactical breakout sessions on critical issues such as open source and software-as-a-service. Get all the latest information on the conference.

Why Crossing the Chasm Still Matters

Fifteen years after its publication, Geoffrey Moore's technology marketing bible empowered the marketing of an entire industry (read Geoffrey Moore's recent oped, "Top 10 Innovation Myths"). Steve Martin, author of Heavy Hitter Selling, presents three reasons why Crossing the Chasm remains relevant today in this week's post to the Blog on Sales & Marketing best practices.

Enterprises Need to Ensure Effective User Adoption

Many IT investments are underperforming in enterprises today. Software is no exception. Chris Dowse of NeoChange explains why enterprise managers and software providers need to place a heightened importance on the people that implement and use software. Read Chris' analysis in this week's post to the Blog, New Era, New Thinking.

The Blog is ready for your perspectives. We publish insightful strategy and opinion pieces by a variety of software executives, analysts and professionals. If you would like to contribute a post, email

Join Our Offshoring Webinar and Get a Free Report

Software CEOs and VPs are invited to join the Sand Hill Group and Persistent Systems for a webinar on offshoring best practices on Wed., March 22 at 11 a.m. Pacific. Participants will receive a free copy of the new study, "Software's Offshoring Leaders." Sand Hill Group's M.R. Rangaswami will discuss highlights from the new study on software vendor offshoring trends, and will be joined by product development experts to discuss the latest strategies, challenges and best practices. Click here to register now.

Leading Change: An Interview with P&G's CEO

Transforming a large organization is a delicate task. Alan G. Lafley discusses how to stretch a company's aspirations without overpromising in this interview with The McKinsey Quarterly on change management best practices.

Listen In! New SaaS Podcast Online Now

Software as a Service is bringing sweeping changes to the industry. Learn more about the important implications and the resulting investment opportunities in a new podcast from, “SaaS Comes of Age.” publisher M.R. Rangaswami hosts a lively discussion with Gordon Ritter, general partner at Emergence Capital Partners, Michael Topolovac, CEO of Arena Solutions and Joe Kraus, CEO of Jotspot. Listen now >>

Poll: Europe as IPO Leader?

Europe witnessed three times more IPOs than the U.S. in 2005. When will the U.S. IPO market come back?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions on what’s strong quarter means for the future of on-demand apps.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Compliance spending to reach $28 billion by 2007.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Archivas receives $12 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

BEA Systems buys Fuego.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Taneli Otala named co-CTO at MySQL.
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

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
William Pollard

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group