Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

January 17, 2006

Greg Gianforte

Growing from Startup to Grownup

Transitioning from a good, small software company to a great big one takes vigilance and willingness to experiment. Here are five strategies for success.

By Greg Gianforte, RightNow Technologies

$100 million. It is a big number any way you look at it. But in the software industry, it represents a significant threshold. Crossing $100 million in sales means a company has grown up.

I'm speaking from experience. At RightNow Technologies, our 3Q05 quarter puts us at over a $100 million annual bookings run rate. That's on top of being named one of the top most appreciated technology IPOs in 2004.

Going from startup to grownup is a major transition that not all software companies are fortunate enough to make. It impacts everything from culture to development to marketing. Here are five strategies that assisted our transformation to adulthood.


Introducing Podcasts on

Now there's an authoritative source for audio content on software business strategy. Every month, will present podcasts by software experts who will explore industry trends and recommend best practices.

This month's podcast, "The Software Agenda for 2006" features Erik Keller of Wapiti and Vinnie Mirchandani of Sourcing World Partners predicting the major enterprise software trends of the coming year. publisher M.R. Rangaswami gathers in-depth insight from the two analyst-turned-consultants on open source, software as a service (SaaS), consolidation and innovation. Click here to listen to the podcast >>

Disruptive Models Emerge

A review of the massive changes going on in the software business is daunting. Future growth of the industry may result mainly from fragmentation, "nicheification" and consolidation according to S. Sadagopan of Satyam in this week's post to the Blog on New Era, New Thinking.

Move to Innovate/Dominate

Don't miss Ray Lane's opinion piece from last week on what software companies need to do to survive this phase of industry evolution.

Is Search the Answer?

With all eyes on Google, David Hartzband of FutureSense Research takes a look at the future of search and what it will take to leverage the power of search to transform business computing over the next decade.

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

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, Shai Agassi and David DeWalt will be the Software 2006 headliners. Add that 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

Poll: Most Influential Company of 2006?

Which software company will be most influential to the software business overall in 2006?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers picked the story which they thought will best represent the software business in 2006.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

New IT Opportunities in Pharma

The pharmaceutical industry is also undergoing tremendous change. IT can help bring efficiency and innovation. Read the analysis in The McKinsey Quarterly.

More at

A new profile of Silicon Valley 2.0.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Motorola Ventures backs Global Locate.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Mercury Interactive buys Systinet.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

William Soward named CEO of Adaptive Planning.
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

"A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat: that is progress."
-- Henri Frederic Amiel

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group