Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

January 14, 2008

David Rice

Geekonomics: The Real Cost of Insecure Software

This excerpt from a new book explores the origins and implications of software’s quality control problem.

By David Rice, The Monterey Group

  • In 1996, software defects in a Boeing 757 caused a crash that killed 70 people.
  • In 2003, a software vulnerability helped cause the largest U.S.power outage in decades.
  • In 2004, known software weaknesses let a hacker invade T-Mobile, capturing everything from passwords to Paris Hilton's photos.
  • In 2005, 23,900 Toyota Priuses were recalled for software errors that could cause the cars to shut down at highway speeds.
  • In 2007, operatives in two nations brazenly exploited software vulnerabilities to cripple the infrastructure and steal trade secrets from other sovereign nations.

Today’s software industry is rewarded for carelessness. The pursuit of utility and lack of accountability has enabled unreliable software to become part of the infrastructure of our lives. This excerpt from my new book, Geekonomics: The Real Cost of Insecure Software, looks at society’s reliance on poor quality software and the implications of that dependence.


Planning for the New Year?
Register Now for Software 2008

Start 2008 right by registering early for the most influential conference of the year: Software 2008. The industry’s must-attend event will take place on April 29-30 in Las Vegas. Software’s most influential CEOs, top executives, investors and professionals will gather to share insight on the theme for 2008: Communicate, Collaborate & Innovate. Purchase a conference pass now and qualify for an early-bird discount of $500 off the regular price! Reserve your spot today.

A SaaS Secret Weapon

As smaller software vendors race to compete with the big guys in the SaaS space, a managed service providers can be the great equalizer. Gary McAuliffe of Hosted Solutions details the benefits of a managed service solution in this post to the Blog on SaaS.

Up Next for Mobile: Revolution or Evolution?

Every year, the CES show forces the experts take a closer look at how mobile technologies might impact the enterprise. The verdict for 2008? Tony Baer of onStrategies marketing spoke to the CTO of Sony Ericcson and says the mobile outlook is one of evolution, not revolution. Read more in this post to the Blog on emerging technologies.

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: McKinsey’s 8 Business Technology Trends to Watch

Eight emerging trends are transforming many markets and businesses. Executives should learn to shape the outcome rather than just react to it. Read how in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: The V Word

“Virtual” will be a mantra in 2008; plus, Gates’ CES curtain call, brain signals are in, Sony enters the battle and Microsoft reorgs. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Prognosis for Quality Problems?

Will calls for reform have an impact on the reliability of software? 
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last month, readers voted on what will become the software story of 2008.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

After last week’s reorg, find out who’s in, out at Microsoft.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Ruby on Rails hosting company, Engine Yard received $3.5 million from Benchmark Capital.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

TrustWave acquired enterprise application security vendor, Creduware Software.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Enrique Salem stepped up to COO of Symantec.
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

“In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing”
–Owen D. Young

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group


SES Group

The SES Group is the leading, independent, Asia-based, fully-retained practice in executive search, with well-established offices in Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Los Angeles. At SES, our objective is to assist multinational client companies to minimize their business exposure, by identifying and attracting the most appropriate executives within a defined time horizon. 
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