Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

February 6 , 2006

Geoffrey Moore

Top 10 Innovation Myths

Software vendors seeking success need to push past the excuses, find differentiation and swallow this dose of business reality.

By Geoffrey A. Moore, TCG Advisors

If you are worrying about innovation, take heart. Only successful companies do. By contrast, unsuccessful companies either aren't around to do any worrying or are consumed with more pressing concerns, like meeting payroll or paying their bills. At the other end of the spectrum, venture-backed start-ups have lots of worries, but innovating isn't one of them--they actually worry more about not innovating, as in let's not waste our scarce resources reinventing wheels that others have already developed.

But you are not a start-up. You have some success, some momentum, and therefore some inertia, and it is the inertia that has you worried. By design inertia resists change. This is a good thing, as long as you are headed in a direction you want to go. But when the market changes, inertia acts against your future interests. Now you are right to be worried.

So you raise the topic of innovation in hopes of getting some insight. Good luck. My recent research leads me to believe that innovation, as a topic, leads the business writing industry in twaddle per page. With that in mind, let me dispel what, in David Letterman tradition, we might call the Top Ten Myths about Business Innovation:


"The must-attend software event of the year."

That's what SpikeSource CEO Kim Polese calls Software 2006. Nearly 2,000 software executives will share experience and insight as they listen to keynotes from industry leaders, participate in focused workshops and network over meals and cocktails. Presenters will focus on the theme of this year's event, "Unifying the Ecosystem." Be there on April 4 and 5 in Santa Clara, Calif. and be a part of this once-a-year event. Registration ends February 28 so sign up now!

Bootstrap Your Business For Growth

Many software companies have achieved success before seeking the help of venture capitalists. James Quist built MedeFinance into a $5 million company before seeking outside investment. Quist offers three guidelines to bootstrapping a software startup in this week's post to the Blog on Software Finance.

Web 2.0: A Sea Change?

Is Web 2.0 anything more than a clever name for a conference? Tony Baer of onStrategies says Web 2.0 advances won't change everything but they will aggregate services that are more valuable than the sum of their parts. Read the analysis in this week's Blog post on 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

OpSource SaaS Summit in March

Discover a community of peers at the OpSource SaaS Summit - the only event where you will be able to join SaaS users, developers and technology partners to exchange ideas and cultivate opportunities in the growing SaaS ecosystem. The event will take place March 1-3, 2006 at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif. Register by February 15, 2006 and save $100. Register now!

Be sure the software executive community knows about your upcoming event. This week, the Brenner Group presents The CXO Forum and the IDBNetwork presents "Video Blogs Killed the TV Star," both in Moutain View, Calif. Post your event on by visiting the community page and clicking on "Want to post an event?"

Don't Miss McKinsey's 10 Trends
to Watch

Macroeconomic factors, environmental and social issues and business and industry developments are profoundly impacting the global marketplace. Read about the ten developments that will most change the business world in 2006 from The McKinsey Quarterly.

Poll: More H-1B Visas Needed?

Last week, President Bush called for an increase in the number of H-1B visas. How would such an increase impact the competitiveness of U.S. software makers.
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers handicapped SAP's ability to triple their customer base by 2010.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

SAP taps partners to help build market share.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

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

Symphony Technology Group acquires Metreo.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

JBoss promotes a host of executives to senior positions.
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

"Never innovate to compete; innovate to change the rules of the game."
-- David O. Adeife

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group