Embrace or disrupt?

So I am sitting on the plane on my way from east coast to the west coast listening to a speech by Dave DeWalt that he gave in April 2006 at the Software 2006 Conference in Santa Clara, California. Dave DeWalt is discussing decisions to embrace or disrupt the stack (software stack). He referenced a statistic that I found very interesting; 75% of the profit in the software marketplace comes from three companies and 50% of that number is generated by Microsoft, sounds crazy but I have no doubt that it is true. Some organization have embraced the Microsoft model and identified areas they can play or specific market segments where they can specialize. For instance Google has decided to leverage their lead over Microsoft’s MSN division to disrupt and hopefully capture the desktop space. Google is attacking the desktop market with applications like gmail, google spreadsheets, and the most recent application Writely (online word processor). There is also talk that Google will release a Linux distribution based on the Debian distro Ubuntu, the rumor is that this distro will be called Gubuntu.

I found Dave’s talk interesting because he referenced a couple of my favorite books “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman and “The Only Sustainable Edge” by John Hagell III and John Seely Brown. Dave also hits on many of the topics that Clayton M. Christensen discusses in another one of my favorite books “The Innovator’s Dilemma”.


3 thoughts on “Embrace or disrupt?

  1. Good stuff RJB. I will add these volumes to my summer beach reading schedule. What were the other two companies that comprise 75% of the software marketplace’s profit? Also, are the Google tools going to be fully compatible with the MS Office tools (e.g. Word, Excel)?

  2. JGriff, great questions! The other two software companies were not mentioned but I think it is safe to assume that number two is Oracle. As for number three I have not seen a recent poll so it could be any number of players including SAP, Google, Symantec, Yahoo, CSC, or Accenture. As for MS compatibility I am sure there will be basic compatibility between the Google spreadsheet and word processor but not unlike Open Office compatibility some of the advance functions of MS Office will be lost. Thanks for the response.


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