So, last week I posted about the whole notion of the Executive Decision Cycle and used the very first of 2011 at
Edgewave as an example. Well, things plowed along in the same way throughout the year.
As I said, our year was reset early in the year and the results did not get any better by that reset. The marketing push in Q1 yielded very little in Lead Generation and this caused even greater concern going forward. This was assessed to be because much of the money spent in marketing went to Messaging Products. This led to a complete cut in marketing for messaging. It turned out to be very different and in fact had nothing to do with Messaging. The actual problem is confidential but I can tell you that the result is more important than the issue.
I was asked to provide a path forward to a substantial budget cut of 75%. I investigated the possibilities and provided two paths forward. The one I recommended was to close the office and have a couple of people work from home. This was so shocking as a prospect that the entire topic was dropped. That was not my intent with the proposal. It was just that we would have been down to the staff to operate the service 24/7 and possibly 1 developer to maintain things. Somehow, there was a notion that there was lots of fat to drop. In development, there was no overlap. In fact, there were areas with nobody assigned to them on a permanent basis.
Once that reduction went away, we were then asked down to a brainstorming meeting in San Diego. Jeff Aguilera and I went. We were asked the question: “What can we make fast?” The idea being that we would need to make some new products to generate new revenue. From my standpoint, the only way to build anything substantial quickly was to re-target our Intellectual Property. Jeff and I came up with a couple of ideas and they were recorded as possible items for us to do in the future.
One of these was a product we called “E-mail Continuity”. What we did is allow the user to use the Spam Filter as a Mail Server in a planned or unplanned outage. Although it sounds complex, we had most of the elements in place to execute it quickly. We had a few extra cycles before our next product release, so we added this new SKU to the product mix.
Well, as we were in the process I got a call about our new products. The CEO and Director of Product Management were on the line. The Budget Reduction was a March exercise. The brainstorming was May. This call was in July. I thought the call was about E-Mail Continuity, but it will turn out very differently.
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