Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Is my company dying?

Question for all you biz gurus:

The company I work for isn't getting any new biz, yet the biz we have is enough to sustain us and make us profitable.  We have no new products availabe or planned, and the sales team is basically just sitting on their hands.

Am I working for a dying company?

Monday, August 2, 2004

It is hard to answer without more information, but I would guess that you will lose customers over time, so if all else remains constant, you will be in trouble.

However, this may take many years, so it may not be of immediate concern.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Uh, are you sitting in the cube next to me?

We're in the same state . . . in classic business administration BS, I believe we're a "cash cow."

Much like yourself, we've been 'fine' for the last few years . ..  if you consider flat growth 'fine'.

Not a comforting situation for techies like ourselves who like to be on the move . . . so, you might want to put yourself on the move.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Yes. If the sales team is sitting on their hands then management isn't interested in making your company grow. A person or a company that isn't interested in improving itself will die very soon.

Fat Bastard
Monday, August 2, 2004


Master of the Obvious
Monday, August 2, 2004

It will if it isn't prepared for the next whatever leap in your vertical market (I guess it is a vertical market supplier).

You can run on maintenance for a long time but if you don't have some way of creating new products, applying new technologies, integrating with horizonal applications then one day someone will spot your lethargy and gazump you and take your customers away.

Simon Lucy
Monday, August 2, 2004

Fire some salespeople & hire some programmers and make something new worth selling.
Monday, August 2, 2004

if you're earning a regular profit, you're fine. If you're exactly, exactly breaking even, buy one less box of pencils, and you're fine.  If you're losing money, unless you have a government bailout like Harley Davidson planned (?), then you're in trouble!

Monday, August 2, 2004

This is a dangerous situation. I have seen this over the years at a number of employers.

Inevitably, the product drifts into obsolescence, customers go out of businesses.

One day, the cash cow is dead.

Oh, and of course you are working on increasingly obsolete technology.

Run away!

Monday, August 2, 2004

Nope.  Unless they fire your sales team :-)

But your job is dying.  If no new products are being planned and the only work involved is maintainance bug fixes and support how secure are you from your job being shipped off to India? That is what you need to think!

Code Monkey
Monday, August 2, 2004

<cutting sarcasm>
Vote Kerry, he'll stop our jobs from landing in Balangahdangaohgnaodliiaigaiamushishi, India.
</cutting sarcasm>

Monday, August 2, 2004

Would it be safe to assume that the market your company is involved in is a mature market with limited growth prospects?

Also, was the company built around a technology that is dead or dying (or deserves to die) :-) and if so do they have any plans to upgrade the technology used?

In any case, if you're stuck in a maintenance role you might want to start working on your CV. Their cash cow sounds as though it has bugger-all milk left in it...

Monday, August 2, 2004

Someone needs to sit down with the existing clients and figure out where your current product weaknesses are and where there is room for growth.

At the very least, it will keep your current clients engaged and protect yourself from the competition.  Ideally, this will let you move into related areas and/or beat on the competition some more.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Working at Coca-Cola can be a little tedious!

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

No.  A sign that a company is dying is when the sales people are busy and the programmers are idle.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home