May 21, 2013 Interview with Doc Washburn on WBT Radio in Charlotte >> listen.
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'90s Flashback -- SF Gate, April 1997 (See page 2) Click image above for complete article
"I don't think our problem has been expanding too fast so much as it is tough competition from Microsoft," said Vallee Hubbard [Bubak], director of corporate public relations.
"You've seen this in other companies, like Netscape. You have a strong, thriving business and they come after you, and they have so much money it's difficult for other companies to compete."
Acquiring Ashton-Tate, maker of dBASE, "was an example of too big of a bite for the company," she admitted. Still, she said, Ashton-Tate brought Borland a huge customer base and valuable employees.
Hubbard said Borland's management has learned some valuable lessons from the struggle. "First, don't think you're invincible just because you're at the top and things are growing really fast. Don't assume revenue levels are going to stay high, but plan that you could have a couple challenging quarters or years. Keep track of expenses and be a culture that is conservative in how it spends money."
"Borland has become more efficient," she said, instituting "excellent reporting systems to really keep an eye on expense levels and to be overall more cost effective.
"The second lesson is that credibility as a mature and well-managed company is as important as great products. We have a new CEO, highly respected for his leadership and operational capabilities. He brings the credibility the company needs and is demonstrating that the company is well managed. That helps customers feel good that you're here for the long haul."
"We're planning for sustainability and growth in 1998, which began April 1," said Hubbard. Part of a long-term strategy to be announced in July is a commitment to release a new product each quarter "so we have a consistent stream of revenue," she said. Last quarter the company shipped a visual development tool for corporations, and this quarter the third version of the company's popular Delphi program will be shipped.
The new products, Hubbard said, are the result of customer demand, bringing up the third lesson the company has learned - "keep focused on your customers and listen to them."