Managing Editor, Softletter
Softletter is the industry’s most trusted source for benchmarks, metrics and business insights that software executives need to maximize growth and profitability. For years published as a bi-monthly newsletter, Softletter is now an online content and information hub for SaaS, mobile, OEM, and on-premise software firms.
Softletter’s managing editor and publisher is Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman. Rick is the author of In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters and SaaS Entrepreneur: The Definitive Guide to Succeeding in Your Cloud Application Business. Rick has worked and consulted in the industry for such industry pioneers as MicroPro (WordStar) and Ashton-Tate and consulted for a wide variety of software and high technology firms such as IBM, Novell, Microsoft, Sun and many others. He is also the author of two novels, Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds and Rule-Set: A Novel of a Quantum Future.
Contributing Editor, Softletter
Randal (Randy) J. Hujar is a contributing Editor for Softletter. Mr. Hujar’s background includes over 30 years experience with companies ranging from self-funded and venture backed start-up’s to Fortune 100 companies in the areas of the enterprise, software as a service, entertainment, and productivity software for Internet and PC to mainframe platforms, as well as biometric security, computer, and gaming controller hardware. Mr. Hujar has been a successful entrepreneur having built and sold three companies during his career and has successfully brought over 75 commercial software and hardware products from design to marketplace. His job titles have included President & CEO for Katerra Corporation, Miacomet, Inc, Stromberg, Inc, and LYRIQ International.
Ruth Greenfield, Conference Director
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
We’re always eager to hear good ideas about stories for the newsletter. Please review the below information and use these as guidelines before pitching a story, interview, or meeting. If you do, we guarantee a response. Oh, also please join our maillist to the right. Thanks!
Ideally, every Softletter story should offer a valuable benefit or important insight to the reader. Softletter is primarily a business newsletter, not a technology or news publication. That means we try to offer solutions to industry-wide business problems of marketing, product development, corporate management, business modeling, pricing, and turnarounds. We particularly like to interview people with fresh insight and views of the software business.
In particular, we pay attention to leading edge topics, such as new platforms, business transformations and transition, new channel approaches and new business models. We assume our readers are well grounded in traditional marketing and development skills, but look to Softletter to hear first about how their industry might be changing. For instance, Softletter was several years ahead of the rest of the pundits in spotting the massive impact SaaS was going to have on how software is sold. Today, we’re documenting a new major movement as the industry begins to move towards the development of portable software workspaces that exist independently of any device. And we’re also very interested in how new companies are monetizing their mobile applications and networks.
We’re also intensely interested in numbers. We produce a steady stream of hard statistical information, often in new areas where no one has compiled any research before. And just about every story we write includes some discussion of measurable results, costs, time, prices, and the like. We know this data is important to our readers, and we expect the people we interview to be willing to share at least some of their key numbers. (If you can’t or won’t, please don’t contact us.)
Another common focus for us might be called “expert tips.” We often interview consultants and specialists who can distil their knowledge into a few tight, actionable suggestions. Here, it’s important to remember that we’re addressing a very experienced audience, so you need to offer deep insights, not textbook advice.
We’re also receptive to stories based on major speeches and presentations, especially if a recording and slides are available.
Finally, there are several kinds of stories that mayb not be a good fit to us:
Emerging categories. Public relations people are fond of inventing new application and technology categories, presumably to lend an air of credibility to a relatively unknown product. However, these pitches almost never demonstrate that the new category will have an impact on the rest of the software industry. Be ready to demonstrate that your category is valid and truly emerging before contacting us with this claim.
Early startups. We receive many calls about “interesting” new companies. Often these publishers have little more than a half-finished product and an untested marketing strategy. We’re personally enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, but we prefer to see startups court prospective customers—not the press. If you think we should be looking for your company, we strongly suggest you have significant reference accounts we can talk to or can demonstrate a truly compelling new technology approach.
Products. Softletter doesn’t review products (though we will take a look at new or interesting systems for the purposes of industry analysis).We’re sometimes asked about major products by the trade and business press, so we’ll consider looking at or meeting with publishers (at your expense) who want to demo a high-visibility title. But even then, our emphasis is likely to be on business issues rather than specific product features.
Over-covered stories. In general, we’re are careful to avoid stories that have appeared in the general press or other newsletters. Even when we offer a unique perceptive, readers tend to see these stories as me-too coverage.
Softletter addresses a fairly narrow audience—senior and middle managers of software companies. The last time we surveyed our readership, about 50% held CEO and C”x”O and directors titles; most of the rest were consultants, investors, and industry observers.
Thus, the first question we ask about any story idea is, “Why would this interest our audience?” (The fact that you want to sell something to our audience is not a persuasive answer.) If you’re not clear about what is important to the people who run software companies, or if you’re pitching a generic idea aimed at “IT professionals” or “software programmers,” we’re unlikely to be interested.
Softletter was founded in 1983 by Jeffrey Tarter, a well-known industry analyst who has been described as “quietly powerful” by Marketing Computers. In his career, Tarter has been twice named “Best Industry Analyst” by the Software Industry and Information Association and has been widely quoted in the business and trade press.
Softletter is the industry’s most trusted source for benchmarks, metrics and business insights that software executives need to maximize growth and profitability. For years published as a bi-monthly newsletter, Softletter is now an online content and information hub for SaaS, mobile, OEM and on-premise software firms.
If you’re interested in reaching an audience of senior SaaS and mobile apps executives who you believe are candidates for your services, continuous you should sponsor Softletter. Our sponsorship programs are a major opportunity to reach interested and qualified leads while providing information relevant to their business needs.
Senior executives from SaaS, mobile, We focus on technology providers, not consumers.
Softletter has been in continuous publication since 1983. In 2012, we ceased publishing a paper newsletter and moved to an online format. Softletter provides case studies, operations insights, and business metrics on a bimonthly basis. More information can be found at the About Softletter page on this site.
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