Community Learning Space

The infraNET Project and Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo

present ...

The 2003 J.W. Graham Medal Seminar

Highlights from the Essential Guide 
to the Software Business


David Boswell

Recipient of the 2003
J.W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation

Friday, June 13, 2003
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo

Presentation archive


Software business startups can be thrilling, painful, rewarding and exhausting. As a startup takes form, essential activities begin: money is raised, a product is created, selling begins, people are hired, and the company finds itself in the news. Suddenly, four key constituencies have come to life: there are investors, customers, employees and the media, all demanding attention. It soon becomes evident that success requires more than great technology and a great product. The creation of sales, marketing, and customer service capabilities becomes central to survival and success.

Not surprisingly, issues soon emerge which are not typically part of the curriculum in Computer Science. Fortunately, a strong background in math is a great head start in dealing with many matters of business. Those who have studied Computer Science will enjoy recognizing many familiar abstractions as they explore the world of business and finance.

From the perspective of a Computer Science graduate, Dave will discuss the essential aspects of a software business, look at the special issues in startup businesses, as well as share interesting vignettes from the different worlds of enterprise software sales, business acquisitions, and startup finance.

David Boswell

David Boswell has enjoyed a broad range of action-packed experience in the software industry, on the management teams of software enterprises ranging from startups to large multinationals. After graduating from UW, Dave stayed on campus developing compilers and operating systems at the University’s Computer Systems Group, and teaching in the Computer Science Department. In 1988, Dave joined the management team of UW spin-off WATCOM Systems, which became recognized as an industry leader in PC development tools and database systems. In 1993, WATCOM was acquired by Powersoft Corporation, and it in turn by California-based Sybase, Inc. While at Sybase, Dave held several senior management positions including VP & GM of the Waterloo-based SQL Anywhere business.

In 1998, Dave became CEO of UW spin-off LivePage Corporation, an innovator in the application of SQL-based web content management. LivePage was acquired by Janna Systems, Inc., and in turn by software giant Siebel Systems of California. Most recently, Dave was VP and General Manager of Siebel’s Institutional Finance business, focused on Siebel’s Wall Street customers.

Dave holds B. Math and M. Math degrees in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo. When not thinking about the software business, Dave enjoys flying helicopters.

David will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation at the University of Waterloo on June 14, 2003.

For more information

Shirley Fenton
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074

Seminar Sponsorship

This seminar is sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.

The infraNET Project, initiated by the University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and Internet technologies. Its founding partners are: INFORIUM, MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.

We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.