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On Being a Wartime CEO

From the CEO

Ben Horowitz wrote an excellent blog post about being a wartime CEO. There are a few places I disagree with him (listed below).

However, the reason I’m writing this is because his post is targeted at the CEO who needs to be a wartime CEO or their company will die. Damn good reason to be a wartime CEO.

But for Windward we’re the other case. We can run under a peacetime CEO and continue to grow at about 30% per year. Or we can run under a wartime CEO and shoot for 100% growth a year, until we hit an inflection point and it grows at an even greater rate.

Choosing to be a wartime CEO when you have the option is in many ways harder. Because you can always relax back to a peacetime CEO and things continue fine. You only have yourself to keep you focused on being a wartime CEO.

Windward’s Wartime CEO Perspective

Here is Ben’s list followed by my comments:

Here at Windward, we’re at war. We’ve got a phenomenal product: the one reporting and docgen product that users love. But it requires a full-on wartime approach to get that information out to people.

Our goal, is in five years, when people are choosing what reporting or docgen product to use or switch to, we are selected more than 50% of the time. Worldwide.

This goal requires a wartime footing.

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David Thielen

President/CEO at Windward Studios

From his early years as a Senior Developer at Microsoft, to legendary designer of the popular Enemy Nations strategy game, to reporting and document generation guru, Dave has never lost his passion for building superb software and teams.


For over 10 years Windward has been making software that allows business users and developers to create data-powered documents of all types including: forms, proposals, statements, reports, presentations and more. Windward's novel approach allows users to "tag" elements within standard Microsoft® Office documents to be dynamically replaced with data from common data sources when output. Windward's solutions have become the leading choice for developers adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

Windward's solutions include scalable high-performance output engines written for .NET, Java, and RESTful  applications coupled with design environments that include Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Windward's customers regularly report savings well over 50% in template design and production costs. And, their business users enjoy being empowered to design and edit templates without having to involve development resources. Windward's "drop-in" code libraries allow developers to add best-in-class reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in less time, by orders of magnitude, compared with other platforms or in-house development. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward is dedicated to making reporting and document generation more effective and accessible to business users and developers everywhere.


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