Philosophies from the Top Software Companies

Posted June 1, 2017 by Dan Moore in Startups, Purpose

As a founder of a startup company, you’d want to know what your company would look like in 5 - 50 years from now. You’re probably constantly asking, “What am I really creating?” “What’s the purpose?”

To answer those questions, we can look at the people that have come before us to find inspiration and see what feels right and familiar.

We’re inspired everyday by the success and innovation of large companies - while also aspiring to achieve similar success one day with our own company. If we take a closer look into companies’ singular purpose and supporting values we can learn what they believe will keep themselves innovating and their success thriving.


Your company’s philosophy is what will keep pushing you forward and reminding you of why you’re doing what you’re doing - it helps you (and customers) measure company success. But the cool thing about your company philosophy and measuring your success from that is you get to set the boundaries and define it yourself.

Keep reading for summaries and analysis of top software companies that have received more than 90% of their revenue from software sales, as well what we believe at Vaporware to add dimension from a small software development startup perspective. Don’t forget to add your company’s in comments!

Adobe Systems - 97.06% of revenue from software sales

Adobe is best known for Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, and Portable Document Format (PDF) and their 3 customizable product solutions within their product suite - Adobe Document Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe focuses more on innovation with their cloud software.

Having such a broad user base with so many different solutions, Adobe focuses on these four broader purposeful goals that applies to all of their software options.

  • Accelerating innovation velocity
  • A culture of exploration
  • Igniting creativity in young people
  • Driving greater diversity and inclusion

Intuit - 94.55% of revenue from software sales

Intuit is a business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting and tax preparation software. Coming off of tax season, Intuit may sound familiar. That’s because they made the fan favorite financial helpers TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, and ProConnect.

Which makes the missions statement, “Powering prosperity around the world” very relevant for the company’s products.

Intuit also states, “As the world evolves, so does Intuit. We invent solutions to important problems. We innovate.”

SAS - 93.49% of revenue from software sales

SAS is based in Cary, NC (just a few minutes from where Vaporware is based in Raleigh!) where they develop and market a suite of analytic software - which helps access, manage, analyze, and report on data to aid in decision-making. SAS is the world’s largest privately held software business and is used by most of the Fortune 500.

“SAS delivers proven solutions that drive innovation and improve performance. They value authenticity, accountability, curiosity, and passion.”

SAS likes to say they give the customer around the world “the power to know.”

Symantec - 92.79% of revenue from software sales

You might be familiar with Symantec’s security software “Norton anti-virus”. Symantec specializes on coming up with innovative cyber security software. They Operate one of the world’s largest cyber intelligence networks and help companies, governments and individuals secure their most important data wherever it lives.

Mission: "We enable customers to have confidence in their connected experiences - infrastructure, information, and interactions."

CA Technologies - 91.90% of revenue from software sales

CA Technologies ranks as one of the largest independent software corporations in the world. The company creates systems software that runs in mainframe, distributed computing, virtual machine, and cloud computing environments.

CA Technologies states that its computer software products are used by "a majority of the Fortune Global 500 companies, government organizations, educational institutions, and thousands of other companies in diverse industries worldwide."

“We believe that a single idea can change the world. But great ideas only matter when they become real, ready-to-launch products and services. That’s why our mission is to help our customers eliminate the barriers between ideas and business outcomes.”

VMware - 91.47% of revenue from software sales

VMware is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies that provides cloud and virtualization software and services. They claim to be the first to successfully virtualize the the x86 architecture commercially and be a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workplace technology.

“With VMware solutions, organizations are improving business agility by modernizing data centers and integrating public clouds, driving innovation with modern apps, creating exceptional experiences by empowering the digital workspace, and safeguarding customer trust by transforming security.” - 91.40% of revenue from software sales

Salesforce was founded on three disruptive ideas: a new technology model in cloud computing, a pay-as-you-go business model, and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model.

They have been named one of Forbes’s “World’s Most Innovative Company” five years in a row and one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” eight years in a row. Glassdoor even awarded them “Best Places to Work” Employees’ Choice award in 2016.

Salesforce not only has a successful business, but they also have a “Ohana” lifestyle and stay true to their four core values.

  • Trust - communicate openly with our customers, and do what it takes to keep their data secure
  • Growth - we’re obsessed with out customers’ success and take pride in their achievements
  • Innovation - we pursue ideas that could change our company, our country - and maybe even the world
  • Equality - we respect and value employees from every background, and we thrive as a result


While we're not a software company (and not someone to compare to the rest of this list) -- we wanted to share our purpose. We want to know if it aligns to support your purpose, and to hear your feedback.

We at Vaporware imagine a world without waste - where software is built with purpose, validation, and balance. It’s our purpose to make that dream a reality. Through strong customer validation, the products we work on will deliver incredible returns with a strong balance of form and function, all striving to make the world a better place.

The theme of this list is innovation - a successful and continually relevant company is a company that never stops innovating. Each company listed above has their own goals in mind from cloud innovation to unique customer-employee interactions and that shows in their philosophies. Your company philosophy and mission statement determines the direction your company is going. Think of it as your company’s North Star providing guidance for all company decisions from hiring decisions to next products or services.

If you like this blog post subscribe so you can be on top of all our latest posts! Subscribe here and let us know in the comments what your startup’s purpose is and/or your mission/vision statement.


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