Larry's Kids Take the Gloves Off
Two months ago we reported that three companies spawned by software titan Larry Ellison -- Oracle, NetSuite, and SalesForce.com -- are vying for your business. Initially they went after separate markets and engaged in friendly competition, but NetSuite, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company run by former Ellison proteges Evan Goldberg and Zach Nelson, is now targeting SalesForce.com, which was founded by another Ellison protege, Marc Benioff. In late January, NetSuite announced an ad campaign explicitly designed to steal customers from its "sibling" with a 50%-off deal that ran through April 1. SalesForce.com's Benioff has called NetSuite's move "another act of desperation." NetSuite's Nelson counters that with NetSuite planning to double its 300 employees by June and go public early next year, "this may be an act of aggression, but it's about as far from an act of desperation as you can get."