PROFIT 200 #1: It’s the Same, Only Better

The best sale Bill Tatham ever made was of his own company. Through September 2000, Janna Systems, a Toronto-based developer of customer relationship management (CRM) software, had racked up 16 consecutive quarters of growth. The publicly traded company was highly profitable. Plus, Tatham had passed his personal wealth target—his “how much is enough?” number—and was growing concerned about having almost his entire net worth tied up in Janna stock. But Tatham was in no rush to sell. So, when Janna’s largest competitor, Siebel CRM Systems, offered to buy Janna, Tatham played hardball. Janna had gone up against Siebel, the American giant, on multimillion-dollar contracts eight times—and had won each skirmish. “They really wanted us to go away,” says Tatham.

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