Management Science America (MSA) was the largest software company in the world a few decades ago and headquartered right here in Atlanta. It’s legacy profoundly impacted the Atlanta technology community through alumni of the company that started some of the most successful startups, invested millions of dollars as angels and VCs, and helped in the management and executive ranks of numerous companies.
The impact of MSA on Atlanta has been well documented but there’s an area that is rarely talked about: the MSA legacy of a hyper sales-focused culture. In my experience, B2B software companies that are the most successful are ones with excellent engineering and amazing sales teams. If you look at some of the billion dollar Atlanta successes that had MSA-alumni involved, like Internet Security Systems and Witness Systems, as well as current success stories like Vocalocity that are well on their way to being a big company, they all had sales as a main strength.
My recommendation is to focus on building a sales-centered culture and the next time MSA is brought up in a conversation, acknowledge that their sales-focused culture was a major driver of success.