Coté Memo #062: The Problem with Analyst Access
We’ve got a new sponsor this week, see below. There’s a 10% coupon. I’m planning on going to the event to get my lurn on.
Also, I wrote this pretty fast. Pardon messups.
Tech & Work World
The Problem with Analyst Access
One of the core opportunity/problem diachotomies in the analyst industry is “access”: access to the analyst’s insights, access to the analysist content, and access to the analysts themselves. Gate-keeping this access is the basis for much of the business: paywalls, paying for consulting, etc.
However, that business model can be a dangerous leaky abstraction in seamingly trival ways. For example, I recently wanted to sign up for RSS feeds for all the published research from Gartner, Forrester, IDC (actually, they have several, but no “everything” feed I’ve found yet), etc. (I already know 451’s feed URL, which is admitly not super easy to find, but there for finding). They don’t really seem to have them. There’s not full text in these feeds, of course: you need access to their paywall to read the full text. But, it’s important for me to know what they’re publishing and I imagine other folks would like to know.
Here’s how most access to analyst content seems to happen, you ask the AR person to send you a copy. You rarely get your own account (it’s too expensive, most analyst customers seem to think). Instead, there’s one account that an analyst relations people uses, and you can ask them to look up things for, like a reference librarian. And yet, analyst shops rarely put out a “card catalog” (that RSS feed) that lets us without accounts know what’s published. Thus, I don’t know what I should be requesting.
Of course, the analyst side of this is “well, you should stop being a cheap-ass and pay for an account, doofus, problem solved.” And, having been an analyst for almost 8 years of my career, I can’t fault them for wanting to get paid. I’ve got 5 kids to feed too!
But this need to control access so tightly that I don’t even know what they’re publishing is sort of a non-starter.
Once again, this brings me back to “access” as the number one variable and lever you can play with in the analyst business. GigaOm toyed with this when they set a very low price in their early days (around $70–200 a year for an individual subscription, depending on discounts) and I look at people like Ben Thompson as hacking that even more (he’s just $100/year). My alumus RedMonk took another tact years ago and just ditched the paywall, getting paid for consulting and other things (like their growing[?] events business); someone once derisivly called RedMonk a “patron” model, which is sort of right, but only a tiny bit.
So, in other words: hey analyst shops, can you get some RSS feeds? (Hopefully, they exist, and I just haven’t found them yet. Remember: all published research, not just blogs and announcements.)
Cloud SOTU, 5 years late
I ad the privlege of talking to the Austin cloud user group earlier this week. I’d given the opening talk back in 2010, so they asked me to come give an update. The themes and many of the charts will be familer, but I’ve been honing down to a more specific message: you should get a platform…and probably not build it on your own.
Pointless - good thinking on using frequent flyer miles. Also, one of the more important points is quickly glossed over: you can pay for hotels with them too. We spend many of our airline points in lodging, no the just flying.
Mobile First - on the trend of “mobile apps” just becoming “apps,” i.e., the norm.
Why AWS Lambda is a Masterstroke from Amazon - a good explanation of why Lamda is interesting. I’m still not sure if I’m too interested, but I can see that I’d be interested in being interested.
Things to Stop Doing in 2015 - HBR - not bad as listicals go. Have you noticed that the basis of all white-collar/GTD advice now-a-days is “slow down, do less”?
Why We Threw 4 Months of Work in the Trash; or How we Failed at OpenStack - OpenStack is still hard.
Fun & IRL
Too much fun this week to document. Stay safe out there.
This Memo is sponsored by The Craftsman PM:
Amp up your skills and get to the top at this Whole Product Workshop Feb 21–22 in Austin and Mar 7–8 NYC. Grab a spot at 10% off for just Cote Memo readers (use code: cotememo62) before it’s all gone: http://bit.ly/cotememo62
FRONTSIDE.IO - HIRE THEM! Do you need some developer talent? When you have a web project that needs the “A Team,” call The Frontside. They’ve spent years honing their tools and techniques that give their clients cutting-edge web applications without losing a night’s sleep. Learn more at http://frontside.io/cote