Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
4/17/2007
11:52 AM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Do Analysts Matter?

If you want to make it as a Web 2.0 company, find a way to get a positive review from Michael Arrington, the well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of TechCrunch. Arrington, it seems, has become the tech industry equivalent of Robert Parker, the influential wine critic whose tastes have shaped that industry. Not so long ago, Gartner could make or break a company. Not so much an

If you want to make it as a Web 2.0 company, find a way to get a positive review from Michael Arrington, the well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of TechCrunch. Arrington, it seems, has become the tech industry equivalent of Robert Parker, the influential wine critic whose tastes have shaped that industry.

Not so long ago, Gartner could make or break a company. Not so much anymore, outside of a few areas like CRM, according to Chris Tolles, VP of marketing at Topix.com.I spent a few minutes chatting with Tolles in the Web 2.0 Expo exhibit hall. Tolles said that the objectivity that analysts (and journalists for that matter) offered, or at least tried to offer, wasn't particularly helpful to companies or customers for that matter. The industry benefited more from a more partisan form of engagement.

I could write that off to Tolles position as a marketing guy, but he's not wrong. Most people need to be told what's brilliant because most don't recognize genius (or something less than that) when they see it.

A case in point: Celebrated violinist Joshua Bell recently played incognito in Washington DC and almost all the commuters walked right past him without being able to hear that a virtuoso was performing.

The parallel isn't precise in that the utility and functionality of a Web 2.0 company can be assessed more easily than an artistic performance. But it's close enough and something sad about that...unless you happen to be on the right side of the right people.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.