But very few sources wanted to stand behind their convictions. I was recently asked to examine the prospects of a third story on this topic (the second one ran in the May 22, 2006, issue of InformationWeek). The CEO of a software company had written an editor here to belatedly applaud last year's story and complain of firsthand mistreatment at the hands of the analyst community. I'd been through several situations like this last year. Every time I got the author of such an e-mail on the phone, they would tone down their criticism and, often, would refuse to go on the record with their complaints.
What's everyone so afraid of? I certainly understand the role that analysts play in promoting one's products and services, but is there a problem here or not? The fact that so many people are unwilling to stand behind their criticisms makes me wonder if (a) they're just sour grapes because an analyst firm didn't like their products or gave them advice they disagree with, or (b) the analyst community does in fact hold too much sway over the companies that buy and sell information technology.
Tell me I'm wrong, but please do it on the record.