Some excellent posts here. I have been around new product definition for a range of technology companies. The first topic in any new product cycle is market reports.....although no-one ever thought that the data contained in them was accurate (usually because it didn't verify th point we were trying to make!) or value for money! I expect layoffs and further consolidation (IMS was picked up a week or so back) in this industry. As people noted above, this industry attraced some extremely good people. Ones that didn't just repeat the data given to them, but challenged it and deliver some excellent "so what's" from the data. I always value the one on one analyst time as opposed to the raw numbers. Any while consultants could do this, the formalized process that analyst firms use to gather data from the ecosystem allows them to pick up valuable nuggets...
It was a very nice requiem Brian. In-Stat was always typified as a collection of very unusual but talented analysts. As you eloquently pointed out, it was the victim of the maturation of an industry. Thank you for remembering In-Stat fondly.
Thanks, Brian. You have, once again, given us wonderful words to read to Jack's grandkids and great-grandkids when we try to keep his memory alive for them. He never got to meet 3 of the great-grandkids and one, Jackson, 5, is just like him. Oh, and by the way . . . the mighty haven't fallen -- they've forgotten. Gone, apparently, are those who remember what it was like to have a little company able to help them guage their industries' health and direction because of the great analysts who weren't afraid to tell it like it was. One last thing - for those of us who were "worked like dogs" some may have forgotten that they were frequently released from the kennels for all afternoon lunches at Dutch John's on Dad's dime, the 2-week shutdowns at Christmas after the year-end bonuses (on top of regular vacations), the Great Race, fun work trips to places like Hawaii, personal help when needed, you know, the usual perks you get at any company :) Anyway, thanks for remembering, Brian!
Nice obituary, and the end of an era that Jack pretty much started, as Brian pointed out. With a shrinking market for big, expensive reports the ROI on a big, expensive think tank had to be questionable. Another industry fragments, just as journalism has done.
How the mighty and once presumed "indispensible" have fallen--a lesson in humility and a reminder for all of us: nothing--no vendor, no product, no service, no application is forever. You can make your own list of big names vendors and products that are mere shadows of what they were, or altogether gone--it's a long one.
Yes it's sad, but it is evolutionary. There was a time that the analysis came solely through the media but that gave way to the analysts. The early warning system exists in the social cloud now. The customers that the vendors say they "know" are out there, talking about them, analyzing their products and being brutally honest about it. What most of the vendors don;t know is where to find that brutal honesty.
UBM is doing good work in helping that happen but we still need more analytical tools to bring that all together. Nature abhors a vacuum and if we are to believe Adam Smith's theory that the market is a form of nature, then we shall see something arise to replace the analysts.