May 12, 2016
In came an email the other day: I thought, OK grow revenue 50%. You’ve got my attention, Hannah. Not a bad note. But she asked me if I had time this week on a Saturday afternoon. I’m not hanging around reading emails from marketers on weekend afternoons. By Monday at 3 pm I get this: So to Grow and Hannah I say this— your marketing tactics aren’t cute. They aren’t effective and they don’t work. You can’t email a CEO on a Saturday, say you’ve tried to reach them a half day later (in business days), and then insult your prospect by inferring they’ve been eaten by alligators or (pun intended,...
May 9, 2016
At Outsell, we’ve long said the information industry is like your grandfather’s favorite sweater—safe, cozy, warm and comforting. That’s why investors love it. Sure, it’s undergoing a lot of change. Sure, technology is reshaping the underbelly of the industry. Sure, customer demands are changing and they will continue to change. But underneath all of this are market dynamics investors love, the stability of recurring revenue and year-over-year steady growth without the swings that can harpoon other sectors.    I was reminded of all of this the other day when we pulled a 10 year look at the...
May 4, 2016
The sale of JD Power made me think of the day when I picked up the phone and a financial services exec called me to disagree with our Insight on the JD Power sale to McGraw-Hill. We wrote about the firm as a long-established market research firm, challenged the synergy, and figured that unless they did something with aviation, construction and other verticals, it was going to be a decent asset but not particularly accretive strategically. His beef was that we were looking through the wrong lens. That JD Power was bought on the basis of being a ratings firm. I thought it was clever- I saw his...
April 21, 2016
A couple months back in the height of CA El Nino hype, my brother-in-law Mark got caught up in an impending mud slide which somehow he captured on video. I haven’t asked him why he has a video cam on his dash, but I'll reserve that for another day. He sent a link to family, and shortly thereafter, he posted his near disaster on Facebook. Over the next couple of days the ‘viral thing’ happened and views of that video grew exponentially.  I still recall childhood teachers talking about exponential growth of populations and why the planet will implode under the load. I also remember this lesson...
April 13, 2016
At Outsell’s Signature Event last year, I presented our annual Information Industry Outlook and in that keynote discussed the key themes we see affecting our industry. We then published these trends in our annual year-end Information Industry Outlook report, which we give to industry complimentary, after we pre-release this analysis at our event. A tradition now going on over 15 years. Last year, I spoke of these trends through an Outsell case study since we are of the community we serve, a privileged position we respect. And in the spirit of Outsell's Signature Event, which is off-the-record...
April 8, 2016
As someone who is presumably in a male dominated field (CEO), I keep wondering about women in the workforce and studies about gender bias. I find this whole discussion challenging because there are so many variables. A recent study pointed to pay-dropping when women enter male-dominated fields and it’s a valid point. I wonder why when I go to hotels there are no male housekeepers. And why are there no female engineers when my air conditioning needs fixing or the sinks leak? Has anyone seen a woman who is a bellman? How about in valet parking?   Sometimes women need/want/require more...
March 30, 2016
So, while I am raging at the machine of dumbed-down journalism, shout out to The Atlantic for writing an article about how new media is looking like old media, and looking at Facebook Live video as a popular option for consumers. And along the way they talk about scientists as an interesting subject matter, giving us hope that all of humanity isn’t stuck in the white bread of tabloid journalism. The article points to the live video cast of astronaut and my buddy Scott Parazynski, MD. Many of you will remember he was the opening keynote at Outsell’s Signature Event in 2009, held outside of...
March 28, 2016
    Imagine my surprise first thing on a Sunday morning when in came an article about millennials in their workplace, a young company focused on millennial news for and by millennials. On the surface, interesting. Something to really learn here, an inspiring model. But by around paragraph four, it talked about “a sense of entitlement, a tendency to overshare on social media, and frankness verging on insubordination.” It went on to describe an office looking like a frat house, a middle-school frat house in fact, with nerf gun wielding team members, the use of megaphones for announcements, and...
March 24, 2016
We’ve been tracking and analyzing the world of information, media and its convergence with technology since 1998. We’ve been at the forefront of ground-breaking events for the industry, and were the first firm to even call the different sectors of the information industry an industry. You see newspaper ‘guys’ used to hang out with newspaper guys. B2B trade media firms, hung out with B2B trade media firms, consumer magazines hung out with other consumer magazines and the world behaved in nice, neat, orderly boxes. But in 1998 when we started the firm, our founders had high-technology roots....
March 22, 2016
What a difference a year makes. In closing its 2015 year, IHS executives’ message to the market was “steady as she goes” despite the free fall in crude oil prices already roiling the firm’s business in the energy market. IHS finally hit the wall. After swallowing over 60 companies since its IPO in 2005, the challenge of integrating brands across multiple dimensions sales execution, cross-industry and vertical marketing, workflow platform, internal content engines and business systems – coupled with the energy market tanking – proved to be too much.  Jerre Stead came back into CEO role, with...

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