Each month, Influencer Relations highlights one of the leading analysts in our industry. We ask one of our favorite analysts about their current work, past experiences and how to get the best out of them.
Industry analyst, consultant, commentator & futurist. Mostly focused on telecoms & wireless, but also cloud, IoT and the broader “tech futures” domain. Been around in various capacities for about 25 years. Also prolific on social media, eg as @disruptivedean
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH AR?
Started working for Datamonitor (hybrid consulting / analyst / mkt research firm later acquired by Informa) in 1991, straight from university. Became focused on telecoms/tech as a strategy consultant & report-writer, then realised “I’m an analyst” when I started going to industry events & met some peers. Was Chief Analyst there until 2000, then had a stint as an equity analyst for an investment bank, then been working as an independent analyst since 2002.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH AR?
I’m only involved with AR insofar as meeting numerous AR pro’s over the years from the analyst side. Always interested in helping out with the perspective of an independent analyst, rather than someone at a big firm.
WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT INDUSTRY ANALYST?
Really varies, but I’d say the #1 thing is “asking good questions”. If you hear “hmm, that’s a good Q, let me think about it” you know you’ve got an original angle / insight.
The next thing I’d say is “pattern recognition” – seeing contours of a trend or issue from a diverse set of points.
Lastly – communications, whether verbal or written. Needs to be pithy, structured – and ideally with a sense of humanity and ideally humour. Anything which looks like it’s been written by a robot will probably be easily replaced by AI in future.
BIGGEST AR HORROR STORY:
Probably getting invited to an event by GSMA, then disinvited because I’d said something critical. I shamed them publicly for it, and still hold a bit of a grudge today. It was roughly equivalent to Donald Trump excluding certain members of the White House press corps because they’d asked a nasty question.
HOW IS THE INDUSTRY CHANGING/ HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED DUE TO COVID-19?
Not really sure about the industry overall, as I’ve been pretty busy and focused. For me, I’ve gone from 40-50% time travelling to zero. I’ve had to replace my 2-4 conference events per month to all-virtual and hybrid events. On the other hand, lots of companies seem to be spending money on insight / workshops / advisory projects instead. It’s been crazily busy.
WHICH INDUSTRY ANALYSTS SURPRISE YOU?
Chris Lewis is amazing (and his guide-dog too!). Always think that Camille Mendler is great value too. And then John Strand is probably the only one who out-snarks me.