Wednesday, January 30, 2008

WSJ - It's easy to Misunderstand

Someone passed along today's WSJ article on Aberdeen Group and the sponsored research model. As you may know, in many ways RSR is competitive to Aberdeen in retail, in that we also offer sponsored research. Of course, like all good free marketers, I like to think we do a better job of it. I also know there were some serious factual errors in the piece, since I was at Aberdeen in 2004, which was after the white paper era ended, prior to purchase by Harte-Hanks. And yes, long before Steven Gold arrived at the company.

But I am not here to blame or praise Aberdeen. I'm here to make one very simple observation. Shouldn't the author have asked some of the consumers of Aberdeen's research if they find value in it? That's the end of the story really.

I know we get lots of thank you's for our research from our retail readers around the world. And we NEVER EVER say that technology can solve a business problem. You have to fix the business, and then technology can help. Oh yes, we also NEVER play "rate the vendors". That's so 20th century.

So that's a personal, Paula observation. The article was incomplete. Again, I'm not an Aberdeen fan - the company has many flaws that I saw first-hand...but I am a proud research analyst.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why I'm Here

Everybody's got to have a why not me?

For the most part, I'll write about retail, which is my business passion, but sometimes I might write about my other passions. None of us is one-dimensional, after all....

I'm a managing partner of Retail Systems Research (RSR). To read the "full monty" on our view of retail, be sure to visit our corporate site. But if you're looking for a glipse at the random, unedited thoughts of my busy little mind, come here.

Probably the most interesting part of our company is that we're all former or current professional musicians. It's true. Brian's CD's are available on iTunes...Steve still plays bar gigs. I'm not sure when the last time Nikki worked her pipes was, but she did it too. Me, I did singles gigs in bars in the mid-70's. Gave it up because I realized I would never be great at it.

At analyzing retail technology, I'm great. So I keep doing it. If I ever think I'm not great at it anymore, or if it stops being fun, I'll quit.

Anyway, that's it for #1. And now I will prepare for the "Death March 2008" otherwise known as NRF's Big Show. 25 meetings in 2 days. Yikes. Wish me luck.