Monday's Musings: Reflecting On Five Years Of Disrupting The Industry Analyst Business


Thanks To Great Customers And Great Team Members

Internal Memo Sent November 3rd, 2015
@Rwang0 #CCE2015 analysts
As many of you know, we were founded almost five years ago on November 9th, 2010.  In the midst of a recession, and after working at another startup that was moving from analyst firm to boutique consulting, the goal was to build something different in the market.  Elaine and David were the first two team members to join.   The challenge - we had no funding.  We covered salary on 500,000 in personal savings.   We boot strapped the organization with a loose federation of independent analysts .  Today we have evolved into a full employment model with full benefits, stock options, and retirement plans.  Though we are five years older, the goal hasn't changed - unite star people under one roof, bring star clients together, and engender a community and ecosystem around stars - hence the name Constellation Research.
Many of our customers have asked why we chose purple as our color.  Well, Gartner was blue. Forrester was green. IDC was yellow and blue.  Ovum was red.  Purple was the only real stand out color and a personal favorite.  A logo was sent out to 99 designs in a contest and we came back with a few logos but eventually ended up with the 3 rings for the reasons above.  The entire logo cost us $99.  A trademark application, incorporation papers, and all that fun legal stuff was set up and we were in business.  Well, it wasn’t that simple… more on that another time.

Lessons Learned From The Early Years

Our first client to sign was Pervasive (now Actian).  Alison Raffalovich, Angela Schmidt, Kim Daugherty, and Lacey La Borde were the first to sign with David and we will never forget them and all of our first year customers.  We’re ultimately as good as the type of customers we attract.  The first years were tough. The goal build the brand as big as you can.  The second year, bring on as many people as you can.  The third year, you realize that was a bad idea as you need to build the right team and you have to be organized around common goals.  The fourth year was about  rebuilding and we now are at a point where we can say we have critical mass at our fifth year.
More importantly, we’ve had a number of folks who’ve been big supporters and our advisors from:

  • Paul Greenberg - who’s helped us in countless behind the scenes and direct interactions
  • Erin Kinikin - who’s critical thinking and approach is a great resource for smart advice
  • Esteban Kolsky - who’s really trying to make you all smarter analysts despite the tough love
  • Dr Janice Presser - who’s kept us all together by making sure we bring on the right people

Moreover, I can’t thank Dennis, our COO,  enough for keeping us all in line and making sure the trains run on time but more importantly in making sure the right things happen at the right time.   We were in utter chaos prior to Dennis.  Well, you all know that.

Moving To Our Next Five Years

So here’s where we are now five years old entering our sixth year.  We have awesome buy side clients.  These are folks that believe in innovation.  They are in charge of disruption.  They understand how we are different from the market. Many of them have been part of our research board.  They’ve been paid clients and many have also changed many jobs in the past five years but they keep coming back.  Within our network we have 1000 market leaders and fast followers we can reach out to and connect with on a consistent basis.
The conference we host every year is for these clients, our fans, our advocates, and prospects.  It’s once a year and it’s in-person.  This past Constellation Connected Enterprise, we had not only our best attendance to date, but some of the most insightful conversations at any conference we've been to.  We're hoping we can translate that hospitality we exude in person and the insights and analysis we bring to them on a daily and digital format.  Watch for our new Constellation Executive Network program with CR Insights.  This will be our main focus for our next 5 years.
If you are reading this, we're excited you can be part of our constellation.  There are so many opportunities ahead and we look forward to engaging with you.

Get All 10 Lessons Learned From Disrupting Digital Business

Here’s everything you need to know from the best selling book – “Disrupting Digital Business” published by Harvard Business Review Press:
Lesson 1 – Transform Business Models And Engagement
Lesson 2 – Keep The Brand Promise
Lesson 3 – Sell The Smallest Unit You Can
Lesson 4 – Know That Data Is The Foundation Of Digital Business
Lesson 5 – Build For Insight Streams
Lesson 6 – Win With Network Economies
Lesson 7 – Humanize Digital With Digital Artisans
Lesson 8 – Democratize Distribution With P2P Networks
Lesson 9 – Deliver Intention Driven, Mass Personalization At Scale
Lesson 10 – Segment by Digital Proficiency Not Age
In fact, the impact is significant and now quantifiable with 52% of the Fortune 500 gone since 2000 and the average age of the S&P 500 company in 1960 is down from 60 years to a little more than 12 projected in 2020.  That is a 500% compression that has changed the market landscape forever in almost every industry.

Your POV.

Ready for our new offering Constellation Executive Network?  Tired of legacy analyst firms?  Come find out more about us.
Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

Please let us know if you need help with your Digital Business transformation efforts. Here’s how we can assist:
  • Developing your digital business strategy
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing


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