Dealing with industry analysts, for startups

Earlier this week I had the privilege to speak at HeavyBit, a developer centric incubator run by some ex-Heroku (and other!) folks. First of all, the premises of HeavyBit is awesome: for as important as developers are, there’s not enough attention paid to companies that are building developer products and services in the investing and incubation scene…so, let’s do that. If you look at the HeavyBit portfolio, it’s a nice collection of interesting developer-centric tools. Someone even used the phrase “B2D” – Business to Developer – which was certainly, you know, cute.

The HeavyBit folks asked me to give some practical tips of talking with industry analysts, dealing with them as it were. I’ve done this talk from time to time over the years, but not really since 2010 formally. It’s a fun topic. The presentation is up, and there’s a recording that HeavyBit will post eventually as well.

On that note, do you have any tips you’d give for dealing with analysts?

Dealing with industry analysts, for startups

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to a Dell hosted think-tank discussing how the application needs of companies are changing. You could also phrase it: “how is all that cloud stuff changing how CIO’s run their company’s IT?” It was a great session, driven by the discussion of the CIOs on the panel and well seasoned by vendors and hangers-on like myself. There’s also a bunch of stills here.

GitHub is the developer resume, so don’t screw that up for your employees

“In many cases in the big companies and all the small startups, your Github profile is your resume,” explained another former Amazonian. “When I look at developers that’s what I’m looking for, [but] they go to Amazon and that resume stops … It absolutely affects the quality of their hires.”

I’ve been reading The Everything Store, the recent business history of Amazon. Given the culture there, it’s not too shocking to read that Amazon is not big into developers marketing themselves and getting involved in “the community,” as it were.

GitHub is the developer resume, so don’t screw that up for your employees

One of the more concise writeups a of IBM’s 2013 performance that you’ll see

Big Blue has seen revenue in its System and Technology Group drop throughout the year, with the division finishing out fiscal 2013 down 18.7 per cent from the previous 12 months.

Software and middleware revenues and sales in the Global Business Services unit rose during the year, but Global Technology Services and Global Financing also dropped or stayed flat.

Meanwhile, things are looking not so bad for IBM’s converged infrastructure product line, as TPM writes:

IBM puts its PureSystems converged machines into the System x category, and revenue for these machines was up 30 percent sequentially from the third quarter, with 2,500 PureSystems racks sold during the quarter and a total of 10,000 racks sold since the machines debuted in April 2012.

One of the more concise writeups a of IBM’s 2013 performance that you’ll see

Privately innovating instead of publicly growing

When I spent time with other entrepreneurs, the feeling was ‘go public’. Now you have ‘stay private longer’, because then you can invest, innovate. The minute you go public, you have this incredible pressure to increase earnings every single quarter, quarter after quarter. I am not saying that is all bad. There are companies that are perfectly good for it, but it has a real downside as well.

Privately innovating instead of publicly growing

IBM building out it’s public cloud, doubling capacity this year

The company plans to open 15 new data centers this year, more than doubling the cloud capacity it acquired when it purchased SoftLayer last year for $2 billion. It plans to combine the new data centers, the existing SoftLayer data centers, and the data centers it already ran before the SoftLayer purchase into a single operation that would provide public and private cloud services to its customers, as well as provide services for internal operations.

And, these guys can’t help themselves with the massive revenue targets:

IBM is estimating that global cloud revenue will grow to $200 billion per year by 2020. IBM hopes to generate $7 billion in cloud revenue in 2015.

IBM building out it’s public cloud, doubling capacity this year