In year one of RedMonk’s existence, the question I was asked most often after “Red-who?” was “you’re starting an analyst company – now?” As if launching a new advisory firm in a crowded market during the post-dotcom implosion wasn’t the most astute business decision in the history of the technology industry. Well, unless my math is even worse than I think it is, we’re well into year four of operations here at RedMonk, so the good news is that I haven’t heard those questions in a long, long time.
The bad news is that just as those questions began to subside in the face of our continued ability to function as a going concern, they were replaced by one even more insidious: “When are you going to grow?” Having watched multiple different systems integration firms that employed me binge and purge employees at an alarming rate – including yours truly, once upon a time – I was in no hurry to hire anybody but the absolutely perfect candidate. This was perfectly acceptable, I believed, because IMO the industry analysis business – with the exception of a couple of the large brands – has little, if anything, to do with size. It’s about the quality of the analysis you put out. Growth for growth’s sake was higer risk than return, in my view. Small is the new big, etc, etc.
Content as I was to more or less ignore those particular queries, however, it wasn’t quite so simple as James and I were not of a single mind on the issue. To those who know and work with us, that should come as no surprise – we define the word dialectic. But as he discusses here, there was a significant gap in our thinking, as he was far more keen to grow than was I. This debate was fueled by the fact that we’ve had a lot – and I mean a lot – of people inquiring about working for RedMonk. People who would surprise you, frankly.
Some didn’t work out because of money (strangely enough, I’m not excited to pay an employee more than I make ;), some didn’t work out because they wouldn’t be a great fit for our culture, and others wanted to take the business in directions we weren’t interested in. So James and I continued to heartily debate the viability of various and sundry candidates for the RedMonk spot. Until a couple of months ago.
That was the day that James and I, at long last, finally arrived at a candidate that we wholeheartedly agreed on. One who was able to meet two very different sets of expectations for what we needed in an analyst. Undetermined at that point was whether said candidate was interested, whether our finances would allow us to woo said candidate, and how it’d all fit together. Well, I’m very pleased to announce that the answer to the first two questions was yes, and we’re in the process of figuring out the third. So with that, let me join my colleague and others like the excellent Bill de hÓra in welcoming RedMonk employee #3: Michael Coté. Many of you may already know him from his old blog (which played no small part in getting him this job, incidentally), but trust me – he’s the real deal. As Bill says, his new blog will “be a must have subscription for anyone interested in the intersection of agile processes, enterprise computing, systems-management, and zombie flicks.”
I’m very pleased to get Coté (he does prefer to go by his last name, FYI) on board, because I think it gives us an excellent mix of backgrounds and context: press (James), systems integration (me), and hands on development (Coté). Like the two original RedMonkeys, Coté will be blogging extensively and covering a fairly wide swath of technology. We’re forest people, after all, not tree people. Please feel free to say hello here or over on the Hello World entry on his new blog – People Over Process. And if you’re a client or just a Friend of RedMonk, drop a line and say hello. I think you’ll see pretty quickly why we brought him on board.
We look forward to Coté’s help in growing RedMonk – cautiously and prudently, of course Welcome sir.