- What are your coverage areas?
Primarily telecoms technology and service-provider business models, especially mobile. But I have an extremely broad beat within that, from voice & messaging, through mobile broadband & 4G/WiFi networks, to telecoms regulation & policymaking and devices.
- What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
I see it as similar to many other industries – consolidation among medium/larger firms, fed by a growing pool of smaller ones. However, the move towards social media & collaboration makes it much easier for both solo analysts and ad-hoc alliances and affiliations. I work closely with various other organisations and individuals, such as STL Partners/Telco 2.0 and Martin Geddes Consulting. One last point – I sometimes feel that Telecoms Analysts have a somewhat different model to IT Analysts, as the “end-users” of network infrastructure are the telcos.
- What’s your typical day like?
If I’m not travelling to a client or conference, I’ll usually work at home on my PC and phone, doing a mixture of writing, conference calls and – if time permits – engage via my blog, Twitter streams or LinkedIn. I’ll probably spend a couple of hours working in a café for a change of scene – or if it’s a nice day and I have a block of reading to do, maybe sit in Regents Park.
- How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
Disruptive Analysis (DA) does what it says on the tin. It focuses on themes and topics where it has a strong contrarian opinion or analytical angle. Much of my research is along the lines of “17 reasons why XYZ popular trend isn’t going to happen” or more positively, “Nobody’s thought about doing ABC yet – they should”. In public, I tend to be provocative as it helps DA punch above its weight. In private engagements, the tone varies according to the dynamics of my client relationship. The bulk of revenue splits fairly evenly between telcos and vendors, with about 20% extra from regulators, investors and consultants. The company celebrates its 10th anniversary this June.
- What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?
A mix of phone calls, F2F briefings and attending 30+ conferences a year, where I can talk to dozens of people efficiently. I get through about 500 business cards a year. I’m a big believer in two-way, unstructured conversations & forthright debate, rather than just sitting listening to a pitch. I think most large-scale surveys are worthless.
- Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
I’ve always got on well with the Cisco team over the years. Individuals – tough one, but maybe David Rossiter (Sunesis), or Philippa Tozer (Amdocs)
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I took part in an IIAR debate on analysts & social media last year, which was a really interesting evening. Also, I’ve been to a couple of Ericsson & Cisco events where they’ve blended industry & investment analysts, which I find a good mix. We ask different sets of questions and it gives a broader perspective. (Also, I used to be an equity analyst myself)
- What are your offerings and key deliverables?
I put out a lot of “free-to-air” material via my blog Disruptive Wireless, and my @disruptivedean Twitter stream, plus also sometimes presentations on Scribd or Slideshare
Full strategic research reports – my latest looked at Telcos doing their own OTT services
Private consulting engagements, generally around strategy or product/service design
Public workshop events on “The Future of Voice” and “Telco-OTT services”, that I run jointly with Martin Geddes. We also do private customised versions in-house for some clients.
I do some sponsored “thought-leadership” white papers – but only for companies that share my very trenchant opinions & give me free rein.
I’ve recently started a second, paid-for Twitter stream – my own disruption in the world of analysts & social media. The best (& most company-specific) tweets are behind the paywall.
- Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
I’m a travel addict, and I “collect” countries. If someone announced an AR event in Angola or Bhutan I’d be on the next flight. I might draw the line at Somalia or Yemen though, as I’d probably get another grilling next time I went through US immigration
- Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
My most fun and enlightening exchanges on Twitter – or over a beer – are with Camille Mendler, Gabriel Brown, Thomas Wehmeier and Dmitris Mavrakis