Today’s IIAR> Around in 10 questions interview is with Stuart Ravens (@StuartRavens, LinkedIn) / Freelance analyst at coraxinsights.com, who writes about the use of tech in the energy transition and any other stuff he finds interesting.
1. What are your coverage areas?
I write about the use of technology in the energy transition. I also do research and analysis work for clients outside of this area, based on how interesting I find it!
2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Too much can be focused on marketing. Not enough is focused on end users of technology. I think the market will slowly pivot to end users, particularly given that all companies are becoming tech companies. Given all the technology that is out there, enterprises need good, solid advice on how well tech works.
3. What’s your typical day like?
There are no typical days! I started my freelancing career at the start of this year, after 25 years working in professional services or IT analysis. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of business development and project execution.
4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Nothing that’s too Nosferatu in nature. I just hate it when you reach out to AR folks and they ignore you. Too many large IT firms focus too much time on a handful of analyst companies and do nothing with smaller analyst companies. It’s short-sighted. Smaller analyst houses are more likely to be working with potential users than some larger analyst companies. I can’t advise clients on a vendor’s tech if I don’t speak with the vendor!
5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
I blog for free; I speak at conferences for free; I write white papers; I ghost write digital marketing content; I do some really in-depth competitive intelligence. As a freelancer, you don’t get to be too picky. I have been working with a couple of companies advising them on building up a research function – that has been fun. I usually offer a fixed price for projects, based on my day rate.
6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
I do all of those.
7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
I love Sara Smith, formerly of SAS, now Dolphin Marketing. Did everything she could to help, and never approached analysis as an extension of marketing. There are lots of others just like her. Sadly many others who aren’t. Special shout to Ed Gyurko who gave me tons of advice getting started as a freelancer
8. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
I love combat sports and can’t wait to get back to my local boxing club. I’m not very good, though. I play bass and coach at the local rugby club. I have been vegetarian for over 35 years and went vegan a few years ago, so Terre a Terre in Brighton is my favourite restaurant …
9. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
In the next 6 months my biggest challenge is to manage my workflow. Next 30 minutes, it’s to get this survey done and crack on with a huge project!
10. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
Soooo many! Just a good time to give a shout out to the analysts who helped me get started as a freelancer. Peter Ryan (Ryan Advisory), Surya Mukherjee (Accenture), Evan Kirchheimer (Omdia), Tony Baer (dbInsight)
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