- We receive a large number of requests for free information.
- This article describes our policy on questions.
We offer some of the only independent fact-checking in the enterprise space. The enterprise software space is marked by both software vendors, consulting companies, and IT analysts that only provide information that is financially advantageous for them to provide.
However, this has created a problem for us as we are overwhelmed by requests for free information and free advice.
This led us to follow a policy regarding free questions.
The Worst Information at the Highest Price…With the Most Accurate Information…for Free?
Companies like Deloitte or Gartner charge pay top dollar for terrible quality information, and often false information. These companies simply work backward from whatever makes them the most money and then adjust the answer to this objective. Senior leadership in these companies tell the lower level employees what to say, and not to “screw up the account” by providing accurate information, but information that is not profit-maximizing.
- For some reason, many people that reach out to Brightwork Research and Analysis expect the most accurate information to be free.
- We have free requests that come from companies with a billion dollars in revenue that “would appreciate a little help,” or a company that has raised $50 million in VC money that wanted time for free.
- We have requests for free information that comes from hedge funds with billions of dollars under management.
The questions come fast and furious, without any discussion around whether we should be paid for our time. We found that when you have information other people want, people very quickly become your “friend.”
Is Brightwork the Robin Hood of Enterprise Software?
Because we have a large number of vendors and associated entities who treat the
“Get to know each other”
..phase as an opportunity to obtaining information while never providing compensation.
There is this impression that because we expose bad behavior and hold to standards, that Brightwork as a free “Robin Hood” resource. Or that we have a grant from the US government to support tech companies, billion-dollar software buyers, and hedge funds to help them achieve their objectives…all for free. Oracle, Microsoft, and many other enormous entities have communicated their interest in getting our analysis…for free. One hedge fund that managed $13 billion in assets thought that $20,000 in the analysis was outside of their budget. The term “budget” is used to justify just about any level of exploitation on the mart of multi-billion dollar entities. When paying for things, multi-billion dollar entities would like you to think of them as like the dry cleaners down the street. Of course, we knew that billion-dollar entities enjoy exploiting labor, and we then learned they love exploiting their suppliers.
Yes, as you do, we have to earn a living and are not owned by a benevolent billionaire.
The Problem With Not Supporting Brightwork Financially
It sounds like a straightforward request, why not take some of our time asking a question? After all, it is just a small inconvenience. However, what you may not know is we get an enormous number of free requests for information every year.
By asking for free information and by not going back and asking for funding for research, you are voting that Brightwork ceases to exist. This will leave the market to vendors, corrupt consulting firms, and paid off media as the exclusive sources of information. Currently, nearly all of the revenues in the enterprise software market go to the entities that provide the most biased and least accurate information. This problem is why there is virtually no real research being done in the enterprise software space. Gartner, Forrester, IDC are all for sale, and they can be hired to publish whatever you want for the right price. Brightwork has never been paid to produce media output.
We are always told how much individuals appreciated independent sources of information. However, individuals who continually ask for “independent” sources of information seem to, in most cases, be very unwilling to support independent sources.
Those That Would Parasitize Brightwork
In many cases, the people in these companies like to convince their bosses or their clients that THEY have the information and the knowledge in the areas we cover, and their strategy is to take our material and then present it as their own. For these individuals, there is no limit to how many hours they will waste trying to recreate what we have created because they are charging their companies for the time they spend recompiling our information.
The fundamental relationship between these companies and us is expressed in the following video.
In this analogy, we are the crab, and the inquiring company is the octopus.
The intended benefit to us from our research and willingness to tell the truth is zero.
Dealing With These Expectations
After receiving enough of these requests throughout the years, we have made several adjustments.
- Dealing with Software Vendors: We significantly limit our exposure to software vendors. Interactions with software vendors begin very congenially, but they usually entail, once again, consuming our time for free. Upon interacting with a new software vendor, we quickly triage them, with around 85 to 90% falling into the “intent to parasitize” category.
- Limiting Time Consumption: We don’t even spend a minute thinking about the question that is asked. People that work for companies that ask us questions are profit-making enterprises. It makes zero sense for us to be subsidizing giant profit-making enterprises with our advice. And it is ethically wrong for people to reach out to try to consume our time in this way.
- The Creation of this Article: As soon as we categorize the question as a request for free information, we then send out this article that explains our position. If you have a question, and it is crucial, which is in most cases it is, and you see the value that comes from independent research, then we recommend you make the case to those with the purse strings that some budget should be allocated so that we can address the question.
- We usually are given a research question, and we deliver a document and then an explanation of the research.
- We charge for providing support in a variety of areas.
- We can support presales and help with strategy and provide supporting research.
- As of January 2020 all things that take time must have revenue attached to them. In the past, we found that even entertaining initial discussions without a person having a budget were a poor use of our time.
We sell pre-existing or create custom research, and charge for that research.