In early 2006, I wrote a pair of posts in which I discussed my general standards for analytic credibility, and disclosed some of my own relationships and biases. I have nothing to add to the generalities, but maybe it’s time to update some specifics.
- The title of “my biggest customer” has no clear winner these days. Most of the contenders are small DBMS vendors such as Netezza, DATAllegro, and EnterpriseDB. Generally, I’m closer to small companies these days than to big ones.
- That wasn’t always the case. For example, In other years my biggest customers have been Oracle (several times), SAP, Computer Associates, Microsoft (I think — if not so, then close to it), and AOL.
- I’ve had a falling-out with SAP, who flat-out cheated me in some business dealings. Multiple execs from the VP level on up seem to have been OK with that. If you think that SAP is more ethical than, say, Oracle or Microsoft, I strongly beg to differ.
- Every white paper and webcast I do is “sponsored”; i.e., money changes hands. (There may be occasional exceptions to that rule in the future, but it’s usually the case.) Sponsorship is clearly disclosed.
- I cannot commit to promptly or completely disclosing who my consulting clients are. Sometimes they want to be served in confidence. However, I always have disclosed — and in the future always will disclose — any kind of relationship in which I am paid to promote companies in any way.
- I do spot consulting for both public-equity and private-equity/venture capital investors. In other years I’ve also had a small number of retainer relationships with public-equity investors, but there don’t happen to be any at the moment.