Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
4+ years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. He focuses on issues related to positioning, storytelling, the technology customer life cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Four Takeaways From The Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference

by Hank Barnes  |  July 18, 2017

It has been a few weeks since the conference ended.    I again want to thank everyone that joined us in Huntington Beach.  The feedback has been extremely positive, which is gratifying for everyone here at Gartner that was involved.  Most importantly, the feedback generally indicates exactly what we hoped to do.   We wanted […]

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Women In Sales – A Missed Opportunity?

by Hank Barnes  |  July 11, 2017

Two weeks ago, I spent time at CEB (now Gartner) with a group of sales and marketing thought leaders that participated in the #CEBInfluencers program.   One of the most interesting discussions centered around the issue of diversity in sales, specifically regarding women.  The discussion was lead by Victoria Koval (CEB-Now Gartner) and Lori Richardson. […]

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The Soul of Lean Startup is Not MVP

by Hank Barnes  |  June 27, 2017

Last week, attendees at the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference had the privilege to listen to a talk by Steve Blank, one of the founders of the Lean Startup Movement.   Steve gave an “old school” (simple charts, clear information) presentation that dove deep into innovation challenges and opportunities for both large and small […]

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Timing and Choices in Surfing…and Business

by Hank Barnes  |  June 19, 2017

This week, I am in Huntington Beach for the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference.   Before it started, I had a chance to take a walk early Sunday morning and watch some surfing (my poor attempt at an animated gif of one of the videos I tried to capture below). Since I tend to […]

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Reflections on Positioning

by Hank Barnes  |  June 13, 2017

Last Sunday, Jack Trout passed away.   There are plenty of stories about his legacy that you can find via Google (here is one from the New York Times).   But one of the best was from Branding Insider. When I heard the news, it served as yet another reminder of what an influence Trout […]

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The Joy of Change (Sarcasm Alert)

by Hank Barnes  |  June 6, 2017

Change is not fun.   Having just spent the past week helping my daughter move to Ohio for residency, I can say that emphatically.  Between driving a U-haul through some mountains, putting together furniture (Ikea–clear instructions, but lots and lots of steps), activating services (and experiencing strange Internet problems), and making extra trips to the […]

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Broadening Your Perspective on Focus

by Hank Barnes  |  May 30, 2017

I’m guilty. I constantly talk to people about the importance of focus.  Focus on a key target segment.  Focus on your ideal customer profile (just last week). Don’t get distracted.  Focus. Focus. Focus. I feel like a broken record.  And that record may be broken. I’m not suggesting that you ignore the idea and power […]

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Customer Definition May Be More Important Than Category Definition

by Hank Barnes  |  May 23, 2017

For many startups, the nirvana is the creation of a category.  By creating the category, you establish the leadership position in it.   But category creation is not easy.   It takes a lot of investment and requires broad support–from customers, investors, influencers, partners. In many cases, we advise emerging providers that don’t have that […]

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To Be Prescriptive, You Have to Diagnose First

by Hank Barnes  |  May 16, 2017

This weekend, my daughter graduated from Med School.  My wife and I are very proud of her and the activities got me thinking about the recent emphasis on prescriptive approaches.  Whether that be prescriptive analytics or prescriptive sales approaches, the idea is being touted as one possible solution to information overload and complexity.   I […]

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The Other Side of Status Quo-Your Own

by Hank Barnes  |  May 9, 2017

For vendors, one of the most challenging things for them to overcome with prospective customers is status quo.   I’ve blogged about no-decisions in the past, but this time I want to look at the decision not to change from a different perspective.  Actually, its when the shoe is on the other foot. Being content […]

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