This is my first post to the Gartner Blog Network, and I believe I owe you a bit of information around who I am and what my goals and motivations for my blog are.
The basic “about me” stuff is in my bio. The extended “about me” stuff is where I think things get interesting. I wouldn’t dare insult your intelligence with a “25 Things…” style post on the first date. We will get to know each other better in time. What you should understand about me specific to this post are the following:
- I am not an IT propeller head. I’m probably the least technical IT analyst you will ever encounter. I supplement my knowledge of bytes and bits with people sense and problem solving skills. I worked Gartner’s Client Relationship organization for 7 years prior to my role now. I was a self-proclaimed “research gym rat” who listened to and collected data from customers, analysts and vendors, and built out the trend analysis accordingly.
- I am a pop-culture junkie, and I listen to rap music every single day. It is not uncommon for me to quote a rapper on Twitter in the context of an ITSM topic, or even drop a hot line on an inquiry with a client. In fact, the title of this post is from a song, I’ll buy a coke for the first person to name it in the comments section. Everyone has a personal soundtrack; mine is tuned to rap music. I make no bones about it, and you can take it or leave it.
- I am committed to providing research that is relevant, timely, and thought provoking. This means I will never chase “hot” topics that do not meet the aforementioned criteria. I will concentrate on doing the things that are different or extending the communities’ concepts in new ways. I don’t aim to have the highest levels of buzz or attention in the community; I simply want to add value to it.
My goals for the blog are simple: I aim to entertain, enlighten, engage, and educate those who consume what I create. What excites me most about this opportunity is that I get to interact with a wider range of IT service management professionals who are just as passionate for this space as I am. To this point, most of my engagement the ITSM community has been conducted primarily via Twitter. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of my “tweeps” (Twitter + people/peeps) over the last 18 months. My tweeps inspire, motivate and challenge me to do great things, and I admire them a great deal. They tell me it’s nice to meet me in person, but seriously, the pleasure is always on this side of the room. I particularly enjoy time I get to spend with ITSM practitioners, who are the people shaping our industry for the better; not the analysts, not the pundits, and not the vendors. I value these relationships greatly, and look forward to developing more over time.
I want the blog to be a combination of my people sense, problem solving skills, love for pop culture, and competitive drive. The “how” first came to me when I was walking my dog, listening to a new mixtape I downloaded on my iPod. I got to thinking about the origin of the mixtape and how it applies to ITSM and business, and the blog came to fruition. Let me explain how.
In 2004, right around the time when the music industry as we knew it began to crumble (in the aftermath of Napster and in the pre-dawn of iTunes) rapper 50 Cent was on a university panel, discussing how he was able to thrive through the turmoil, without being signed to a major record label. Rewind to 2002, when 50′s buzz was at an unprecedented level. At that time, he went from a relative unknown to the hottest rapper on the planet in a matter of months. 50 explained that he was able to generate the buzz by saturating the street market with mixtapes, which are CD’s put together that feature new songs, snippets, previously unreleased tracks, freestyles, and interviews. He and his team recorded and distributed the mixtapes with zero involvement from major record labels, and gave them away to local distributors without making a profit. There were easily 20 mixtapes released before 50 signed a deal to a major label, and when his album was released in early 2003, it sold 6 million copies by year end. When describing the mixtape game, 50 told the panel that the only thing that was keeping him from his fans was the record labels, who sought to maximize returns on investment through album sales. This wasn’t the wrong approach, it’s what record labels have always done, and album sales continue to be the benchmark for success in the music industry. What was different about 50’s approach, was that it recognized that music in a new delivery mechanism (MP3 vs. Vinyl, Tape, or CD) plus the rise of social media meant new rules. He understood that a mixtape was the best way to talk to your consumers directly, and it propelled him to the top of the rap charts when his debut album dropped. It’s a great business lesson when you think about it.
So what does this have to do with ITSM and the blog you ask?
I see two ways to for me to bring my ideas to the community. One way is to facilitate client and vendor inquiries, write compelling research, and deliver conference presentations. These are things I consider to be “album” activities. The other way is saturating the street market with snippets, unreleased items, freestyles, remixes, and interviews. These are things I consider to be mixtape activities. This blog is my mixtape. I believe I have a valuable point-of-view to offer to Gartner, our clients, and our extended readership. In a mixtape format, I can do this in a way that complies with Gartner’s standards for research to be timely, relevant and thought-provoking, in a manner that entertains, enlightens, engages, and educates you.
I want you to make reading my blog a part of your routine, but more importantly I hope you get something out of it. We will not agree on everything, and that is perfectly fine. I embrace debate, so please don’t be shy in sharing your thoughts, views and opinions.
I look forward to the journey and the conversation.
You can follow me on Twitter at @jarodgreene.
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