Gideon Gartner invented the IT analyst game.
He founded the Gartner Group back in 1979, launched an IPO in 1987 and saw his company acquired a year later by advertising and media giant Saatchi and Saatchi.
When the relationship with Saatchi went sour, Gideon Gartner was part of buying the company back. He then sold the bulk of his shares in the newly independent company, left to form a new breed of analyst group, GiGa, that was subsequently taken over by Forrester.
He has currently got some interesting views on next generation analyst firms, which he airs occasionally on his blog.
In a blog post published over the weekend, Gideon Gartner takes an “official” Gartner view of the history of the ubiquitous analyst company and adds his own commentary.
It is tart stuff, and a fascinating read for everyone who pays for or who understands the value of analyst services and who also wonders about the rivalry between different analyst groups.
Gideon Gartner is damming about Saatchi and Saatchi. “I could not see the company maintaining its position under the auspices of firms which knew nothing about our business,” he writes.
Talking about the early 1990s, he states, “Saatchi was forcing us to overstate planned revenues but to cut costs in order to show terrific financial forecasts and hasten a sale; in fact we refused to overstate our plan and resisted cutting costs; in fact, the morale of the firm declined dramatically under Saatchi's dictatorial attitude.”
There is plenty more hard hitting stuff in the blog post. Give it a read. With Gideon Gartner currently writing a book on the buyback of the group he founded, we can look forward to some more fireworks.