One Year After – Retrospecting the Analyst/Vendor Crossover

I am not a morning person, by any means. So I am trying to figure out why I’m in such a good mood.

It could be that today marks my one year anniversary at SugarCRM – my how this year has flown by in a lot of ways! I have learned so much, and was thinking about all the ways my professional life has changed in the past year.

For one, while I do spend a LOT of time watching and listening for competitive intelligence, I no longer cover nearly 100 different coverage vendors like I did as an analyst. While some may like the variety, I prefer the ability to focus on SugarCRM and our small window of constant competitors. It allows me to go deeper into my analysis and understanding. I am a far more technically savvy person now than I was, even as a tech analyst. Go figure. (I will say, though, that my understanding of technology has been infinitely advanced by being close to Sugar’s own CTO Jacob Taylor. Dudes, this guy is literally a walking encyclopedia of tech knowledge. It has been great learning from him.)

Also, there’s a lot less BS thrown my way now that I’m no longer an analyst. Before, I would have vendors telling me all sorts of spin stories about why their product did, or didn’t, do something. Being behind the scenes, I now have a greater understanding of the product development process. It takes A HELL OF A LOT of time, energy and really smart people to get a release out the door. And when a feature is or is not included, you can bet there is a VERY good reason for that. I like the transparency we have with our product, and I saw a lot of the honesty and openness of Sugar’s roadmap even as an analyst.

So…what do I miss from my analyst days?  Hmmm. Well, it was nice being wined and dined by the big tech providers (and some of the smaller ones). The higher profile was a bit fun. But all in all, I do prefer the focus and the faster pace of vendor life.

Think about it…since I came on board, SugarCRM has had two major user and developer conferences, completed two major product revs, migrated to the GPL v3 for Community Edition, landed thousands of new customers, expanded into Asia and deeper into Europe and nearly doubled headcount. And that is just a small part of all we have been doing in the past year.  If that’s not a fun ride to be a part of, I don’t know what is…