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Some links about me. Many of my 3D designs are free. I also post on Google+ and in another blog, oz4.us

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fortune 500 teller? 3D printing trends, reports, analyses and business intelligence...

Are the "high-level strategically analyzed reports" worth something?

Hey, could my blog be so informative? :)

I am regularly contacted, mostly on linkedIn, by experts that seek data. The last time it was for a company that compiles data and trends "for the Fortune 500 companies". Which does not excite me more than that, and here is why.

Such data are usually sold at an incredible price to managers that think they would get a better clue at the market, with the idea that they would be more profitable. But there are two traps here.

The first one is: am I really enough of an expert to give clues to Fortune 500 companies? I am mostly an iconoclast, e.g. when I say not to invest in Makerbot at all (neither as a customer nor as an investor, but I have a full-length analysis why I say so), or when I explain why, imho, "pro/expensive" FDM printers are almost a scam nowadays. OK, I may be better than a monkey and provide a few useful reviews (e.g. materials for artists, or what cannot be 3D printed...). But still, asking my opinion on the market trends could cast a doubt on the forthcoming corresponding report. Oh, well, may be they also want data from makers -- why not after all.

As a manager, do you really need accurate trends and data?
Or do you need only the feeling that you have some?
Secondly and as importantly, the reviews are most often never used in reality. Once bought, they are dropped on the desk of a subordinate in the company, with the advice to get some insight from the document. The underlying idea is: since it is expensive it must be valuable...



Eventually, the report ends its life miserably in the darkness of the drawer together with a set of abandoned goodies, at the desk of someone further down in the hierarchy... precisely at the level where no more cares about its content.

For sure, most of the engineers have no big consideration for business compilations, precisely because they know how often and how badly experts fail to predict any trend.  But it would also be against the company policies to tell upwards though, so things stay unchanged and lots of money is wasted in the process.

And yes, I do know a few companies that do have lots of dusty compilations like these. By the way, these are soon obsolete (of course you get a discount if you subscribe to the thing...). 

Hey, where is my money?

Back to the guy who contacted me and another reason I did not answer. He basically tells me they would make a pile of money out of the opinions of other people like me. And meanwhile, he tells me they would not pay for the collected data. Oh, sure, I would have a "special offer" on the resulting document. This may be the usual practice, but I disagree nonetheless and it casts another shadow on the seriousness of the document.

By the way my name most probably would be stripped off the document in the end, so my ego would not get paid either. I just cannot imagine the guy telling at the end he got some of his insights from a blogger at www.tridimake.com ;)

And finally, it was easier for me to decide that I would keep on making my opinions public and free, instead of feeding a closed and dubious system. Do not believe too much in the fortune 500 tellers ;)

Conclusion: what I think about consulting firms, trends and reports

I bet no analyst ever predicted this!
From Geek&Poke by Oliver Widder
As a manager I was always highly suspicious of costly external data trend and analyses. I would often better trust both my nose and my employees (that's how business is started anyway). Relying on external views that you cannot assess is uselessly risky in my opinion, and there are tons of heavy historical mistakes made by analysts that highlights it. Also relying on others for one's own strategy and evaluation skews the whole business, it puts everyone in the same bag, and eventually it can fail so hard as to provoke a huge crash of the economy (see, e.g. the paragraph on AAA backfire from this nobel laureate).



Now, as an individual, it boils down to whether I consider myself such an expert on the market of 3D printing, and whether I should help building such reports for free... I certainly can tell for the last one: no, I will not feed the trolls. And actually I do not care if I am a "valuable" expert for Fortune 500 companies. I would better help smaller companies.



So if my answer below brings one smile on your face, then you will not make me richer but you will still make my day:

Hello,
Thanks a lot for your attention. I am however really too busy for an exclusive interview in the next weeks.
I would gladly help, but I would better share my opinion on my popular blog.
Still, please feel free to provide me with some specific questions that you would like me to address. I would reply to you specifically for what I think would not fit on my blog.
best regards, 
Jérémie

And unsurprisingly, I got no subsequent email after my answer. Time is money, isn't it ?


For reference, here is the email I first got from linkedIn:



On 09/24/13 12:51 AM, xxxxx wrote:--------------------
Dear Jeremie F, 
Greetings for the day! 
Allow me to introduce myself as a Research Analyst at MarketsandMarkets, a global market research and consulting firm based in the U.S. We, at MarketsandMarkets, publish high-level strategically analyzed reports for over thirteen industry verticals and serve as a business intelligence partner to Fortune 500 companies across the world. We are studying the ”Global 3D printing materials by Types, Applications and Geography, 2011 - 2020” Market and would be publishing a syndicate market research report on it in November 2013. 
Currently, we are in the phase of conducting interviews with some of the industry experts in this market to understand the latest market trends. We understand that you are an expert in this market and hence your views and suggestions will be really insightful and valuable for us. 
Following are the major points on which I would like to understand your perspective on the 3D printing materials market: 
1. Current and future market trends of the market 
2. Growth rate and market size of the market 
3. Applications of 3D printing materials, Drivers & restraints of the market. 
During this process, we would share our findings and invite your valuable opinion for the same. Once the report is published, we will also share the executive summary and key findings as a token of appreciation. Also, if interested in purchasing the report a special discount will be offered to you. 
Kindly suggest a convenient date, time and contact number to reach you. Feel free to forward this mail to your colleagues who would be interested in joining the discussion. 
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank You. 
Best Regards, [xxx][yyy]

About Me

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If you know me and you cannot tell exactly what my real job is, then you probably found the right Jeremie. Check zax.fr for some pointers.

I am self-employed and I help start-ups, research centers, small companies with their needs related to computers, sensors, data processing and mechatronics. If you have a project and know what "R&D" is, then you already sparked my interest ;)