Back To Practice: Flying With The Altimeter Group

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New technologies are emerging at a faster pace –yet companies lack an on-boarding process.

Just a few years ago, fax, cell phones, email and the internet stormed into companies. Today, social technologies have caused many corporations to respond with a knee-jerk reaction, or shudder away in fear. Tomorrow, location aware devices, an increase in cloud computing, and augmented realities are quickly appearing on the horizon. What’s the trend? These emerging technologies are coming at an increased speed.

With more changes coming, it’s painful for companies to quickly adopt without a strategy. As a result, modern companies need an on-boarding process for any emerging technology. We plan to be that guide for the world’s top brands to understand, experiment, and improve their business. How, do you ask?

Ready For Takeoff: I’m Joining The Altimeter Group!
I’ve joined the Altimeter Group as a partner, where I’ll be a strategy consultant. Focusing on customer strategy, I’ll guide my clients through a process to understand and adopt new technologies.

I’ll draw on at least four resources: 1) My experience at Hitachi Data Systems leading social strategy, 2) Insight gleaned as an industry analyst, 3) learnings as an active practioner of the tools, and 4) Large network of the smartest minds in the space.

Our Holistic Approach: Leadership, Customer, Enterprise, and Innovation.
I’m joining a powerhouse team and will be one of four partners. First, our founding partner, Charlene Li, will focus on the changes coming to successful leadership. I’ll focus on customer strategy of emerging technologies, for now, that’s primarily social and it’s impact to marketing and support. From an enterprise point of view, Ray Wang, has focus on business applications like ERP and CRM. Also, Deborah Schultz will focus on innovation.  She’s well known in the tech scene, and was recently a consultant guiding the P&G Social Media Labs.

How We Plan To Work With The Ecosystem:
We want to be part of the greater community, and we’re going to work with companies and the providers of technology and services:

Guiding our clients to adopt emerging technologies. We want to develop a long-term relationship with a select set of clients. They’ll know that today’s focus is social, but it’ll quickly move to “what’s next”. Despite market changes, our practice will remain consistent: evaluate the situation, educate, develop a strategy, identify the right providers, and make measurable business impacts through our pragmatic approach.

Got something to offer? Get involved with us. We know we’re part of the larger eco systems, and we will work with technology and service providers that are ready to engage with our clients. We’ll be working with agencies, consultants, individual thought leaders, high-tech startups, established technology companies and beyond in order to find the right mix for our clients.

Get geared for flight at the Hanger. We’re announcing our physical space at our office in San Mateo (appropiatly called the “Hanger” in the spirit of the Altimeter, a device used to measure altitude) where we have training rooms, conference areas, and meeting rooms. In the spirit of P&G’s social media labs, we’ll use this space for training, experiments, demos, unconferences, tweetups, and the occasional social bash.

Join The Altimeter Open House Webinar On The Future of Business
If you want to learn more about the Altimeter Group, we’re hosting an Open House Webinar to discuss the Future of Business on Thursday, Sept 10th, at 10am Pacific Time. (GMT – 8:00)  Sign up, it’ll be interactive where everyone can participate.

Pilot’s Log: My Personal View
There’s been a lot of chatter in the last few days about these changes, from RWW/NYT, Zdnet, MediaPost, SV Biz Journal, SageCircle, Analysis of Branding, and speculation on Twitter, so I wanted to take some time to clear up a few things:

I’m hanging up the analyst hat, moving back to practice. I’m truly thankful for the grand adventure at Forrester. I learned the value of knowledge, and will continue to refer companies to Forrester for research and analysis. The skills, trends, and contacts I gleaned as an analyst have made me a better practitioner, now I venture into the field as a strategy consultant.

This blog will continue! I got a lot of questions whether or not I’ll continue to blog, and guess what? I plan to increase commitment to blogging. One change you’ll note is I’ll be increasing my scope beyond just social –and I’m taking you with me. As I’ve done for years, I’ll share what I learn in this blog, and we’ll discuss it in the comments and learn from each other as a community.  Remember, blogging is a form of paying yourself first.

Despite being scared, I’m ok with it. I’m leaving a stable, high-profile job in the middle of a recession, and live in Silicon Valley, an expensive place to live. Yet, after speaking to many entrepreneurs and successful professionals,  they reassured me and told me to embrace my fear.  Why?  They say it will only fuel my desire to succeed.  I truly believe now is the time for innovation, and see glimpses of light despite this recession. In the spirit of Silicon Valley and beyond, I’m going to take a risk for a greater reward.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Lastly, I wanted to sincerely thank you all for the support, from family, friends, colleagues, readers from all over the globe and even competitors, it’s truly appreciated. I also wanted to thank Charlene for believing in me over the years, and the brain power from my new partners Debs and Ray, and the behind-the-scenes help from Denise.

I look forward to this next phase in my journey, as a Partner at the Altimeter Group, see you at our Open House webinar! or email me at jeremiah_owyang at

Related Resources:
I’ll update this section with interesting points of view.

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