Top Three Answers of Industry Analysts

I caught myself doing this last night at a dinner with a dozen CEOs and a venture firm, I guess I’m really starting to talk like an analyst. Analysts are often in the power position, but need to get their large egos (I’m guilty) chopped down to size once in awhile, so let’s start here. Here’s a chance for AR and PR folks to have some fun with dealing with those tenacious analysts.

Top Three Answers of Industry Analysts:

1) It depends.

2) On one hand… on the other hand…

3) It’s complicated, fortunately I wrote a report about it.

No, we didn’t get any training to answer this way, it comes with experience, heh.

You gotta laugh at yourself once in a while, and enjoy the journey, I’m in self-analysis mode right now. Why? I don’t do everything right in fact, I’ve made a few mistakes in front of clients, one very recently, and I need to check myself, sometimes it stings, but I have to remember to fail fast.

Today I’m headed to the office for some early morning meetings, then up to the Web 2.0 Summit, where I’ll be meeting some vendors, and hear Al Gore speak. Tomorrow at 6am I fly out to Colorado to keynote the Thin Air Summit.

So, what are the other 4+ answers you frequently hear from analysts? Have fun with this one, tgif.

16 Replies to “Top Three Answers of Industry Analysts”

  1. I love the “let me get back to you on that, because [insert excuse here]”… especially when you know they are completely unprepared.


  2. I have no problem saying “I don’t know” it’s better to do that than to give false information.

    The trick is to know your fellow analysts that do know the answer and to suggest they follow up with them. I send folks to Josh Bernoff, Oliver Young, Gil Yehuda the most.

  3. 1. The space is very nascent and the hype is greater than the delivery (they say this for every space even if its Client/Server ERP Software)
    2. All vendors say the same thing, so what’s your real difference (translation – I dont understand)
    3. Clients are very confused about the space (translation – only I can provide clarity even though I am confused)
    4. I dont like to diss the competition, but I think we’re the only ones to come out with a detailed report on this space (translation – please buy this report)

  4. US President Harry Truman once said he wanted a one-armed economist advising him. That way the economist could not say “On one hand¦ on the other hand¦”

  5. So funny, these are exactly the most frequent answers given by academics, too – except the last one would be I wrote a paper/book about it 🙂

    In fact, my students have also learned by now that most often, the “correct” answer is “It depends”.

    Seriously though, that’s a sign that the analyst doesn’t oversimplify a complex world – very good sign, in my book!

  6. It Depends…. This was the answer my mother used to give me, to my many questions that I posed in my youth. There is great wisdom in this and I have come to realize that my mother was very smart and right. In fact I find that she (my mother) gets more right and smarter the older I get, and she hasn’t said anything in 30 years….

  7. The context of “it depends” is usually that the question wasn’t specific enough to answer directly. “Which tool is best?” Well, it depends on what you want to do with it…

  8. I think “It depends…” could be followed by several phrases, including “but here’s a framework for how you should begin to think about this.”

  9. The things I hear most from analysts are “can you get me this data” and “how is the draft coming”? Then again, my perspective on that question is a little different 😉

  10. My three best answers are “Yes,” “No,” and “I don’t know.” Followed by a recommendation on what to do, what to read, or how to follow up. And if “I don’t know” I try to find out for the next time.

    Real analysts ought not to equivocate as much as you imply here.

    Or at least that’s how I learned to do it. I try to make the call whenever possible.

    In social media, my other favorite answer is “watch it, Google just got into the space you just asked about.”

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