Back To Practice: Flying With The Altimeter Group

Altimeter Group Logo

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 Hangar. We’re announcing our physical space at our office in San Mateo (appropiatly called the “Hangar” in the spirit of the Altimeter, a device used to measure altitude) where we have training rooms, conference areas, and meeting rooms. (Author and friend Brian Solis has taken some pictures) 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.

Correction: Thanks to the observant James Fishback, I made a fix to correct ‘Hangar’.

95 Replies to “Back To Practice: Flying With The Altimeter Group”

  1. Congratulations on the move to the Altimeter Group, Jeremiah! Definitely looking forward to great things and reading more about your insights and learnings. Let us know when “The Hanger” is up and running – would definitely like to check it out. 🙂

  2. All my best wishes for your new adventure, Jeremiah. I’m very much looking forward to read more of your insights on this blog and witness the further development of your knowledge span.

    I think we’re all glad you embraced your fear: your future success will be our food for thought.


  3. Congratulations on your journey!, I am sure you will be much more successful.

    Couldn’t agree with you more on “New technologies are emerging at a faster pace “yet companies lack an on-boarding process”, the new tech adoption has to take place in enterprises sooner than later :).

    Regarding your “Got something to offer? Get involved with us” – I don’t know how to pitch the product that we are building 🙂 called, which helps individuals and brands manage their social identity easily from one place under single url. We are named in “Top 100 websites” in 2009 by PC Magazine, USA apart from good reviews in Mashable, RWW, Zdnet & WebwrokerDialy :).

    Smithsonian uses our platform to manage their social identity brand, you can check it at

    Good luck on your new engagements and hope to learn much more from you as usual :).

  4. Rock on Jeremiah. You have consistently been a leader with your commentary on the social web. Can’t wait to see what you accomplish at Altimeter.

    Congrats dude!

  5. Congrats on the move to Altimeter, Jeremiah. I’m sure that your usual dedication will help you deal with the initial fear and be successful.

    We’ll keep coming back to (or is it now, learning and sharing about this wonderful subject of the social web.

  6. Congratulations!!! This is a brilliant move on your part. Excited to see what you and your team come up with. And very excited to attend some of your sessions and unconferences hopefully.

  7. Congratulations! Best wishes as you embrace this new challenge! Looking forward to your ongoing blog posts too.

  8. Congrats on the dream team Jeremiah! (PS. I think you mean “hangar” not “hanger”)

  9. Many congrats, Jeremiah! It’s awesome to see you re-connecting with Charlene Li and the others. I very much look forward to seeing what you all will do with Altimeter Group. Your “Hanger” sounds like a great place, as well. Best wishes… and kudos on making the big leap of faith in the time we are in. Congrats!

  10. Congratulations Jeremiah and everyone else at Altimeter Group.

    Don’t worry about the recession as I believe you have one of the strongest teams in the industry.

    Wish you all the best and can definitely see Altimeter Group being a public company in the near future. Don’t be afraid of growth as your companies altitude will just keep on rising.

    Alex “Magician” Ikonn

  11. Jeremiah,

    Best wishes on your move. Keep up the writing and outstanding thought leadership in the social media / communication space.


    Matt Gentile

  12. Jeremiah:

    Congratulations friend on your new gig!!! Its a long way from Hitachi and you have done well.

    May you hit the heights at Altimeter.

    Best regards,


  13. Congratulations, Jeremiah! I’m not entirely surprised that you’re joining the team at Altimeter Group, as it seems like a natural fit for you. It will be exciting to keep up with new developments there, and I’m sure you’ll make a substantial contribution as a member of the excellent Altimeter team.

  14. Congrats.

    I am sure your entrepreneurial spirit will keep you going during the crazy times. You are super smart with a ton of ideas which I am sure will keep your biz going.

  15. Jeremy,

    Congratulations! Thrilled that you and Charlene Li are joining forces.
    Will follow up with you in a few weeks. All the best in your new venture.
    BTW, my hunch at Tbash for your move was entrepreneurial, after our chat.

    KC Chan-Herur

  16. Congratulations on the new gig, Jermemiah. I knew you’d pop up somewhere again in short order. It sounds like a perfect fit for you. Best of luck to you and the whole Altimeter crew. I’ll be on your webinar on the 10th to learn a little more about and expect invites to any social gatherings at The Hanger.

  17. Hi Jeremiah, congrats on joining The Altimeter Group. I have been following your work since you attended a Tweetup breakfast I put together at Oracle two years ago. From there I also enjoyed your presentation at MIT’s lab, then SXSW, your blog, etc.

    Charlene was a speaker at the SES conference in San Jose two weeks ago and I made sure my entire team would go to her keynote. I’m looking forward to the work that will come out of the Altimeter Group & thanks for the invitation to the open house. Julio


  18. Jeremiah,


    This is a fabulous move – great fit! I think this is a really good match for you and Altimeter Group.

    You bring a lot to the table and I am excited to think of the opportunity ahead of you here.

    Thank you for sharing best practices, insights, ideas and stats with us. Definitely looking forward to see what you’ll share next!

    Cheers on your success! 🙂

    Co-Founder, Social Media Club – Rochester, NY

  19. Jeremiah, This is great news and I wish you all much success. As many people told me, FORR will give you the hardest job you’ll ever love. It was a great ride – wonderful people and remarkably more difficult than people might imagine. But it’s great training for whatever comes next. I think you can detect the positive vibe here. We look forward to seeing your joint venture succeed. And let me know when you need some support on the east coast!

  20. Jeremiah, Nice meeting you at #tbash & twitterville

    Congratulations!! I have great respect for what Charlene has already accomplished with Altimeter and I hear you will get another strong player on board soon 🙂

    Marco ten Vaanholt
    Vice President SAP Community Network

  21. I’d very happy for you. I hope I will now see a little more of you than I did while you were at Forrester with the rich guys:-)

    If you would like an outside-the-bubble place to talk about your new interest, I will again invited you to speak to the (now) 4th Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference in Phoenix on Nov. 12. We will make a place for you as a keynote if you would like. In the mean time, if there is any other way I can help market you and spread the word, just let me know.

  22. Mabrouk! (Congratulations!)

    Auntie and I appreciate gutsy change when the timing is right. Our prayers are with you as you venture forth and grow as person.

  23. Jeremiah, congratulations on the new partnership at the Altimeter group. I think you’ve picked an exciting opportunity with great people. Looking forward to seeing your work in the community.

  24. Francine and others, yes I’ll have much more time to dive into deeper relationships going forward.

    Looking forward to spending more time with the folks that are doing interesting things professionaly and personally.

  25. Jeremiah, Congratulations. Altimeter will be a grand success i am sure. You all have different and unique talents. What a team. I just signed up for the webcast. Can’t wait to hear more.

  26. Good luck Jeremiah. As someone who chose to pursue his dream at the beginning of this recession, I can tell you that you will feel fear and doubt sometimes. Embracing it is key and recognize that loss can lead to opportunity. In fact, even in loss there is growth.

    In any case good luck, and much success to you!


  27. Congrats Jeremiah! That’s quite an opportunity. Fear is definitely what drives us all – that, and a cause to do something that changes the world. I can’t wait to see what else you’ll be doing there. Will you be at BlogWorld Expo? We *must* do a show while we’re there if you’re coming! 🙂

  28. Congratulations Jeremiah – Really smart move (wouldn’t have expected less) and I’m very jealous of The Hanger. I think it will prove to be a really great way to bring the ecosystem together in neutral territory. Looking forward to seeing what the four of you do – it’s going to be a great ride!

  29. Bold move Jeremiah..! About time to get back to real work :-). More seriously you have always been ahead of the curve on the marketing aspects of the web and social media. Good luck!

  30. Congrats Jeremiah. You are one of the smartest, coolest guys I follow and am sure you will do great whereever you decide to go. Looking forward to a new set of social interactions 🙂

  31. Jeremiah:

    I am so excited to hear of your partnership in The Altimeter Group. What a great opportunity for you. I believe your willingness to even TAKE this risk of becoming a PARTNER at Altimeter shows companies(those who know of your work at Forrester as an analyst) how great you think the rewards in using social media and staying abreast of emerging trends and technologies IS and will be for them.

    Like others, I am really happy to hear you will increase your commitment to blogging. I have learned SO MUCH from reading your blog.

    Will you also still be available for speaking? Who should we contact?

    And, if you ever need any help within a furniture or home products related vertical-pls.don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Charlene has not only made the ground swell, she has created a new mountain with your addition to Altimeter!

    Best of success to all of you, Jeremiah!

  32. Congrats on the move, Jeremiah. I have no doubt that you will have a great time working with Charlene, Deb and Ray – this seems like a great fit for you. Congrats to Charlene as well for assembling such a rock star team! I look forward to seeing how things develop and happy to help any way I can.
    CEO, Radian6

  33. Welcome to the world of practice, where you can make a difference one person, one group, one network, one organization at a time. Real people, real needs and ideas. It is not a risk at all… just a bigger leap into a fabulous experience. Bravo to all of you.


  34. Jeremiah,
    What a great combination, you, Charlene and Deborah! A hearty congratulations on you newest endeavor. What a powerhouse Altimeter will be. Robin

  35. J, I’m glad you’re headed in the direction you want to head. Sometimes you need to take risks and I think you’re doing the right thing. I look forward to following you in your next venture.

  36. Jeremiah congrats on the new position and joining the real world of Entrepreneurs. Before you look to the future I thought it wise that you look to the past to understand why you are doing it…

    ˜Entrepreneurship™ was in fact a phrase used as long ago as Ancient Egypt where it meant in-between-pyramids or we™re-down-sizing-you™re-fired. This pretty much accounts for the fact that most (not all) Entrepreneurs start their business after being fired from their previous jobs.

    Ancient Greeks used the phrase to describe story-tellers who promised much and delivered little. Like Aristotle No-Asses the freight-forwarder who promised much and delivered nothing and went on to open up his philosophy e-learning school with no text-books 1500 B.C. (before computers).

    Always delighted to see a new conversion to the fold… And no I am not a fundamental follower of Tom Cruise. In fact some should have crucified him long ago…

    Best of luck with the future
    Gerry @ Eplixo

  37. Jeremiah

    Echoing the good wishes and the congratulations on the exercise of courage. Looks like a formidable team!

    Like so many others, I have long appreciated your determination to drill down, find and then share different aspects and views of an issue. It’s very reassuring that you will still be blogging!


  38. Congratulations!!

    I’m only just now getting caught up on my inbox backlog – 2 1/2 weeks later… woohoo!!

    Can’t wait to see where you go with this Jeremiah! Looks like a great opportunity and a great group of folks!

    What an awesome thing!

  39. Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum!

  40. “Well ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post. I actually love playing various sports and I believe only sports can make you energetic. I like this forum because I learned so much knowledge in here,and there are all kinds of newest news to us
    By the way ,recently I gonna buy some shoes ,will you guys give some suggestions for me from below websites at thanks!

Comments are closed.