I’m really excited to announce that Wikibon friend and long-time contributor John McArthur is going to take over moderating Peer Incites for us. With the growth of Wikibon I haven’t been able to stay as active facilitating these meetings as I would like and John is the perfect person to be running the show. Why ?
Well there are several reasons. First, John is an individual of the highest integrity. I’ve known John for more than fifteen years and his reputation is impeccable. John and I met when he joined IDC in the 1990′s from State Street Bank. He essentially took over the storage systems group for me and created (along with a few other team members) the powerhouse brand that is IDC systems and storage today. After I left IDC, the company heavily leaned on John and his team to extend IDC’s research franchise even further. His people loved him. His clients loved him and his family was always a top priority. Amazing balance.
The second reason is John totally gets the Wikibon model. When my colleagues Peter Burris (now with Forrester), David Floyer and I founded Wikibon we had a fundamental faith in the power of collaboration and peer-based information sharing. John knows how to cultivate relationships by being honest and providing value and we simply want to use that approach to create great, peer-driven content for free and give users a place to collaborate.
Third. When I started talking to John about this opportunity it was clear he had in the top of his mind the #1 most important criterion for the position. That is, he insisted on putting the interest of the business technology buyer first. John’s single most pressing requirement was that he would have free reign on the information flow and that the user community was the primary audience for the content of the meetings. Bottom line: John is an advocate for business technology practitioners, not the vendor community.
This is critical for us. You see, when Wikibon started we had absolutely no business model. We funded Wikibon with the vision of creating an all-free research site that provided insights, How-to’s and decision-making tools to business technology practitioners. We patterned our regular research meetings after the famous Meta Group research meetings developed by now Gartner SVP Dale Kutnick. The huge value that Peter Burris (Dale’s #2 at Meta) brought to our community was an understanding of user issues and a process and methodology for creating actionable information for business technology practitioners– applying an open source model to content.
John’s job is to continue to deliver on that vision. In an internal meeting the other day, John said (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t care about catering to our vendor clients, that’s not my job. I only care about creating great content for our users.”
Hearing this gave me great pride. I know it will cost us business but I don’t care. Our clients understand that we must serve our user audience first. That’s why we don’t share published works with clients before they hit the wiki. Like anyone else, our clients are free to hit ‘edit’ and contribute to or improve our works. As long as they understand that what they contribute will be mercilessly edited by the community.