John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Forrester CEO: Here's a Little Song I Wrote …

Wonderful news. The recession’s impact on the tech sector will not be nearly as pronounced as its predecessor’s, which turned Webvan’s refrigerated Freightliner trucks into hipster moving vans and made the Pets.com mascot piddle itself into oblivion like a submissive puppy. That’s the word from Forrester Research (FORR) CEO George Colony, who believes the current downturn will be far kinder to tech than the one that heralded The Great Dark Time of 2001-2003. His rationale: With tech spending in in the U.S. up only six percent from 2006 to 2007, tech doesn’t have nearly so far to fall this time around (spending was double that number in 2000). More importantly, tech is pervasive–and essential. “It’s seven years since the last recession,” Colony writes. “Technology has become markedly more pervasive in that time–it’s the air we breathe and the water we swim in. Cell phone penetration in the U.S. has tripled in that time; eCommerce has increased by 85 percent. While it may have been ‘nice to have’ (and therefore eminently cut-able) back in 2002, tech now sits at the center of companies’ operations. IT has become Business Technology. If you don’t believe me, start unplugging wires at your company and see how long you can develop, manufacture, deliver, sell, and service your products.”

Point taken. Certainly, we’re not going to see the recession inspiring companies to suddenly shutdown their e-commerce operations or disable Salesforce in aid of their longevity. But that doesn’t mean the Grim Reaper of the “Next Economy” isn’t going to sweep this latest crop of Webvans and Scients off into the abyss, and from there into the pages of a 2013 Fast Company article.

That said, take it from Colony: Don’t worry, be happy.

[Image Credit: Sequoia Capital via VentureBeat]


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald