0. What are you looking for in analysts?

The role of an industry analyst is often hard to define.  As a market maker, here are a few self descriptors that describe the type of analysts we're looking for:

  1. Whether you're on a consult, connecting socially, or working on a cooperative venture, you want to explore the future and bring value back to the present.
  2. You seamlessly integrate into any organization while maintaining your individuality, absorbing its uniqueness and contributing to its growth needs.
  3. Whether your client is on the vendor or buy side, you serve their needs with integrity and personal honor.
  4. You are internally driven and work equally well as a 'lone ranger' or team player.
  5. You easily see the big picture, can break it down for a thorough analysis, and present your results with individual style and engaging flair.
  6. You enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge with others.
  7. You value entrepreneurship and meritocracy.

1. Help me understand the analyst hiring process?

  • Initial screening call with a Constellation VP & Principal Analyst
  • Teamability assessment
  • Submission of sample blog posts and written reports
  • Two-way interviews with 3 to 5 analysts and 1 to 2 sales team members
  • Development of a sample research agenda
  • Draft of a 5 to 7 page research report
  • Presentation to the Constellation team by Skype or In-Person

2. Are you a loose federation of analysts?

No. Think of us as operating like the airline Star Alliance model.  Every analyst is hand - selected by Constellation to join.  Analysts will be driving the business (yes you do have to work hard to build your personal brand and deliver value). Constellation and the analysts jointly agree to:

  • Deliver on the Constellation Customer Experience
  • Apply a common research methodology
  • Coordinate research agendas along firm-wide themes
  • Participate in bi-monthly research collaboration meetings
  • Adopt a common ethics and integrity policy
  • Agree to produce a certain quota of research deliverables
  • Represent the firm in advisory engagements and keynotes
  • Contract engagements through the sales team
  • Operate under a common management and operations framework
  • Build out coverage areas

In return, Constellation provides:

  • Access to a virbrant client base
  • Sales and marketing infrastructure
  • Research methodology training
  • Revenue sharing and related compensation structures
  • Healthcare, dental, insurance, and other employment benefits
  • Company stock based on performance

Constellation is not a loosely affiliated blogger network such as GigaOm Pro or an expert network of smart individuals from different and potentialy competing corporations such as Gerhson Lehman Group.  We are a research analyst firm, first and foremost.  We write research, share big ideas, and inspire the art of the possible.  Our members represent Constellation Research, Inc. first and foremost.  This is why clients pay a premium for filtered, objective, opinionated, and impactful content.

3. Is there a non-compete?

No. We don’t believe non-competes make sense in today's world. We live in a fluid job market and we leave that to legacy analyst firms as a showcase of indentured servitude in the 2000′s.  Just ask any legacy analyst firm if they'll waive their non-compete or set their folks free.  We do protect our firm from client poaching and we do grandfather any existing clients you have had for the last 12 months from this provision.

4. How do you collaborate?

The team builds in multiple collaboration points.  At the simple day-to-day level, we use a virtual water cooler on Skype where information is exchanged and shared 24 hours a day.  We also have other internal collaboration tools in use.  In our research process, we conduct bi-weekly research collaboration and sharing meetings.  Research notes include a Parallax section which allows another analyst to provide a different point of view in an existing document.  At events, we get together to assess the news of the day as well as conduct collaborative surveys of event attendees.

5. What's in it for me?

The firm is guided by the alignment of self-interest with Constellation's interest.  Those who join Constellation believe in a greater brand and are willing to grow and build the company brand while building their personal brand.  What's the rationale?

  • Together we are a powerful force.  There is tremendous market influence and demand to access the experience and expertise of top talent.  Our buy side clients seek access to a wide vareity of experts with experience.  The sell side wants the peace of mind with a firm and would prefer not to manage a loose affiliation of analysts or manage independent analysts.  The market wants a new firm focused on business problems, line of business roles, disruptive technologies, and new business models and strategy instead of the classic IT only point of view.
  • Our membership model provides you with the most flexibility and leverage.  Analysts join as full members abiding by the governance, go to market, collaboration, and by-laws.  This includes ethics, research agendas, and media exposure.  In return for the membership fees, Constellation provides a powerful and unifying brand, go to market strategy, and infrastructure to support a firm presence.  Sales is a collaborative process because the product is the analyst, so you still have to do some selling.  Constellation waives membership fees when quarterly writing requirements are met.  The goal is to drive personal brand and visibility for the analyst as a thought leader instead of committing members into long-term, non-scalable, consulting engagements.
  • You maintain and enhance your independence and objectivity.  Based on research w/ existing and retired independent analysts, independent analysts often start off with great promise.  However, years out they are often challenged with maintaining objectivity.  Most only work with a few clients and most of those clients tend to reside in the sell-side.  After several years, many lose touch with the buy-side and become spokespersons for the sell-side.  Three years out, many independent analysts lose influence with the buy-side, the sell-side clients marginalize these analysts into writing white papers for hire.  Soon objectivity is cast aside for survival.  While going independent for several years may initially seem attractive,  Constellation's focus on writing buy-side research and the ability to build a large portfolio of buy-side and sell-side clients, helps an analyst to maintain objectivity.  More importantly, the firm model support independent thinking as Constellation can afford to upset a large sell-side client over a factual argument and maintain revenue streams.  Most independents could not fire a client and meet personal payroll or income requirements.
  • You showcase visibility through continuous thought leadership.  Members are expected to provide a research agenda for sales and collaboration purposes.  Minimal requirements include the production of 1 premium research report a quarter, 3 quarks a quarter or 2 quarks and a collaobration with another analyst, 1 blog post a month, a webinar per year, and 1 presentation to the research team per quarter.
  • You benefit from one firm with one outward brand.  Constellation provides one media presence including website, community, and pr and marketing support to all members.  Members publicly recognize that they are part of the Constellation Research firm as a member group company, member, affiliate company, or affiliate on all personal branding, events, and engagement with clients.

6. Can I live anywhere?

Why of course! Our team is global and across 22 cities.  If you are near an airport, have a good internet connection, and can be available for a client, you are most likely good to go. No weird requirements to show up at the office every day.  We work in virtual models.

7.  What's a good profile for an analyst?

The most succesful profiles come from a combination of being an ex product marketing or product management manager who comes with client side or consulting experience who has industry domain and expertise.

8. Why do some people fail or leave?

  • Inability to write or lack of frequency in writing.  The number one reason an analyst will leave Constellation Research is because they fail to write on a consistent basis.  Everything starts from the research foundation.  A research report brings together the buy side and sell side community.  The report serves as as conversation point with our buy side clients. The report serves as a thought leadership piece for the vendors.  The research plays a role in media outreach as well as driving sales activities.  Analysts who fail to write or write on a consistent basis rapidly lose market credibility.  Publish or perish applies here.
  • Realization they like to go it alone.  Some analysts realize they aren't ready to work in this business model.  Other analysts think they want to be part of a larger team but in reality function better as independents.  It takes time to discover this and we respect their decision to go it alone on their terms.  Our model is designed to provide a balance between autonomy and the structure required for a firm to be successful.
  • Failure to understand the analyst role.  Some folks confuse the analyst role with a pundit or a consultant.  Analysts come in many forms.  The three main types are client advocate, product strategist, and market evangelist.  Client advocates write for the buy side and advise buyers with making the right choices.  Product strategists work with sell side clients to shape the next product, validate product direction, provide competitive analysis.  Market evangelists help educate a market, speak in front of large audiences, work with the media on analyzing a story.  A good analyst does 2 out of 3 very well. A star analyst masters all 3 types.  Consultants often forget that the heart of being an analyst is investing in understanding a market and writing about that market without being paid upfront.  You get paid on the back end for good work.  Consultants often want the sure thing and that is counter to their years of training.  Free time often is invested in business development and proposals by consultants. Analysts use their free time to build their research portfolio as business development.
  • Belief that sales can sell the analyst into any situation.  In this market, sales alone won't help you gain traction.  You have to have product and you have to still sell yourself in the market.  Sales can help smooth the process and bring you into accounts but if you fail to build a name or brand, not even the best sales person can help you.  The fastest way to success is to write.
  • Lack of market traction.  Some people leave because this frankly isn't an easy market to break into.  They have put in 6 to 12 months and the market has not gained acceptance.  This happens all the time.  We try to prevent this by making sure analysts write frequently and write with relevance.

9. I'm a big name analyst with a huge brand.  What should I worry about?

Start by asking existing clients if they are willing to spend 2 days a year with you when you leave.  If less than 10 commit, stay where you are as you aren't ready to leave or your brand isn't big enough to stand on its own.  We wouldn't want you to risk your current income stream.

I hope we've answered your main questions.  Please read this FAQ twice as we use this list as a filter before we interview.  If it all makes sense then let us know, because we're always looking for good folks who share our culture and values.

 

Warmest regards,

R "Ray" Wang

Principal Analyst and CEO