Study Spam: Caveat Emptor
January 31, 2008
My interest in Google is evident from my speeches, articles, and studies about the company. Not surprisingly, I receive a number of emails, telephone calls, and snail mail solicitations. Most of these are benign. I respond to the email, take the call, and toss the snail mail junk. Most people are hoping that I will review their work, maybe engage in some Google gossip, or try to sell me their studies or expertise. No problem 99 percent of the time. I post my telephone number and email (I know it’s not a great idea), but most people are courteous to me and respectful of my requests.
Recently I have been getting email solicitations from an entity known as Justyna Drozdzal from Visiongain Intelligence. The email address is justyna.drozdzal at visiongainglobal.com. Maybe you will have better luck interacting with this outfit? I certainly haven’t had any success getting Ms. Drozdzal to stop sending me email solicitation about a “new” study about Google’s Android. The study’s title is come-hither scented Google’s Android and Mobile Linux Report 2008: A Google-Led Initiative to Reshape the Mobile Market Environment. I didn’t think Google “led” much of anything, but that’s my Kentucky silliness surfacing. I accept Google’s “controlled chaos” theory of building its business. (This is the subject of my April 2008 column in KMWorld where some of my “official” work appears.)
The Visiongain study is about, according to the information available to me, Google’s Android — sort of. I did review the table of contents, and I drew three conclusions, but I urge you to make your own decision, not accept the opinion of a geek in rural Kentucky with the squirrels and horses. Here’s what I decided:
First, the report seems to recycle information available on Google’s own Web site and from other readily available open sources. Summaries are useful. I do them myself, but my summaries have not been able to do much to clear the shroud of secrecy that surrounds Google’s intentions. When it comes to telco, I think the Google has “won”. The company has destabilized traditional telecom operations in the US, floated this open platform notion, and managed to round up a couple dozen partners. I’m reasonably confident that Google knows exactly what it will do — be opportunistic. That’s because Google reacts to clicks and follows the data. A company with Google’s Gen-X fluidity defies conventional wisdom and makes predictions about Google wobbly. Unlike my uncertainty, Visiongain has figured out Google, Android, and telecommunications. Impressive.
Second, the study appears to have some chunks of other Visiongain reports. such as the use of Linux on mobile devices. Again, my spot checks suggested that most of the information is available with routine queries passed to metasearch engines like Dogpile or consumer-oriented Web search services such as Microsoft Live.com or Yahoo. Maybe I’m jaded or plain wrong, but “experts” and “high end consultancies” with names that convey so much more meaning than ArnoldIT.com have been quick to exploit Google – mania. Is Visiongain guilty of this? I’m not sure.
Third, the study seems to suggest that Visiongain is not baffled by Google’s telecommunications’ strategy. Is Dell making a Google phone? Is Apple the next Google target? Will Google build a telecommunications company? I was unable to see through Google’s and the Web’s Sturm und Drang. My conclusion: Remove my telecommunications analysis from my study Google Version 2.0.
Now, back to Visiongain. My thought is that spamming me to buy a report in an area in which I have conducted research for several years is silly. When I asked the company to stop, I received another missive from Ms. Drozdzal asking me to buy the study. That was even sillier. My personal opinion is that this particular Visiongain report seems to be more fool’s gold than real gold.
To cite one example, there is chatter circulating that Google and Dell have teamed to produce a Google phone. Not surprisingly, neither Dell Computer nor Google is talking. Similarly, there are rumors that Google continues to bid for spectrum, and there are rumors that Google is not serious. Until the actual trajectory of these Google mobile activities is made clear by Google itself, I think spending money on reports from companies purporting to know how Google will “reshape the mobile market environment” is not for me. You make your own decision about how to spend your money.
Stephen Arnold, January 31, 2008