Why Gartner reports shouldn't worry entrepreneurs
The information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner produces a number of reports on the principal competitors in a variety of sectors. Its well-known Magic Quadrants compare organisations against two axes: completeness of vision and ability to execute. In many sectors these reports are considered to be the industry standard.
Typically if RIG’s clients are represented at all, they appear as ‘niche players,’ meaning that relative to the more established competitors they have a lower completeness of vision and a lower ability to execute. This is not surprising given that they are growth-stage firms.
So how much effort should entrepreneurs put into getting a place on these reports? I would argue they should not put in much effort at all.
First, you will be an unknown quantity to your large competitors when you start out but as soon as you appear on one of Gartner’s reports they will develop a strategy to keep you below them. At the beginning you may be competing on some new functionality that can be easily and quickly replicated by firms with significantly larger resources. Keep below the radar and the advantage you have here will last longer.
Second, you should be focused on the product roadmap that you put together for your customers. Adding extra buttons in order to impress a Gartner researcher will only distract your developers from their core work.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, corporate buyers that care enough about your position on a Gartner report are not likely to buy from you anyway. Pragmatic buyers will want to solve their problems whilst taking on as little risk as possible. They will want to work with established brand names – the market leaders – and they will expect a level of service that goes with market leadership. Chasing these prospects as an entrepreneur of a growth-stage firm can be extremely time-consuming and is often futile.