I’m not the youngest at the table, but definitely not the oldest. There’s 3 of us in our 20’s, and then the rest of the room seems to be spaced between 30-60.
I am however dressed like a child. I should have gone for the safe ‘smart jeans and white collared shirt’. Classic entrepreneur. It quietly whispers “I ironed a shirt today, because you guys are worth it”.
But I didn’t. I’m dressed like an intern, and people have assumed I’m an intern. Or perhaps I’m Grey Fox’s assistant.
Grey Fox is the guy sitting to my left. He looks like he came straight out of an IBM consulting gig. Very senior, with a strong presence. He’s dropping analytics acronyms so fast that he’s borderline beatboxing. He’s pretty much dominated the conversation for the last 2 hours.
To my right is Vendor Vanessa. She’s casually dressed, in her early 40’s, and wearing the largest pearl earrings I’ve ever seen. If it wasn’t for the fact I know which company she works at, I’d assume she was here on sales commission. She’s made it her personal mission to name-drop a vendor into the conversation every few minutes. Never anything useful, but just enough so that we know that she knows who they are.
Sitting directly over from me is someone I’m going to call Copycat Charlie. He’s early 30’s, dressed for business-casual, and has made it his sole mission tonight to try and finish the sentences of Grey Fox, and ends every one of Vendor Vanessa’s contributions with “Oh yeah, they’re great!”
I’m sitting in a private roundtable on “Customer Analytics For Subscription Companies”. There’s 10 of us in the room. Everyone here is an Analytics Director (or equivalent senior position) except myself and another vendor CEO. I’ve been listening quietly and intently for the last 2 hours.
And for the last 2 hours, the 3 people talking have been bullshitting.
Grey Fox has no clue about analytics strategy, he just knows the terminology. Vendor Vanessa has only memorised the names and feature sets of each tool in the analytics space, but has never actually integrated or used one of them. And Copycat Charlie’s only strategy is to align himself with Grey Fox and Vendor Vanessa in the hope of being associated with their thought leadership.
Please don’t be one of those people.
Before you attend your next customer analytics meeting or workshop, please read my Executive’s 60 Minute Survival Guide To Customer Analytics.
(p.s. despite the cute names, the above is a true story and the 3 people who stood out to me as total fraudsters were all from multi-million dollar turnover SaaS companies!)