Frequently Asked Questions

Given who we are and what we do, it’s inevitable that you might have questions about us. We hope this FAQ answers them, but if you’ve got additional questions you’d like answered here, just let one of us know.

General

  1. What’s with the name?
  2. How long has Entelechy Associates been around?
  3. Explain this “open source” thing?
  4. So does that mean I can copy your work?
  5. I’m used to dealing with the bigger firms, how does your coverage differ?
  6. Do you do commissioned or pre-purchased research?
  7. Honestly?
  8. What about seats, or content permission rights, and so on?
  9. Why do you provide research for free?
  10. How can you provide research for free?
  11. Do you charge for briefings?
  12. Will you sign NDAs?

Analysts

  1. What do your analysts cover?
  2. Do your analysts publish research agendas?
  3. Where are your analysts geographically located?
  4. How do I decide which analyst I want to work with?
  5. How can I get in touch with your analysts?

Clients

  1. What kind of customers do you work with?
  2. If the vendors are the ones paying the bills, shouldn’t we be wary of your analysis?

Pricing

  1. What does it cost to work with Entelechy Associates?
  2. Explain your rate structure?

Answers

General

  1. With its roots in ancient Greek and Aristotelian philosophy, Entelechy can be a difficult concept to get across.  The dictionary definition is here, but we like to express Entelecy more simply as “We help you to grow”.
  2. Entelechy Associates was officially founded in September 2010, but has operated on a more informal basis since about 2002. While the company is new the people behind it are not. We added up all our years of experience and it made us feel decidedly old, so we decided not to publish it.
  3. Unlike some industry analysts, we hold the view that the value of information is realized only when it is freely available to all. We make all of our content available for free – our “source” then, such as it is, is open. There are no pay walls within Entelechy Associates (unless you’re looking for consulting).
  4.  All our published work including blog posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Full details of the license including under what circumstances you may copy Entelechy Associates reports and blog posts are published here.
  5. Glad you asked. We’re very open about the fact that we’re primarily oriented towards bottom up adoption. In practical terms, this means that if your main goal in life is getting on a CIO’s radar, we’re probably not the firm for you. Our focus is instead on the core IT practitioners, the people are the coal face, the architects and engineers, the ones that are making or breaking technologies working to implement the CIO’s vision.  Having said that there’s nothing we like more than to sit down with a CIO to listen, learn, and see if we can help each other.
  6. No we do not. Frankly, we don’t place much stock in commissioned research and as near as we can tell neither do our customers. We maintain absolute editorial control of our work, and what goes out is our opinion and our opinion only. If, after a work is published, someone wishes to license it for marketing purposes that can be arranged, although we hope that you would not take our work out of context and use it inappropriately. But nothing is pre-sold. Having said that, if you think there’s an area of research that is not receiving adequate coverage feel free to contact us, as we have already said we don’t think we have all the good ideas.
  7. There are times when we will do research on behalf of a client, either for their own internal use or with the understanding that it may be for publication. Any such work is performed is for the exclusive use of the client and we will never publish this as Entelechy Associates research.
  8. We are here to help you grow, not to chase pennies. If you are one of our clients and you need our time, it’s freely available (we will even give our time to people who are not clients if we think it will benefit us). We have  all been in your  shoes in the past and know how frustrating it can be to deal with “seat” based agreements, so to keep life simple we don’t have them. We’re not going to tell you how to use the content that you’ve licensed, and you’re not going to get a surprise bill for a five minute phone call.
  9. Pretty simple really, we would not be able to do our research without your help and so we feel obligated to give something back whenever we can. It’s also just good business sense as far as we’re concerned – the benefits of open content are many:  immediate and insightful feedback on our research, better visibility and authority on search engines, a more vibrant and engaged community… the list goes on.
  10. By keeping our costs low. We can afford to give content away because it’s not a key component of our revenue structure; the bulk of our income is from consulting. Many of our competitors have higher cost structures that prohibit this, we do not. We’ve been giving content away in one form or another for years and don’t envisage a future where this would ever change.
  11. No, and we reserve the right to express some degree of moral indignation towards any organization that does.
  12. Yes. We fully understand and respect the need for confidentiality at all levels. We know how to keep secrets and will always respect NDAs, but we do reserve the right to refuse briefings if the terms of the NDA are so restrictive as to make it unrealistic for us to be able to honestly commit to complying with them.

Analysts

  1. If it has anything to do with connecting users to applications then we cover it. That means not only the core products but the entire supporting infrastructure behind it including operating systems, networks, storage, as well as the social interactions that share how people interact with technology. Compared to many analyst firms we think you will find us further out towards the bleeding edge of what is possible, focusing not on how to sustain existing systems but how to deliver the future. We want to help vendors market more effectively, enterprises to save money and build better alignment between management, business and staff, and individuals to feel they can make a contribution to the huge challenges we all face.
  2. We try to, but given the speed at which technology trends are moving it’s often difficult for us to predict what we’ll be talking about next week, let alone next month. Some firms can (apparently) predict everything that they’ll need to write about for the upcoming year; we think that flexibility and the ability to react to change are more  valuable characteristics than the ability to plan 12 months ahead.
  3. We are a fully distributed company that works wherever we need to be or choose to.
  4. Your best bet is to read one of our blogs (see the front page) – they’ll give you an idea of what we cover and, thus, how likely we are to be interested in what you’d like to talk about. Worst case you can email one of us (see the Contact page), but we’d prefer that you look around a bit first.
  5. Easily. We’re available via email, phone and multiple IM channels, but we have to unplug from time to time if we need to focus on a client or a research paper.

Clients

  1. We work primarily with application vendors, and they come in all shapes and sizes. We work with some of the smaller more promising firms in the industry all the way up to industry behemoths. We do work with a couple of the savvier enterprises out there, but the majority of our business is in vendor consulting.
  2. Absolutely. You should in our opinion, be skeptical of all of the research you read. Essentially though our answer boils down to this: every piece we publish is free to anyone, and every piece will disclaim who’s paying us and who is not. With that kind of transparency, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to display overt biases. But by all means, watch closely for it – but if anything, the odds are that you’ll see us giving our biggest clients the hardest time. That is, after all, what they pay us for. But if not, you can always drop in a comment calling us out. That’s the benefit of being open.

Pricing

  1. Pricing is covered in more detail here, but is essentially three-tiered. Smaller clients pay a fixed fee of $7,500, while Sponsors pay a minimum of $20,000 and ranges higher. The final client level, Patron, is highly dependent on a number of variables but can involve a more significant financial commitment. We will accept one-off assignments from customers who do not have a pre-paid services agreement, but we must always consider their needs ahead of any possible contract work.
  2. One thing that we are rather proud of is our commitment to charge based on our clients’ ability to pay. A bootstrapped startup will pay less for our services than a VC-funded startup and far less than an established business would. Why? Because size and profitability should not be barrier to access to good advice and our hope is that access good advice will improve increase the possibility of  success and with it our opportunity to charge more in the future.