HfS Research is five years old!

March 21, 2015 | Phil Fersht
5 year plan HfS

Five-year-plan complete for HfS!

Would you believe it?  That quirky little research firm that started as a blog, at which many people snickered as a flash in the pan... reached 5 years old this week.

But we actually had a plan - and it was a five year one to break into the analyst mainstream and influence our services markets as much as any of the establishment analysts who've been around for years.  Have we succeeded in doing that?  I'll leave that to you to decide...

I would personally like to recognize several characters who have played a part in helping HfS get off the ground and developing our reputation in the market as the destination for unvarnished insight, collaborative debate and plenty of entertainment:  Esteban Herrera, Tom Ivory, Tony Filippone and Jamie Snowdon for having pride and faith in our mission and playing their part. Reetika Joshi, Charles Sutherland, Ned May, Mark Reed-Edwards, Tricia Bolger, Ned May, Pareekh Jain and Khalda de Souza for their ongoing support of the business and preaching the gospel - and putting up with me.

Fred McClimans, Bram Weerts, Hema Santosh and Barbra McGann for throwing their lot in with us recently to take us to a whole new level.  And several friends (and family) who have been active in their support; Deb Kops, Lee Coulter, John Haworth, Sir Alan Fersht, David Poole, Jay Desai and many others.  Also our early clients who have stayed loyal; Sarah Thomas, Shari Wenker, Mike Salvino, Ian Maher, Frank D'Souza, Stan Lepeak, Cliff Justice, Tiger Tyagarajan, Frank Cannata and many, many others.  If I forgot to mention you, please forgive me as so many of you have been amazing with your support.

Now for our second 5 year plan.... what fun and games are in store for us next?

Happy Springtime all =)


Some fresh faced healthy looking  chap in March, 2010...

Some fresh faced healthy looking chap in March, 2010...

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

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  1. Bram Weerts
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 04:07 PM | Permalink Reply

    Congrats Phil! Talent is the one sustainable advantage you get in business. Products or pricing are not an advantage, since competition can catch up. An amazing team, amazing job and many more amazing things to come :-)

  2. Gaurav
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 07:16 PM | Permalink Reply

    Been watching it from the very first day, Phil. Congratulations!

  3. Paul Smith
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 06:29 PM | Permalink Reply

    Well done Phil and the HFS team for reaching this landmark!

    Paul Smith

  4. David Wright
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 08:00 PM | Permalink Reply

    Amazing accomplishment! Well done Phil!

  5. Pete Jackson
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 08:16 PM | Permalink Reply


    Many congratulations on achieving this milestone. Hope you can stay around for at least another five,


  6. Naomi Bloom
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 09:27 PM | Permalink Reply

    Mazel tov. It's been fun watching you age (of course I really meant mature) along the way. Here's hoping the next five year plan is as much fun to watch as this one has been.

  7. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:14 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Bram - thanks for the kind words Bram. Yes - products are there to be copied, but it's much harder to replicate talent, brand, spirit and attitude. We took the view that people really weren't that excited to buy access to dull research libraries, but did want to have that "as-a-service" expert relationship and community to be part of. That's what has made the HfS business what it is today.


  8. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:15 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Gaurav - thanks - and your ongoing comments have always been welcomed over the years =)


  9. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:16 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Naomi - hopefully we can create a glimmer of hope for the future of the analyst business. I do worry sometimes where it is heading with so many firms refusing to get with the times...


  10. Den Howlett
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:18 PM | Permalink Reply

    Brilliant achievement Phil and team. And not a penny in VC loot eh? That's the way to do it.

  11. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:39 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Den - we've been offered it but always refused it. The minute you get investors involved, you're doomed in the research biz. It takes years of hard graft to develop a brand before you can really start to scale and profit from it. You can't just launch a research brand and expect Gartner-like hockey-stick growth projections by throwing money at it. You need to establish trust, credibility and work the social / community channels exhaustively to build the relationships. Research is much more a relationship business today than a report-producing factory...


  12. Chris Gattenio
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 10:42 PM | Permalink Reply

    Congratulations Phil and the HfS Team. You've influenced the industry by tackling many of the tough challenges that require group effort to move forward. It's been fun to join you in many of these discussions. All the best in the next five year chapter!

    Cheers Chris

  13. James Levy
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 12:16 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil and team -

    You all deserve a huge amount of credit for the consistent great quality content you share with the industry. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved over the past five years.

    Here's hoping you are around for the next five!


  14. Helen Ramsey
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 01:36 AM | Permalink Reply


    Always love the style and insight you put out. Five years is very impressive to have grown the firm - many congratulations,

    Heather Ramsey

  15. Tony
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 04:38 AM | Permalink Reply

    Proud to be a friend and a former contributor. In an industry that lacks integrity and a company that studies an industry whose integrity is openly questioned by press, politicians, laypeople, and CxOs, HFS stands out for its core value: telling the well-researched truth matters. No amount of PE funding can buy that. Only long hard hours of asking hard questions of some of the most entrepreneurial and tough leaders anywhere (buyers, sellers, and advisors) can bring the facts out.


  16. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 05:12 AM | Permalink Reply

    Thanks Tony - I will never forget your first research piece entitled "Life in the Aftermath of a Lift and Shift: Your sh*t still stinks”. Your unvarnished impact on HfS' research style was a great addition as we grew,


  17. Pranay Juyal
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 02:32 PM | Permalink Reply

    Purely one man's leadership and vision to have a firm that competes with the global majors in its domain. Many congratulations Phil for keeping the pedal pressed with both successes and opportunities that came. Wish you and the team many congratulations on this 5 and wish you guys the best for the next 5! Way to go guys!

  18. Eric
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 10:43 PM | Permalink Reply

    I echo Pranay's comments. You have done an amazing job Phil!


  19. Brian Anderson
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 10:37 PM | Permalink Reply

    Congratulations Phil and team!


  20. Adam
    Posted Mar 22, 2015 11:42 PM | Permalink Reply


    Not many people can say they created something that genuinely disrupted an industry, but you have done just that. You are an inspiration to many!


  21. Sunder Sarangan
    Posted Mar 24, 2015 12:04 AM | Permalink Reply

    Congrats on the first five and good luck for the many more fives ahead. Look forward to it being not just about being bigger and bolder but I am sure you will lead it to be more disruptive by design.

  22. Brian Warnert
    Posted Mar 24, 2015 03:32 AM | Permalink Reply

    Congrats Phil and entire HfS team! You've made your industry mark in short order. And, I especially like the fact that after 5 years you are still explaining how your "horses for sources" name was chosen!

  23. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 25, 2015 05:33 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Brian - yes, I still have to explain what "horses for courses" means to Americans =)

  24. Phil Fersht
    Posted Mar 25, 2015 05:34 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Sunder - that means a lot coming from you - a marketing legend =)

  25. Larry Janis
    Posted Apr 15, 2015 11:07 PM | Permalink Reply

    Congrats at hitting 5 years, I think you are just starting to reach your full potential of greatness

  26. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 15, 2015 11:18 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Larry - thanks for the ego stroke =)


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