Monday, 9 February 2009

Hope is not a Strategy

Hopefully there isn’t a single Hotviews reader who finds today’s Financial Times front page report – Sales of personal computers on course for first fall in eight year – a surprise. IDC are now admitting that their forecast of growth for 2009 was “unlikely to hold…as things sink in, it could easily be in negatve territory”. The economic downturn, the advent of netbooks and Microsoft abandoning its (dubious) policy of creating new software that requires ever more powerful computers, is blamed.

Tomorrow, John Gantz the CRO of IDC presents at the Regent Conference and I have a suspicion this admission might have been rushed out so that John tomorrow doesn’t have to ‘defend the indefensible’ of their previous forecasts. Last year it was Brad Holmes, the CRO at Forrester, who so publicly annoyed me with his forecast of “double digit growth in 2009 and 2010”.

Industry forecasts are like weather forecasts. When you look out of your window and it’s a lovely sunny day but the weatherman is telling you to wrap up for a storm later, that’s a really useful forecast (provided it comes from a reliable forecaster!). Although, if my experience is anything to go by, many people will ignore it because they want it to be sunny. Hope is not a strategy – as I have said many times before.

But when you look out of the window and it’s pouring with rain, there is something rather annoying about a weatherman who comes on the radio saying “it’s going to rain today and I suggest you take an umbrella”.

No comments: