While it has been in the works for a bit, leaving IDC was difficult. I am leaving behind some incredibly smart and interesting colleagues (and good friends) in IDC's Digital Marketplace team (Sue Feldman, Danielle Levitas, Karsten Weide, and Caroline Dangson). I've also been fortunate enough to have covered the emerging market of enterprise social media which brought together my background as a management consultant, product manager, marketer, and a builder of an early online social network with the experience of watching my parents - both congregational ministers - expertly facilitate very challenging communities over decades. While at IDC I've gotten to meet more interesting people than I could mention here and see a huge array of technology and corporate innovation. It has been a wonderful experience.
Alas, because of my operational experience, I am too antsy to remain on the sidelines as an analyst. I want to dig in a little more, work with companies to get their social media efforts off the ground successfully, and help develop hardened best practices and measurement guidelines. As an analyst I can report on trends but I can't really understand the ins and outs what companies struggle with on a day to day basis.
Mzinga is one of the most interesting companies emerging in the social media market and there are some things that make them a particularly good fit for me:
- The Mzinga executive team (Rick, Barry, Karen, Dan, Aaron, and others) and I share a similar vision about how social media will transform business operations.
- The aforementioned team - and everyone else that I've met there - is wicked smarht (as we say in Boston), down to earth, and generally great individuals. This is more difficult to come by in companies than might be imagined.
- Mzinga has the vision, resources, customers, employees, and executives to be *the* enterprise social media vendor. No one can predict what will happen in the market but I'm excited to join a team that I believe has a shot at going big.
- Mzinga is giving me the opportunity to help start a strategic consulting group - one of the things I have seen as lacking across the market in a major way. Individuals like Jake McKee and Sean O'Driscoll are doing valiant jobs in this regard but as individual consultants. I think that having services ranging from implementation to community moderation to strategic services in this market is key to helping customers succeed and another smart move by Mzinga.
So - I am looking forward to the Thursday BBQs in Burlington and helping companies better understand how to approach social media, social networking, and developing communities. And I'm really looking forward to working with the gang at Mzinga!