I saw where Brian announced his retirement yesterday on http://www.brianmadden.com/opinion/Brian-is-leaving-BrianMaddencom-BriForum-2016-Boston-will-be-the-last-one and although I am not surprised, I can’t help but reflect on the impact Brian has had on our industry. I say I am not surprised because Brian has been giving us hints over the last year: His closing session at the Denver Briforum last year and his podcast retrospective on his career.
Many will argue that the Brian’s major impact on our industry has been Briforum. Back in 2004-05 Citrix decided to ban vendors that competed with Citrix from attending their conference – the forerunner to Synergy – iForum. For companies like Ericom, EGInnovations, RTO Software and others, Briforum became the best way to reach RDS customers and get their message out.
Brian and Kevin at BriForum 2006
However, his consulting work I believe, has had a much more profound impact on the industry. I can recall in the 2005-2006 timeframe brokering a meeting between Brian and Sun Microsystems. The two gents from Sun where going on about how great their VDI program was and how their marketing was really resonating. Brian cut them off with something to the effect of: “I spend my life researching VDI and if I didn’t know Sun was in the VDI business I can assure you that the average IT person doesn’t know it. You might want to rethink your marketing.”
Did you know VC firms call Brian before investing big dollars in companies in our space? They do. Did you know that activist investors call Brian before deciding what to do with one of our favorite companies? They did. The same is true for companies trying to decide whether to acquire a company in our space or not.
Speaking of acquisitions, Brian reached out to me when TechTarget put the Brian Madden Company in play. He told me the offer was less than what he was expecting. I told him valuation is a common problem for company owners in play. To put it in perspective I asked him how long it would take him to put that much money in the bank (that is – after taxes and expenses and so on).
Not sure if my advice swayed Brian or not, but now as he wraps up his career at TechTarget I am looking forward to what is next. I know he has left TechTarget in good hands: I am sure Gabe and Jack will continue to produce solid blogs with great information.