Every so often, someone foolish enough to be associated with this blog posts a smarmy comment which I know could only come from one individual (who will go nameless to protect the innocent). Last week, the self-titled fool chimed in once again, presenting an anything but foolish tirade on the future of On-Demand Spend Management solutions. He also tossed in an interesting bit of gossip on Bruce Richardson stepping down from his current role at AMR (incidentally, I've also heard through the grapevine that Noha Tohamy has left Forrester). But neither of these bits of gossip answers the question: who exactly is our fool? To this I would say, his identity does not matter, but what does is his purpose.
I would argue that our fool is not as foolish as he purports to be. Mark Edmundson, an English Prof at my sister's alma mater, the University of Virginia, had this to say about how Shakespeare presents his fools as, "subtle teachers, reality instructors one might say ... they tickle, coax and cajole their supposed betters into truth, or something akin to it. They take the spirit of April Fools' Day to an inspired zenith." In our case, our fool is far more literary, learned and prolific than his intentioned appearance might let on. But don't be taken by his charm or wit. The jestering daggers he hurls at our little corner of the Spend Management world are better aimed and better thought out than virtually anything else I've read. After all, it's the fool who gets away with saying the truth in front of kings, because who takes such a figure seriously? Now, fool, you've had your time on stage. Put back on those spectacles and get back to ye numbers! We welcome your appearance in the next act.