When new entrants into the traditional industry analyst/paid publishing model of the quality and capability of Lisa Ross -- who I had the pleasure of meeting at an Infosys BPO event earlier this year -- can't make it, you know it must be because the model is broken. Lisa recently announced she is closing FAO Research, a boutique industry analyst and research firm that focused entirely on financial and accounting outsourcing. According to Lisa's post on the subject on her own bog, "the closure came down to my foreseeing difficulty monetizing a research-based business in 2009 due to the increased availability of free information available via Google Advanced Searches, free stuff being distributed by advisors, suppliers, magazines, bloggers, etc." Perhaps the timing is not surprising given that I played golf with a former Forrester account exec yesterday who also commented that he thought that selling access to research in anything but a boom market these days is challenging indeed -- even with a premium brand attached to it. Methinks the rest of 2008 and 2009 will be a shake-out time for many incumbent firms who can't back up their brands with outstanding analysts unless they rethink their offerings and revenue models. Hat-tip: Sir Phillip Fersht.
- Jason Busch