Friday Rant: Is Spend Matters "Out of Touch With Emerging Trends in the Industry"? Please…

The next time Jon Hansen hides behind rhetoric and language (e.g., "agent-based, metaprise visibility") vs. logic, shoot me, please. It's not just that he fails to logically attack my argument, instead hiding behind supposed academic rigor and obfuscation in a recent post (e.g., "In short, adaptability to real-world market conditions as outlined in many of the 700 plus articles and white papers I have written, and maintaining and achieving centralized or collective objectives are not an either or proposition"). It's the patronizing tone within statements like "Jason is out of touch" because he's willing to go against vendor doctrinaire and "my own research". Collectively, these are clearly the type of "he's wrong and I'm right" bullying arguments that Jon attempts to make rather than elucidating debate around the subject.
While I'll leave it to you to decide which author makes the better argument on a pragmatic basis when it comes to technologies (e.g., Jon: "In short, the technology behind dashboard accessibility to a broader supply base in which advanced and multi-parameter algorithms are automatically incorporated into each front-line decision in real-time, provides the buyer with the necessary autonomy..."), I can't help but raise the point that rhetorical devices such as quoting Colin Powell saying that "today's experts may have reached (and passed) their peak" does nothing but hit below the belt. With phrases like this, I sense an insecurity in Jon's writing that may be nothing more than a desire to legitimize his activities through personal attacks on the establishment. It also may be something more insidious, given that the only folks he ever seems to stand up for are those who fund and provide support for his activities. Even though (as he points out) the amounts may be small, it should be the job of the blogger or online journalist to seek out and cover other providers besides those simply writing a check every year.

When trees fall in the forest, perhaps I shouldn't care. But verbal assaults and intimations such as Jon's serve to demean the whole profession of those seeking to make a living through coverage of the sector. And there's nothing "intelligent"--spend or otherwise--around motivations like that. At the end of the day, if Jon would get off his verbose pulpit and let go of the need to put others down (vs. just their arguments), and offer to start a debate around the topic at hand without simply serving as a blogging tool for those that write checks and give him fodder to work with, I think he'd find that we actually agree more on the subject than disagree. Perhaps we'd nitpick at execution, but both of us--and our readers--would be the better for it.

For further consideration: Spend Matters, Sourcing Innovation, and Supply Chain Matters all make concerted efforts to cover sponsors and non-sponsors alike with complete objectivity (aside from personal biases and opinions having nothing to do with commercial relationships -- after all, we're human). A cursory analysis of Jon Hansen's blog suggests that at least 80% of his technology vendor coverage is focused on only his sponsors (I think it could be materially higher than this -- I've not done anything more than a cursory study, but perhaps someone else will). I suppose we should not be too upset, however. At least he discloses his sponsor affiliations on the right. So we can't exactly call him a "paid blogger" ... but as always, dear readers, caveat emptor, even when the product/analysis/research is free.

Jason Busch

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