Honoring Patrick McGovern, a Man who Changed Tech

I can trace my first experience in research and technology to pouring over IDC numbers. I remember it like it was five a.m. this morning (not even yesterday). I remember diving into IDC market data as an 18-year-old finance intern trying to size a market and, just a few months later, as a temp worker in the IT department at Liberty Mutual Insurance, which was one of my best summer jobs in college. And I remember being exposed to IDC  just a few years later as I considered jumping ship from consulting into the start-up world, consulting their market forecasts once again.

The stories go on from there. Much more so than Gartner, IDC changed the face of how we look at, size, and gain understanding of tech markets – from bankers to consultants to CIOs. This entire legacy is due to Patrick McGovern, who recently passed away at all too young an age after battling cancer.  I learned of his death earlier this week from a friend who is part of the family – and felt horrible for not knowing about it before he told me.

McGovern (whom I did not know personally) singlehandedly changed the face of technology research and coverage – in magazines, in trade publications, and in analyst research. He was generous to a fault both at work (many IDC employees I’ve known over the years remember when he still personally passed out holiday bonus checks and thanked them individually for their service) and with charities. In short, he was a great man, unlike so many other tech luminaries who retreat into their own world once they succeed rather than giving back each and every day.

All of us reading Spend Matters – practitioners, vendors, consultants, and other analysts – owe McGovern much gratitude for what he accomplished in a career and life that was cut short, yet was full of impact nonetheless. We personally took inspiration for Spend Matters and our parent company based on what McGovern created – and continued to build and nurture until his passing.

My thoughts are with McGovern’s family and friends – not to mention all the loyal employees who worked with him in helping changed the face of tech research and media coverage – as we celebrate his life. Without what McGovern created, scores of tech companies would not have gotten funded, IT hardware and software would not have been bought, and countless markets would have been left unrealized. And that’s not even factoring into account how many lives he changed in his own company and through a life of giving.

That’s one helluva a legacy to honor.

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  1. Janesh:

    So SAD to hear this. I had met Pat at Bangalore where we spoke about my Robotics startup at th IDG Ventures office. Fantastic person. May he rest in peace.

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