– Streetwalkers in Disguise

Moneyhoney The Cranky Product Manager has many personality failings.  Foremost is crankiness (big surprise there), second is pride, and third is a lust for fame.  Combined, these character flaws form a potent and dangerous cocktail that makes her intensely dislike a certain class of people: those whores, those streetwalkers in disguise, those hookers with the hearts of stone.  Yes — you guessed it — the Cranky Product Manager is referring to those sluts-for-hire, the technology analysts.

To avoid being sued, the Cranky Product Manager will refer to her least favorite yet most prominent technology analysts by the pseudonyms “Gardener” and “Forrest Ranger.”

Let’s rewind to some time ago.  The Cranky Product Manager had individual sit-downs with the Heidi-Fleisses-in-training for each of these firms.  The supposed goal of these meetings was to get some consulting advice from these man-whores: what do they think of our product strategy, how could we improve it, etc…

As if.  As if the Cranky Product Manager or her company (or any company) would ever take strategic advice from these ‘hos.  Those supposed “analysts” are too vested in making their lazy predictions of the future come true, so they can play the part of the business genius with clairvoyant powers, instead of the egomaniacal plagarists they are.  If they haven’t already placed your company in their Magic Qu@drant or Le@der Wave, then their interests are AGAINST yours. UNLESS… unless you can make their jobs infinitely easier by doing their job for them.

Let’s come clean with the REAL goal of these meetings, implicitly known by the Forrest Rangers, the Gardeners, and — of course — the Cranky Product Manager.  The Cranky PM’s company generously paid the whores, the Cranky Product Manager (playing the part of the John in this scenario) then met with each Brothel’s most highly paid call-boy and spend an hour selling him on her view of the industry, the market opportunity addressed by her product, and why her product will win — all with a bevy of supporting research, industry statistics, and beautiful yet information-rich powerpoint slides.  The goal, known by all and voiced by none, was to get the Forrest Ranger or Gardener to then regurgitate the Cranky Product Manager’s research — verbatim, preferably — in “planning assumptions” and advice notes for the Brothel’s “other” paying customers: the IT departments of the world’s largest companies.

Of course, it worked as predicted (with 0.8 probability). The analysts / ho-bags — lazy if nothing else — faithfully republished the Cranky Product Manager’s slides, full of compelling graphs and thought provoking methodologies, as if they lovingly created them on their own instead of plagiarizing them from a vendor. Then, the IT departments of the world’s finest companies paid premium prices for this “unbiased” research and believed much of it.  Hopefully, as a result, they will buy more of the Cranky Product Manager’s product.

All this is exactly the outcome the Cranky Product Manager originally sought.

So why does it smart so much when she sees her research and analysis published under a highly paid prostitute’s byline?

(Furthermore, isn’t the Cranky Product Manager, not the analyst, the hooker? Or maybe she’s the pimp?  And the customer is the one getting f*$#ed here…  This analogy is breaking down rapidly…)