All-Star Analysts Launch Kaleido, A New Breed Of Research Firm

The traditional research model is ripe for disruption.

So say the well-known tech analysts who founded Kaleido Insights, an independent boutique research firm that launched Wednesday.

Kaleido’s first point of differentiation is that it plans to publish its research openly rather than behind a paywall, at least during the company’s first year.

The idea is to benefit the entire industry, said Rebecca Lieb, a former Altimeter Group analyst and founding partner of Kaleido Insights.

“We’ll also be journalistically agnostic, meaning we will not accept money or be sponsored in order to write a favorable report about a specific industry or client,” she added.

That’s not to say Kaleido will forgo sponsored research altogether, but Lieb said there will be “absolutely no whiff of pay-to-play,” a practice prevalent at larger research firms.

Lieb, who specializes in ad tech and mar tech, is helming Kaleido Insights along with Jeremiah Owyang, a founding partner of Altimeter Group and the startup Crowd Companies, which helps companies foster innovation. 

Owyang’s research focus will be on the collaborative economy, while Kaleido’s remaining founding partners, Jessica Groopman and Jaimy Szymanski, plan to drill down on emerging trends related to digital experience, IoT, blockchain and machine learning.

In Kaleido’s view, specializing in vertical niches, like B2B enterprise or web optimization tools, as the established research firms do, doesn’t make sense anymore.

Kaleido’s analysts claim they will differentiate by doubling down on horizontal pillars, including customer experience, marketing and automation.

Kaleido wants to take a broader, more contextual view of technology through the lens of market forces affecting the wider ecosystem of vendors, marketers and more.

“What we’re really targeting is how we can guide companies through digital transformation, not just chase technology du jour,” Groopman said. “We’re coming full circle and [evaluating] how different departments and business units align internally [to build] the next experience for the consumer.”

Although the purviews of boutique research firms and consultancies increasingly overlap, Kaleido is emphatic that its role is as a strategic adviser to clients, rather than managing process.

“One area we’ll differ significantly from Deloitte and Accenture, other than the fact that we don’t even have a market cap, is we won’t do any of the execution,” Lieb said. “Though firms like Accenture and Deloitte do advisory, a large part of their model is operating technology for their clients, and that’s not what we’re going to do as advisers.”

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