You may think this is a funny title from a guy who is stuck in a city with 40 cm of snow and no drinking water (a temporary streak of bad luck for the otherwise "good luck city" Vancouver, BC). Nevertheless, I will explain why I think it is significant for the industry.
Redmonk is an analyst firm that "gets it". They are not just a group of suits who you can give money to in order to justify a point of view of have them endorse some bad idea like SOA 2.0. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen any of them in suits. They are one of the few analyst firms I know that actually will tell you your idea is full of "it" if is bad. At a recent Adobe conference, I witnessed a senior Redmonk analyst sitting across the table from one of our executives deliver a very pointed stream of thought about a technology subject he felt passionate about. Some (not all) other analyst firms would have just been the typical "yes men" and caressed a square peg into a round hole. Redmonk is not like that. Redmonk tells you straight up where you are doing good and where you can do better. CAVEAT: Yes - I know James, Steven and Cote just as friends too. I think that despite a personal friendship though, my opinions are objective.
Today I was shown some rather great news that gave me the same sort of "stoke" factor as being at Whistler in 1 meter of fresh powder listening to the newest Pennywise CD (well maybe not quite that much). Anne Zelanka has joined forces with Redmonk. Anne has a great following in the technology space and to my knowledge has the distinction of being the first ever blogger (as opposed to anaylyst/press) invited by Adobe to attend the MAX conference. Nevertheless, a following is moot unless there is some substance to back it up and in Anne's blog, Anne 2.0, there is a lot of good substance.
So what does this mean for the established analyst industry? Could it just be that they have a stronger and more formidable competitor. Perhaps but to me I see Redmonk as opening a new sector, perhaps something like an open knowledge/intelligence transfer sector or community. They are a part of an evolving ecosystem that is responsible for intelligence and knowledge transfer on a mass scale to all companies and individuals (not just large enterprise clients although Redmonk has some of those). They fill a unique and valuable niche in the marketplace to be a little more cutting edge, a lot more candid, a huge amount more open and present the knowledge back in a package that is accessible to more than just large multi-national corporations. They have a lot of what the rappers call "street cred" (credibility on the street with the average IT worker or gang members in the case of rappers). Maybe Redmonk should make a rap CD on Mix2r.com?
However you package this news up, one thing is for sure - Redmonk will be on every analyst company's radar after today.