A banker friend tells me this: “Every single chief executive I meet these days says the same thing. No matter what business they are theoretically in – insurance, pet food, carpets – what they really are is a tech company that collects data. In each case, they expect the data to prove more valuable than the insurance or the pet food.”
That sounds about right and I think the implications for hacks and flaks are significant. For one thing, we’re going to have to get a lot better at explaining what companies are for, what they actually do.
There’s some work to be done.
A small example: yesterday William Hill said Ruth Prior, the finance director, is leaving to join a firm called Element Materials Technology, a coup for EMT.
Who they? Well, if you go to their website you will learn they are “a global provider of Testing, Inspection and Certification services for a diverse range of materials and products in sectors where failure in service is not an option”.
If you know what that actually means, do speak up.
So far as I can see, no one who wrote the story today (and certainly not me yesterday) made an attempt to describe what Element Materials Technology does. Because we have no idea. Unless something goes terribly wrong with their business, they may not have the attention of that many journalists ever again.