Daily Archives: April 22, 2023

The 60 Minute Due Diligence Trend is Disturbing!

the doctor posted this on LinkedIn yesterday as a follow up to yesterday’s rant on how a 60 minute call is NOT due diligence, but is reposting it here because it’s something we should all be aware of and thinking about as progressive thought leaders (and while LinkedIn posts may get buried under the electronic sands of time, it will remain here).

Is anyone else disturbed and fed-up by the simultaneous trends of

  • “crowd-sourced due diligence” in 60 minute chunks from
  • the onslaught of new “global” consultancies that just connect you with “experts”
    … where these consultancies are staffed by recent graduates with literally no expertise in any of the areas they are finding the “experts” in and no capability to judge whether or not the “expert” they are connecting the client with has any real “expertise” in the area or not?

I’ve personally stopped responding to such firms altogether because

  • they’ve done nothing but waste my time in the past
    … (pestering me for days, and then when I finally relented, telling me the client, who apparently was insisting on me, was no longer interested — likely because I refused to drop my standard hourly rate for what was nothing but an interruption*)
  • they’ve done zero research as to what my expertise is
    … and when I’ve replied asking for more details beyond “supply chain” or “procurement”, I never received any relevant details beyond “these sample companies”, where I could often figure out that I was the last person they should be contacting if they wanted the true expert (I am a leading expert in Sourcing, Optimization, ML, and other advanced S2C tech [which coincides with my academic background], not in P2P [even though I know it very well, there are those, in this list, that know it better]; and in SC, it’s modelling, not the ins-and-outs of WIMS or Plant Management) …
    which forces one to conclude they are not doing any research on anyone else they recommend because they don’t have the skills to
  • given that they are essentially matching their clients with random people, there is zero reason to believe they are providing their clients with the quality insight that they’re promising
    the doctor doesn’t care if they match a F500 with a dozen geniuses, if those geniuses have no relevant experience in the particular domain of interest to the client, how will the client learn anything. I know sometimes its “company x / product y” market research, but user experience is not deep insight into anything beyond *that* user’s experience — and if that user wasn’t trained, doesn’t have the right educational background to be using the tool, or was one stepped removed (the manager, and the team used it), it’s incomplete or second hand information.

It’s disturbing, and in some ways disgusting. What these firms should be doing is

  • finding and vetting a true market expert database against an appropriate taxonomy,
  • finding the right (leading) expert for the client (and, if no one expert can satisfy all of the client’s inquiries, identifying a team that will work with that leading expert)
  • having the leading expert put together an education session that covers the core information the client wants, possibly with the support of one or more other experts in related areas, and
  • ensuring the materials are delivered after the course is presented.

That’s worth a finder’s fee and a project management fee, and a rather large one at that given that an expert is worth more than gold, as obviously the client isn’t equipped to do this, and is thus reaching out to the “global” consultancy because of this.

But the model now is, to be blunt, sh!t as a client’s chances of getting what they need when they need deep insight are less than getting the toy of their dreams from a rigged arcade claw machine. It should not be accepted and true experts should disdain it!

* it’s hard to deliver real value in an hour, which is why the doctor typically contracts in a large multiple of days, and, yes, you will get a better rate if you contract for the amount of time needed to do the job right 🙂