Last week a bemused party of journalists and businessmen, who were sure that they had made their way to a destination in Ashford, Middlesex, were transported to a Mid-American evangelical jamboree. The occasion was to mark both the opening of James Martin Associates’ UK headquarters, and the launch of James Martin’s 20/20 Telecommunications Study. Visitors […]
Last week a bemused party of journalists and businessmen, who were sure that they had made their way to a destination in Ashford, Middlesex, were transported to a Mid-American evangelical jamboree. The occasion was to mark both the opening of James Martin Associates’ UK headquarters, and the launch of James Martin’s 20/20 Telecommunications Study. Visitors to the reception area of the newly-opened and purpose-built John Martin building were treated to the sight of a stained glass window recording the companies that John Martin has been pleased to do business with, and a large picture of the man himself, arms stretched heavenward, looking every inch the charismatic preacher. As any James Martin company man will tell you, James Martin is an incredible person. He had summoned the assembly for a presentation to sell his new multi-client study of the development of telecommunications from 1990 to 2020. After a delay of an hour for rehearsals, the presentation began with dry ice, laser lights, urgent music, and a fast-moving slide show, swiftly followed by James Martin running on stage to give a monologue about the future of telecommunications. The content of this hard sell for his study seemed to come mainly from the scripts of popular science programmes, with key phrases such as High Definition TV thrown in for good measure. And the study itself, to which interested companies can subscribe for $30,000, promises to follow the format of the presentation: one of the members of the James Martin research team, Alexander Udink ten Cate, acknowledged that it would contain very little original research since it would be based upon existing reports and a select base of interviewees. Potential subscribers to this global study into the future of telecommunications may also raise an eyebrow at the fact that it seems to be devoted entirely to the European and US telecommunications industry – Japanese industry was not mentioned once as a potential source of information. The study will be based on James Martin’s own methodology, outlined in his book The Wired World, and will be completed in 12 to 15 months. Martin declined to name any of the sponsors he has so far recruited to the project and would not reveal what software he is using for the models on which the research is based. Firms subscribing to the study will be enlisted for the corporate aspect of Martin’s recommendations, and will, in return, have exclusive access to his results.