Gartner Inc. (originally called Gartner Group) was born on April 1, 1979, together with a chap named David Stein. I had just predicted that the estimated $200 million ‘Information Industry’ (information about the realm of computers) would continue growing at an annual rate of 30%, and that we should attempt applying our knowledge, in order to share the expected growth.
At the time I was 44 years old, vice-president + head of technology research at Oppenheimer&Co. Dave Stein and I were lucky to rapidly find financial partners: Bessemer Securities, Dillon Read, and Warburg, Pincus & Co….three terrific companies which put up almost all of the initial capital for Gartner Inc.: $675,000, while we were able to retain management control through our investing a bit less less than $40K (I maintained majority common stock ownership).
We began by finding breaking news and news tips, presenting the information in a newsletter which appeared more or less twice a week. In addition, we acted as a think tank which analyzed long-range trends in the information industry, presented through frequent and detailed reports on developments in the field, studies on major topics, and presentations to our three client categories: vendors, investors, and computer users.
The strategy worked, as the users seemed to find our material irresistible, and paid annual retainers between $12,000-$20,000 depending upon level of service. Of course, today’s average annual retainers are much higher, and Gartner will soon be about a $2 billion firm.
— Gideon Gartner