A Brief History of the Internet Research Group
Here’s our long (and possibly sordid) history. The Internet Research Group was a company we sold to Jupiter Research at the beginning of 2000. At that time there were four IRG partners John, Larry, Dave and Peter. John Katsaros founded the earliest version of IRG — Collaborative Marketing — in 1992. His original concept was to leverage his experience leading successful sales organizations selling high-tech solutions to early adopters and build on his belief that the Internet would be really important. John came from the email business which gave him a whiff of the Internet’s potential. But back in those “pre-browser” days (if you can even imagine it today) all of that was invisible to almost everyone, and the marketing and strategy challenges were clear.
John and Larry Gordon (partner #2) had worked together in the 80’s and, after accidentally bumping into each other in a Los Altos parking lot in 1993, decided to join forces and quickly grew their consulting business, primarily doing early adopter market analysis since adoption of the Internet was still in its infancy.
Larry’s consulting company, Lawrence Gordon Associates, was focused on helping product companies operationalize product-to-service transformations utilizing the Internet by sharing his experience in marketing new communications services to early adopters.
In 1996, as the business grew, Dave Kaplow (partner #3), an old friend of Larry’s, joined to help extend the software practice. Dave, a software industry veteran, built a successful developer tools practice leveraging the same Internet change that drove the rest of the business.
In 1997 John saw the potential of building on some of what the consulting business had discovered in the way of fast-growing Internet markets and started an effort to build a research business serving multiple clients at once in a particular industry segment. The first focus was on Internet Caching and Peter Christy (partner #4) joined to help. Peter had spent a career in technology and engineering and most recently ran Microdesign Resources, a part of Ziff-Davis that did microprocessor analysis. John and Peter quickly built the research business to a significant part of the overall business.
The company continued to grow and in 1999 was named on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing US private companies. In 2000, we sold the Internet Research Group to Jupiter Research.
Post Jupiter, in 2001, John and Peter formed NetsEdge Research Group and went back to doing the research in infrastructure – the intersection of applications and networks — while Larry and Dave formed The FactPoint Group continuing the consulting tradition of IRG.
But as they say, “a good name is hard to find,” so, in 2005 when everyone had recovered enough from the dot com crash to say the word “Internet” without breaking into a cold sweat, John and Peter decided that it was time to rename their enterprise The Internet Research Group.