For awhile now I’ve been thinking about how best to describe what I “do”. I run Diversity, a pretty diverse (hence the name) operation which covers a bunch of different things – I spend time evangelizing about Cloud Computing, I opine on the technology landscape, I consult to large technology vendors, I spend time advising startups on strategy and I have a bunch of investments in different companies.

All of which makes using a single descriptor very difficult – if I call myself an investor only, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that misses out, similarly with other titles like “analyst”, “evangelist” and “commentator”.

So that being the case, today marks the simplification to the catch-all Diversity Limited, the organization under which I do all the different things I’m involved in. This makes things easier in terms of avoiding any confusion about my role and conflicts that it might cause, but more importantly it allows me to define a new type of role – one that brings together lots of different facets and in doing so creates significant value. So… since this post is all about clarification, here’s what Diversity Limited does;

  • Commentary – over the past years I’ve written many thousands of blog posts and built a large following as a commentator covering general technology and cloud in particular. This isn’t going to change, I’m still going to be opinionated, call out bad behavior and generally say it how I see it. I’ll still be attending a number of vendor conferences and will cover vendor moves in the way I always have.
  • Consulting – I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years with large organizations helping them navigate their way in the cloud. I spend time with buyers advising them on technology strategy, I spend time with vendors and create awesome programs like CloudU. I’m going to continue doing this sort of work since it proves so valuable to organizations to have someone give an external perspective. Much of my work with end-user organizations is done on an ad-hoc basis. I enjoy sitting down with companies, looking at their technology mix and giving them some ideas on areas for improvement or general trends
  • Advisory Work – I sit on a number of boards, both formal and informal, and do a lot of advisory work with startups. Sometimes this is paid, less frequently this involves equity and often it is simply done for the price of a cup of coffee (or a skype call). I do this because I love helping startups get to market and grow to scale. I enjoy it and love to make a difference, this sort of work will likely increase – from the work I’ve done across the dozen or more companies I’ve helped, this is something that I’m good at and drives real value for the companies I engage with
  • Investment – I’m an investor in a number of different companies (a full list is here). Primarily I invest because these companies are doing something that all the work above identifies as a big opportunity of real value – in their different ways Appsecute, Cloudability, Connect2Field and the others deliver on my vision of technology making a difference in the real world

So what will change? Well I’ll stop using the analyst moniker since it doesn’t really describe what I do. I’m also mindful that my investing and advisory work has in the past caused sensitivities due to particular expectations of what the word “analyst” actually means.

Over the next little while I’ll be writing some more posts about the services I offer including some awesome things that I’m working on in concert with my friends Krishnan Subramanian from Rishidot Research and Alex Williams from TechCrunch. In the meantime however I’m hoping this clarifies my position, and now I’ll get back to work…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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