A Year as an Altimeter Researcher

Posted by Christine Tran

Exactly a year ago today, I accepted a full-time Researcher position with Altimeter Group. What a perfect time to reflect on the year, and announce that we’re hiring for Researchers again! Check out the job description here.

I joined as Altimeter’s first official employee, at a time when we were a firm of just four partners. Soon after, we started to add administrative staff, additional partners and consultants. The latest addition to our Altimeter crew is Andrew Jones, our second researcher and a colleague who I work closely with now in the Customer Strategy team.

I have to admit that when I started at Altimeter, I wasn’t familiar with the analyst industry. I’d read Charlene’s book, Groundswell, and kept up with Jeremiah’s blog, Web Strategy. For me, working at Altimeter meant that I had the opportunity to work closely with people whom I respected and knew I would learn a lot from. Plus, they just seemed like really nice people, and I had the sense that Altimeter’s culture and values were a good fit for me.

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time doing what I love doing  – researching technology. Most mornings, I log into my computer and open up TechMeme, ReadWriteWeb, and Hacker News. Then, I scan my inbox for interesting emails from my favorite tech blogs. These days, I’ve been reading a lot about Social Commerce and Mobile Marketing.

Daily work usually involves a client project. I’ve helped research and develop findings and recommendations for corporate Social Strategists at top global brands. This sometimes includes working with Jeremiah to create a new framework. In fact, we’ve been working closely these past couple weeks to update an existing framework on social website integration. One of my favorite projects this past year was to research the universe of use cases for social media at large physical events, and build a framework to bucket, evaluate, and recommend top use cases for a client.

About every quarter, we’ll also publish a research report, a culmination of months of research, data collection and analysis, interviews, writing, and rewriting. For our report on the Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist, I spent at least two months leading the collection and analysis of data from our online survey of 140 Social Strategists, while Andrew helped interview dozens of Social Strategists like Ford’s Scott Monty and Citibank’s Frank Eliason (formerly of Dell).

Recently, our Customer Strategy team met for what we called Less Ambitious Week, which I joked to Jeremiah was actually a misnomer. We used the time to plan a very ambitious agenda for the next year, including research reports and scalable products. That’s another part of working at Altimeter that I love – being empowered to think big.

I’ve had extraordinary learning opportunities at Altimeter, not to mention a whole lot of fun. We’re still a small firm, and there continue to be ways to grow. It’s just the right kind of place for someone who has an insatiable curiosity about technology, and wants to be part of something bigger.


  1. It’s been great having you help build the firm Christine, it’s really exciting to see how our research helps impact our clients decisions, and shape the market. Research is one of our core strengths, and we’re looking forward to growing the team.

    PS: If you loved Less Ambitious Week, then you’ll love Less Ambitious Month!