Thoughts on the Lotusphere bag sponsors

by Volker Weber

There is a running gag: having your logo on the Lotusphere bag seems to be asking for trouble. Some of the sponsors no longer exist. But it's the nature of the business, that over the years companies go from great strength to deep trouble. Sometimes they come back, sometimes not. IBM has seen bad times, so has Apple. Now it's Nokia and BlackBerry. HTC is starting to smell funny.

However, if you look at the logos over the last ten years, you see only seven companies: BlackBerry, GBS (Group), HP, HTC, IT Factory, Nokia, Sun Microsystems. Five of them are worth multiple billions, but two of them stand out: IT Factory and GBS. The big five operate as usual. They will throw some marketing money at IBM and show off their hardware that works with Lotus software.

IT Factory and GBS however are different. They want to appear big.

IT Factory is history. They failed once under Lars Munch Johansen, and then failed again. From 1997 to 2001 Johansen acquried seven companies worldwide, raised $50 million in venture capital and flipped the company from a Danish entity to a Delaware corporation. After IT Factory failed they came back under Stein Bagger who inflated revenues through fake purchases. It's criminal history. Read it.

When people compare GBS to IT Factory, you have to ask which one: IT Factory 1 (Johansen) or IT Factory 2 (Bagger). When you look at the Lotusphere backpacks you are looking at IT Factory 2, and that company bears no resemblance to GBS whatsoever, if only for the criminal who ran it.

However, there are quite a few similarities between IT Factory 1 and GBS. When these rockets come down, they leave a lot of bodies, sometimes your friends. I have no idea where GBS is heading. If it does come down, you don't want to be near it. If it flies high, you definitely want to ride along. It's your call.


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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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