Blog | August 26, 2013

The Most Influential People In The Channel

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

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USA Today Sports recently published a special magazine focused on the most influential people in MMA (mixed martial arts). For those who don't know, I'm a huge fan of MMA. The sport has undergone amazing growth over the past 10 years. The UFC, the leading MMA promotion in the world, has been valued by Forbes to be worth between $1.5 and $2 billion. The company, which gained an audience first via monthly pay-per-view events, then with a deal with cable channel Spike TV, inked a deal last year with network powerhouse FOX, giving the company its biggest potential audience yet. Today, the promotion holds monthly pay-per-views and regularly features events on FOX, FX, FUEL, and the new FOX Sports 1. Additionally, clothing lines, sports drinks, and other lifestyle retail items have spun off of this sport. All said, MMA has become huge business, and there are a handful of people who've been a big part of making it so, driving the industry to succeed.

This got me wondering about the IT reseller channel. Who are the most influential people? CRN and other magazines have done reports on channel chiefs, top women, and so on, but I don't think I've read anything about *influential* people.

I'm not talking about powerful people. There's a difference between influence and power. I'm not talking about well-respected people or educated people who give good interviews or speak at conferences about the trends. I

To me, influential people are the ones shaping the industries they play in. Driving change and innovation while creating trends. Rallying against the status quo. I suppose they also need to have a certain amount of clout, maybe working for a big company or a small one that's playing a disruptor role.

Sadly, not many people in the channel come to mind. I can't help but wonder if that's one of the problems facing the channel. Where are the leaders and visionaries who can see the future and have the ability to move the masses in the right direction? If no one is leading the way, what's driving innovation? Product managers and engineers who are driven by making a new product regardless of whether the market needs or wants it?

I'll be honest, people might not come to mind because maybe I don't know them. Or, I don't know all they do. Perhaps there are influential people who act as puppet masters behind the scenes. If you're out there, let me know. Let the channel know.

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