A Sycophants Waltz? Why One Can’t Get a Straight Answer from Jason Busch?

Posted on May 21, 2010


I must admit that I was surprised by the kerfuffle surrounding my suggestion that Jason Busch might on perhaps one or two points of opinion surrounding topics such as spend intelligence be out of touch.  Wait for it . . . did the world just stop rotating on its axis?

If you recall from a comment I had made in response to a post by Torbjorn Thorsen in his Purchasing Transformation Blog, under the heading “Unfortunately, some traditional mainstream pundits continue to miss the mark when it comes to Coupa and similar-type vendor solutions,” I had indicated that previous statements emanating from the Spend Matters blog such as Jason’s belief that the term spend intelligence was nothing more than “an attempt to shoot some Botox into a segment of the Spend Management market,” may mean that his position on the then current topic might be worth reconsidering.

As always, I provided a pretty reasonable outline for my thinking, which found agreement with both Thorsen as well as others.

However, and rather than actually address the subject matter to which I was referring, Jason used his “Friday Rant from the mount” to chastise me in a barrage of unrelated verbiage.  In short, he didn’t say I had misquoted him, nor did he actually provide any information as to why I was wrong with my assessment.  Instead, and in what I referred to as a “your ugly and your mother dresses you funny,” tantrum, Jason chose to read the riot act while in the process seeking comfort from the cozy confines of his readership.

Which brings us to where we are today and what led me to revisit the Spend Matters blog.

Perhaps naive and definitely hopeful, when I read the Supply Chain Mgt Full Digest notice for this morning, I could not help but notice Jason’s Friday Rant titled “Knowing When to Cross the Line.”  I use the words naive and hopeful in that it has been my hope that Jason would call upon his years of experience to view my comments regarding his being out of touch in one or two areas and, revisit the matter through a lens of meaningful perspective.  In short, he blew his cool when challenged – which can happen to the best of us, and in retrospect I thought he would take the high road and actually provide the substantive basis for his positions.

Well, while the post to which today’s link was associated provided a somewhat vague outline of giving thought prior to publicizing a rant – a think before you speak sentiment, there was no such mention of the previous diatribe.

I then thought, well I am already here let’s have a look at the Friday Rant that related to my comments.  It is there of course that I came across the five or so responses from his readers that prompted today’s post.

With the exception of one who questioned whether or not the debate was a ruse to drive traffic – after all, many social media experts suggest that the best way to create a buzz is to create an enemy – which of course it wasn’t, and the fellow who indicated that a succinct response was the best response (he said no, Jason isn’t out of touch), the remaining few followed suit by agreeing that I was ugly and dressed funny.  Ahh the comfort of conformity.

At the end of the day however, the real issue or point of supposed contention lie obfuscated by ego and being right versus actually debating the merits of my original comment.  As a result, I thought that I would once again poke the alligator of the oligarchical old guard in the hope that someone would actually explain why they believed my position was either inaccurate or outright wrong by way of the following comment.  (Note: by the way, here is the link to the Friday Rant in question on Spend Matters.)

Hello everyone.

I just actually came across this post again, and must admit that I had not read the comments that the blog’s readers were kind enough to submit on the first go around.

I will make this as quick and direct as possible . . .

Regardless of what has been said, and whatever ersatz “analysis” has been done in terms of content, there is still only one salient point that continues to be missed and/or avoided.  Here it is in the form of an excerpt from my closing comment on the March 25th, 2010 post titled Jason Busch’s Rant part of another interesting week in the world of procurement;

“Rather than stand by what he has written and provide reference material to support his comment that spend intelligence is merely “an attempt to shoot some Botox into a segment of the Spend Management market,” or why “tangential marketing strategies while valid, has no practical value from an execution standpoint,” Jason instead chooses to attack the person.”

At the end of the day ladies and gentlemen, and like the 85% rate of implementation failure that has marred the landscape of the procurement world for far too long, Jason et al has still failed to respond to these questions which led to my comments in the first place.

I guess the old adage is still true . . . “”If you can’t impress them with your intelligence, then dazzle them with your . . .” or in this case evasive rhetoric.

I guess I could understand Jason’s consternation it if I had not been thorough in my research and had somehow misquoted him.  But I didn’t.

Nor by the way did I misquote Michael (although I did not refer to him by name in the article), when he emphatically made the statement that the term Spend Intelligence “is misleading.”

I wonder how many in the world of business would agree with the above positions?  Especially without either Jason or Michael offering any substantive support for making the statements in the first place.

I also find it mildly interesting that Jason completely ignored the fact that it was Torbjorn Thorsen’s post on his Purchasing Transformation Blog, which led to the comment’s to which Jason has taken exception, and that Thorsen agreed with my take?  Let me check . . . isn’t IBX a sponsor of the Spend Matters Blog.

As I had indicated, you can call me ugly and tell me my mother dresses me funny, but until you substantiate your position for making the above as well as other statements (re spend intelligence etc.) with tangible references, it would appear that “getting it right,” isn’t as important as “appearing to be right.”

In this regard, I firmly stand by what I wrote.

As you all know from both my posts here and on the PI Window on Business Blog, as well as my segments on the PI Window on Business Show (oops, there I go again according to Michael . . . self-promoting fluff instead of substance), one of the main things for which I am known is the thoroughness of my research and unyielding attention to detail.  It is for this reason, and this reason alone I can with quiet confidence (quiet outside of this post at least) stand by everything I say whether in print or over the virtual air waves without resorting to personal attacks.  Or in the famous words of Michael Corleone – and yes I just watched replays of The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 last evening . . . “this isn’t personal Sonny, it’s just business.”

P.S. You must remind me one day to share the interesting e-mail exchange that I had with Bravo Solutions’ Paul Martyn who contacted me based on the Jason Busch Friday Rant.  Citing the names of Mickey North Rizza, Lora Cecere, Beth Enslow, Debbie Wilson, Andrew Bartolini, Michael Lamoureux, Paul Teague, Doug Smock, Kris Mather and David Rae, I got the distinct impression that he was warning me that I better watch out because I do not know who I am up against.

Perhaps I should think twice before starting my car . . .

Posted in: Commentary