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From a Basement Newsletter to Global Research Power

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

In 1983, George Colony started writing research reports on the impact of technology on businesses in his basement. Today, Forrester Research is a leading and influential player in the world's largest industry and a trusted source for businesses seeking guidance on technology's impact. In 2008, Forrester adopted a role-based business strategy, delivering research tailored to the specific needs of targeted executives. During this period, Scott Santucci joined Forrester and became passionate about the concept of "successification."

The corporate headquarters of Forrester Research in today in Cambridge, MA, but the firm originated in George Colony's basement.

Successification: The Power of Focusing on Specific People

The role-based strategy was a simple but powerful idea. Rather than grouping technology trends by topic, analysts were assigned to teams focused on serving a role (CIO, Chief Marketing Officer, Business Strategy, Applications, etc.) and asked to conduct research to help people in those roles succeed. However, learning to write for a group of similar people was more challenging than it sounded, so George created corporate values like "3V's 2E's and an I" (Vision, Values, and Velocity; Execution and Excellence, and Integrity) and terms like "multiplicative collaboration" to create positive motivation.

George Colony, the founder and CEO of Forrester Research and the originator of the term "successification"

Santucci joined the company during this period, spearheading efforts to create a new role for targeted research: sales enablement professionals. Although he wasn't sure what George meant by "successification," Santucci was deeply moved by the idea. To him, it was like a mantra to get curious and learn as much as possible about the people in the profession of sales enablement, and to figure out a vision for their success, thereby making those who follow that vision successful.

The Need for Successification in a Post-COVID World

COVID has changed everything, and businesses need to adapt to survive. Santucci believes that the concept of successification is more important than ever. Without a focus on helping executives succeed in this rapidly changing environment, businesses will struggle to thrive in the new economy. Santucci is dedicated to exploring the concept of successification and finding ways to help businesses implement it.

Discovering the Formula for Success

This blog aims to explore the concept of successification, find examples of where it is happening, and codify best practices and resources for those who choose to be successful. In December of 2022, Santucci asked his old mentor, George Colony, for permission to use the term "successification." This site is dedicated to bringing the term to life and proving that it is an extremely important concept. Just as "age of the customer" and "digital disruption" were Forrester concepts ahead of their time, successification is another example of where George Colony was ahead of his time. The mission of this site is to bring that concept to life and make it "a thing."


The bottom line

George Colony's journey began in his basement, where he wrote reports that led to a business valued at over $600 million dollars. His success holds valuable lessons, but successful individuals often struggle to communicate their ideas. By committing to learning by doing, we can gain a deeper understanding of Colony's formula for success, codify it, and share it with our "successification" community. Through this process, we can help Colony better articulate his keys to success and continue to drive growth around him. In short, by understanding Colony's story, we can learn from his success while also contributing to his ongoing impact.


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