“Anand Shimpi is one of the most influential tech industry figures you’ve never heard of,” writes Reuters. Shimpi has vaulted from armchair tech pundit to one of the industry’s most sought-after opinion leaders, courted by IBM executives and respected by the public as a reliable tech reviewer. His website AnandTech.com gets 12 million unique visitors every month.
His workbench at his home in Raleigh is cluttered with high-end storage drives, laptops and recently released tablets, one of them playing a Harry Potter movie in an endless loop. A storage room is filled with hundreds of other products shipped to him over the years, and he says UPS drops more gear off almost every day.
Shimpi is not alone in his business model. Sites like CNET also review new products (usually in more digestable language). But AnandTech.com’s claim to fame is in Shimpi’s focus on rigorous testing and performance: how a device performs as compared to its competitors in speed, responsiveness, and so on.Shimpi started his website in high school. He made a little money, carved out a niche for himself, and started getting invitations to trade shows and meetings with tech companies. Things grew from there:
He takes phone calls from investors who pay him for his advice and spends more and more time hunkered down with design engineers. But Shimpi says his main focus will remain AnandTech’s readers — the sort of tech fans who spend hours reading up on new products before deciding which to buy.
This is one vision of what opportunity will look like in the future: a savvy entrepreneur recognizes what viewers or consumers want and what companies want, and sees how to connect the two. Value-added intermediation. We’re going to see lots more of this in the future.