Have to hand it to Brian Chess for stirring up a hornets nest about the death of pen-testing in 2009. First, don’t worry. Pen-testing is remarkably resilient, capable of adapting, and quick to find greener pastures. This is what I believe Brian was trying to get at. In its current form of late stage one-offs, he’s saying pen-testing is dead, and I’m not inclined to disagree. On the whole though no one in their right mind will predict that the pen-testing market will end, especially since annual revenue is increasing year over year. I’ll tell you what is dead though, something that could have significant impact, product reviews.
With the decline of traditional media in print and online channels, cutbacks have taken a heavy toll on technically oriented product reviews. To generate revenue, in depth product reviews been replaced by paid-for 5-star advertising focusing largely on marketing talking points supported by precious little need to know information. Head-to-head shootouts, forget about it. This is troubling because product reviews are an invaluable resources for helping prospective buyers make educated decisions without spending inordinate amount of time comparing a long list of products themselves.
As an end-user this means you now must rely more on customer referrals, analyst reports, and general online chatter. Ideally you’d want to focus of on taking advice from organization of similar size and marketing vertical solving a similar problem.