Integrity Comes First
By Rich Tehrani, TMC
Many of you already know the history of TMC Labs. Youll recall that as a Computer
Engineering student, I used to read each and every possible computer publication I could
find. I would devour these magazines from cover to cover, paying special attention to the
products they reviewed in their testing facilities. Upon graduation, I became the Director
of MIS at Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC). I would scour computer magazine test
drives before purchasing any product. I was obsessed, sometimes reading hundreds of pages
of reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Over the years I realized that some of the magazines really devoted time and energy to
developing a laboratory that tested products objectively and based purely on technological
merit, while other magazines chose to cater their reviews to their advertisers. These
magazines would simply write glowing reviews about any product submitted by a vendor who
happened to advertise in the magazine! Now, I was spending hard earned company money and
believe me, every penny was precious. The purchasing decisions I made could have broken
the company if they were wrong.
Having grown up in this environment, I felt it was imperative to establish the telecom
industrys first objective and in-depth telecom testing lab, and when I became Group
Publisher of TMCs magazines, thats exactly what I did. TMC Labs serves the
needs of our readers, not our advertisers. Many industry vendors use our lab as the
benchmark of success. Many products we start out to review dont even make it into
our publications because frankly, they dont meet our standards or yours.
Lately, we have received complaints from a few vendors that our reviews of their
products are too harsh or that we dont give them enough credit for this feature or
for that one. Most recently, we received a complaint from a large and reputable computer
company. I always take customer complaints very seriously. Let me add that this product
was reviewed by a leading PC magazine around the same time as TMC Labs reviewed it.
I reread the TMC Labs review in question and that of the PC publication and I
couldnt believe how much more realistic the TMC Labs review was compared to the one
from the other magazine. Could you believe the other review found no flaws with the
product: No installation snafus; No room for improvement; No suggestions at all. In their
eyes, the product was perfect.
I assume that as a reader of this magazine you actually use a computer and as such, you
know that nothing ever works perfectly - EVER - under any circumstance. Lets face
it. Every product has room for improvement and doesnt always install correctly.
In the last few years, many publishing companies have become publicly traded or have
been acquired by publicly traded companies and this has had a major effect on their
editorial quality. As a public company, your first loyalty must be to your public
shareholders and not your readers. If your review states that an advertisers product
is inadequate and that advertiser decides to pull their advertising from your publication,
you miss your earnings estimates and Wall Street hammers your stock - its that
At TMC Labs we have no such fear. We are a privately held publishing company and we
depend on our reputation of providing you with the most objective, in-depth editorial
coverage. We take our time with each and every review and we report on every nuance of the
testing procedure. If the product fails during the installation process, we report that to
you. If theres a problem, we report it. If the documentation seems to have been
improperly translated from Martian, we tell you.
Our first and only loyalty is to our readers. We know that the reason for the success
of TMC publications is due to readers like yourself that depend on objective and in-depth
reviews you can trust to make product purchase decisions.