Generating Distinctions the Burtonian Way

May 2, 2008

Craig’s whiteboard talks have always inspired enthusiasm and understanding. His Marketing Matrix is a result of many years of his sought after “white board talks.” Craig has many friends and followers who seek out an opportunity to participate in one of these inspired moments. It is widely known that he is often at his best when on his feet at the board, marker in-hand, in a fever over some new aspect of repositioning a technology concept. He gets so excited flashing ideas onto the board, not being able to draw fast enough to keep up with himself. It’s so fun to see others as they each, in turn, “get it.” This is why they come, to be there in that moment of inspiration—that flash of clarity. And, to see from his perspective, how their own technology can be positioned and how they can play a leadership role in the industry.

Early in the life of LAN technology, we could see how the entire industry was being confused by non-clarified use of terms. Industry leaders would often use contradictory terms to describe how their technology worked or at times used the same word to describe different things. It was frustrating to both of us. It seemed there were no words to describe what our technology did because others were using the words to describe something different. So, we spent a lot of time clarifying distinctions and making up new terms. An important part of events and documents was always the Glossary or Lexicon as a way to explain exactly what we were saying. We came to accept that others were bound to misuse words; we simply wanted to ensure that our audiences understood what we meant when we were communicating a concept.

The matrix developed over twenty years as a way to explain the distinctions of “open,” “closed,” proprietary,” and “public domain.” Recently, Craig has been using the term “intentional innovation” and has added this to the “Marketing Matrix.”

The latest version of the diagram is hot off the drawing board, literally, and will probably change a little, as I use Illustrator TM to prepare it for use.

And, each time he draws it on a white board, it will be tweaked just a little.

I want to be there to see their faces light up when they get it.

The Burtonian Technology Matrix

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One Response to “Generating Distinctions the Burtonian Way”

  1. Craig Burton Says:

    Thanks Judith. To anyone who reads this. Judith makes anything I do ten times better.

    You are the bomb!


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