Laws of Commerical Semantics … by Curt Monash

by Ronald G. Ross on August 26, 2011

in Business Analysis, CEP, Decision Management


Ever suspect a high B.S. factor in the categories vendors use for their products? Wait, let me ask that differently: Has anyone not suspected a high B.S. factor in the categories vendors use for their products?

I came across some older posts by Curt Monash that formalize the rules of software category B.S. I invite you to read them — good stuff. By the way, Curt Monash is an independent industry analyst I’ve greatly admired since his gutsy take-take of Cullinane some 30 years ago. [My comments in brackets.]

Monash’s First Law of Commercial Semantics: Bad jargon drowns out good.

“The idea behind the ‘Law’ is this:   If a term connotes some kind of goodness, marketers scarf it up and apply it to products that don’t really deserve it., making it fairly useless to the products that really do qualify for the more restrictive meaning. ‘Predictive analytics’ sounded cool, and now covers a fairly broad range of statistical analyses, most of which don’t involve any kind of explicit prediction.”

["Decision management" is already headed in the same direction ... or worse.]

http://www.strategicmessaging.com/monashs-first-law-of-commercial-semantics-explained/2009/01/09/

Monash’s Second Law of Commercial Semantics: Where there are ontologies, there is consulting.

[Ooooh, the "O" word!]

http://www.texttechnologies.com/2007/12/23/text-mining-myths-realities/

Monash’s Third Law of Commercial Semantics: No market categorization is ever precise.

[This one is probably self-evident.]

http://www.strategicmessaging.com/no-market-categorization-is-ever-precise/2011/03/01/

Most recently Curt invokes the Third Law for “Complex Event Processing” (CEP). He suggests that “Data Stream Management ” might be a better term.

www.dbms2.com/2011/08/25/renaming-cep-or-not/

Although possibly on-target for current products and their technical orientation, I disagree with him here in the bigger picture. Events are simply a different primitive than what data represents (things). So the suggested name takes the focus off-target. Perhaps “Event Stream Management” would be better.

Why does this interest me? Sooner or later, techniques and tools for business analysis need to come to grips with business events. This focus is essential for truly supporting business rules and know-how management. “Events” belong right up there with the other five primitives: things, processes, locations, roles, and goals. (Yes, there’s six — it’s a Zachman view.)


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