The official bio:
Lisa Butler prepares marketing programs to help companies bridge the transition from technology development to market readiness.
Engaged by clients from start-up phase to Fortune 500, she specializes in the market analysis, customer research, brand messaging and other preparations required to launch new technologies and services into market.
As a senior practitioner, Lisa has provided valuable market-side input to entrepreneurs and corporate technical development teams for 25 years. Prior to going independent in 2002, she spent nearly a decade in the technology world helping to build both yet2.com, a technology transfer services company, and Polaroid's Digital Imaging products business. Earlier career experience includes management at a medical diagnostics start-up and direct marketing work for Scudder’s mutual fund business.
The back story:
Early in my first year of business school, a classmate shared some product development work he'd done at Apple Corp. in the mid-'80s. His description of his work was the first time I'd realized product development could be an actual job. In the same timeframe, I met Sara Little Turnbull, Director of the Process of Change, Design and Innovation lab at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and an early pioneer in market-informed product design. Between both of these encounters, I was hooked.
By the early 1990s, I was working in Polaroid’s digital imaging business, on an assignment as the marketing team-member on R&D teams. I loved walking through the labs and seeing the official – and unofficial! – projects on which those very capable scientists worked. The tension between inventors' passion and typical corporate decision phase gates was an often charged, but fascinating process, especially at that time of extreme industry pressure driven by digital technology convergence.
By 2000 I wrote the business plan for, and joined yet2.com, a fascinating start-up in the technology transfer services space – helping F500 companies around the globe to buy and sell technologies, fostering innovation. It was a mission I could really "hitch my wagon" to because the endgame is to release technologies into the commercial world that might never make it otherwise. Some of these technologies can really improve the world -- that motivates me.