Marketing Challenge: Promoting Our Expertise to Expand Client Base
Lattice, Inc. single-handedly created the computer languages niche for MS-DOS IBM personal computers when it introduced the Lattice C Compiler in 1982. It remained the premier C Compiler on the PC platform for many years and Lattice C was ported to numerous other platforms including mainframes, mini computers, workstations, and non-IBM compatible PCs. Versions of the Lattice C Compiler were released for DOS, OS/2, MVS, VMS, UNIX, AmigaDOS, and many other operating systems.
C had its roots in the Unix world, but its overall popularity didn't really explode until it was available for the PC. Lattice had the opportunity to participate in developing the language literally at the ground level. How best to promote our expertise to the growing technical community?
Taking a leadership position in developing standards and ensuring the technical world was aware of our work on their behalf.
In 1982 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) formed the X3JII technical subcommittee to propose a standard for the C language and runtime libraries. The standardization effort involved a number of commercial C implementers to help clarify existing practices as well as map out some new features. The committee included Steve Hersee, one of the founders of Lattice. Given Lattice’s user base, we had fantastic insights to what C developers needed to use C successfully which gave us (through Steve) a voice in developing the standard.
To promote our work, we contacted BYTE Magazine (one of the predominant technical magazines at the time), about writing an article discussing the committee’s current work and direction. They accepted our proposal. Here is a reprint of the article An ANSI Standard for the C Language I co-wrote with Steve.