Are you ready for a

Standards Play?

Get Started

Getting Started

Interest in standards ebbs and flows, but the game of standards never ends . . .

There are many approaches a company can use to grow itself or its market presence, including mergers and acquisitions, channel sales growth, traditional marketing, a social media focus, or any of a variety of other strategic plays. Just as one could consider a social media play or an acquisitions play, if you are in a technology space you absolutely MUST consider whether a standards play could help your business. In a nutshell, technical standards are politics in a technology domain.  Many companies, large and small, have found the technical standards arena to be one filled with shining opportunities and snarling lions, a great sucking pit for the unwary and a clever way for the initiated to gain relevance in a new space.

Standards discussions are a game with rules, albeit flexible ones.  There are rules for who can play, rules for how standards activities can be started, and rules for how contributions can be made and progress forward into the standard.

Although all arguments are either procedural or technical, the drivers behind many arguments are often commercial.

Most engineers have the technical background but have neither the patience (because standards can be slow) nor the political acumen (for reading the real motivations behind the technical and procedural arguments) to participate effectively for long periods in developing a standard.  Most C-level executives who have the political understanding regarding the commercial underpinnings of participation in standards lack either the time or the technical skills to be respected by the technical participants in the standard.  This conflict in skill sets, focus, and time presents a challenge for many organizations that could otherwise benefit from early participation in the standards game.

I have the skills, focus, time, and experience.  Let me help you with your strategy, tactics, and execution.

Learn why you should play the standards game


Learn why you should play

the standards game.

Why Play?

The standards game can be quite complex, and, done the wrong way, quite expensive.

How your organization can benefit from standards involvement depends very much on the size of your enterprise.

Want to learn more? Check out Services I Offer

Are you ready to make a Standards Play?

Contact Me Now!

I provide advisory and representation services in technology standards development, particularly in the area of Web and Internet standards.

Our Services

Here are my standard services, in approximately increasing order of engagement.  There are several levels of service grouped into three tiers:
Advice, Interest Representation, and Exclusive Representation.

The three advice levels I offer are not exclusive and are not expected to introduce any conflict of interest.


Scout –

This is a single-shot service where I will find the standards that are currently or soon to be relevant to your business and give you a brain dump on the technology, the standards progress, and the politics.


Follow –

This is an ongoing service where I will follow a particular standard or standards group, including the mailing list, phone conferences, and any critical face-to-face meetings and report significant developments that will require monitoring and/or action on the part of your company (telling you when you need to pay attention).  For an additional fee, I will provide a regularly monthly report on what is happening with the standard.


Facilitate –

This is a one-shot service where I will help you learn how to get involved in the standards work yourself.  I will then help you prepare individual contributions you wish to make.  You are then responsible for contributing them and any follow-up discussion or modification.

Contribute/shepherd –

This is an ongoing service where I will write or help you write a contribution for a standards effort, submit it as mine, and then track it through the standards process, adjusting as necessary to satisfy the standard’s needs while best addressing yours.  While I can never guarantee a contribution will make it into the standard, I can guarantee that your interests are actively represented.  Note that I am not representing you, but I am taking your interest as mine and representing it myself to the best of my ability.

When representing you with either of the two services below, I WILL NOT provide Interest Representation or Exclusive Representation to any other client in this standard.  I will only provide Advice to other clients, and only after they acknowledge that I am officially representing you in this standard.

Also, both services come with guaranteed time frames after my representation ends during which I will not provide Exclusive Representation to any other client for that standard.  This means that I won’t work with you and your name to build up a standard, only to dump you the moment someone else offers me more money. Because of the substantial commitment I make at these levels, I intentionally restrict myself to having only a few such clients at a time.


Represent –

This is an ongoing service where I will use your company-provided email address and company SDO membership to actively participate in a standard on your behalf. This means that I am representing all of your company’s interests in the standard, including all of the Advice and Interest Representation services described above. Many businesses will find this a high value alternative to dedicating and training an internal engineer. Especially for a new standards participant, the time requirements alone are substantially more significant than most people realize. Don’t let the short service description fool you — this is one of the most valuable services I provide for clients.


Make you known for –

Standards activities often happen outside of the spotlight, but there is a real benefit to both small and large companies in playing this game and advertising their involvement and leadership. This is an ongoing service where I will not only represent you as above, but I will also seek out opportunities to make your company’s name known for your standardization work.  This means that I will present at relevant industry conferences, your user conferences, etc. as necessary to help your industry know that you are a key player in the development of the standard.

If you are ready to play the standards game to the fullest extent, this is the service for you.

Since all engagements are custom engagements, I can help you in many other ways as well.  Some examples are:

  • standards guidance in mergers and strategic acquisitions
  • creating a brand new standard or set of standards
  • creating a new standards body
  • creating a new industry forum to promote a standard

I’m happy to help in the most cost-effective way for your organization.  As you can see, I understand the variety of ways in which companies can participate effectively in standards.  Let’s plan a strategy that works for YOU. 

Learn More About Standards Play

Are you ready to make a standards play?

Contact Me Now!

I have proudly helped these companies play the standards game

Dan Burnett

In case you can’t tell, I am passionate about standards
My first foray into standards work was in 1999, when I went to a standards meeting to argue why what the group was doing was a terrible idea from a technical perspective.  Almost instantly I realized that a) this was going to happen whether my company participated or not, b) it would usher in new opportunities in my company’s space, and c) my company would eventually have to implement the standard anyway, so we might as well lead rather than be dragged kicking and screaming behind our competitors.  I volunteered right then to take on some work needing leadership, and I haven’t quit volunteering since. 
Global Standards Work
 You can look at my LinkedIn profile for my education and work history, but the most relevant standards info bits are here, grouped into the two main standards families that have occupied my career.  One thing that doesn’t stand out from the list below but is significant is my work with primarily Chinese and Japanese companies on SSML 1.1.  If you are located outside of North America and would like a native speaker of English to assist you in your standards work, I would love to work with you.  The standards game is a global one!
WebRTC-Related Work
VoiceXML-Related Work
 Ph.D., Computer Science & Engineering, in the area of Automatic Speech Recognition

Dan’s Travels

Check out the pictures below from Dan’s recent travels to lead workshops around the globe:





I’m happy to give you more details and more context that is relevant for YOU, so contact me now or learn more about my Code of Ethics.

Code of Ethics

Code of ethics

Clark was the one who stood out. The interview itself was nothing special, but the phone interruption was memorable. When the phone rang Bill told Clark to answer it and say that he, Bill, wasn’t in. Clark refused. When Bill insisted that Clark answer if he wanted the job, Clark answered. He then told the caller that Bill was there and handed the phone to him. Bill, furious, took the call. After hanging up, he turned to Clark and demanded to know why he had done that. Clark said, “If I will lie for you, I will lie to you.”

Ethics and integrity are a choice.  Whether in politics or in standards, one’s ability to work with others depends on how far and in what contexts one’s word can be trusted.  I play the standards game, but I play it for the long term, and that means knowing I can continue to trust and be trusted by others I work with.
The following are my guarantees to you, my client:

 I will always tell you the truth.  In particular, the moment I believe we will not succeed in something we are trying to accomplish together, I will tell you.
I will not present material with known intellectual property encumbrances without disclosure required by the relevant standards bodies, i.e., I will not knowingly support submarine patents.
 When I am acting as chair or editor for a standard, I will not violate consensus to benefit a client.  I never guarantee, sell, or rent decisions.
 When operating at an Interest or Exclusive Representation level, I will never take an action that will jeopardize my future ability to function effectively in that or any other standards group or organization purely in order to benefit a client.
 When operating at an Exclusive Representation level with my client, I will not accept any Representation or Exclusive Representation engagement in that standard with any other client, and I will always be clear on whom I am representing, both to the client I am representing and to others who hire me at the Advice levels.
 I will not accept or continue to work with clients who ask me to violate this code of ethics.

If integrity in your operations matters

to you and your customers, and it should, contact me now

…or learn more about my Pricing.

The Latest Content from Standards Play

WebRTC Standards Update #1

A WebRTC MediaStreamTrack has properties and capabilities that define it; good examples are width, height and FrameRate. An application can specify allowed ranges for a track object’s properties and get the values the browser set by using the WebRTC APIs. Think of a media source you get access to using getUserMedia(). How it is presented to the user or how…

What’s Next for WebRTC Standards?

If you are involved with WebRTC these are questions you probably ask yourself once in a while. How do I follow-up on what’s being worked on in WebRTC standard bodies? How do I know about these changes ahead of time, prepare for them and take advantage of them? Dan and I decided it is time to solve this problem for…

Building Consensus on WebRTC

I’m at the IIT RTC Conference this week in Chicago which is an excellent, no-BS conference that featured many WebRTC luminaries and one of best events I have attended in a long time. On Tuesday I moderated a panel with WebRTC contributors and ORTC promoters, Robin Raymond of Hookflash, Bernard Aboba of Microsoft, and Peter Thatcher of Google, asking many…


So what does Standards Play charge?


Every client engagement is unique, since my goal is to help you be successful in playing the standards game to accomplish your company objectives.  I am not interested in selling you hours, but rather in helping you succeed. However, I personally hate sites that never give you any idea how pricing works.  Here are some general guidelines on how I charge.

What I charge for:

  • The services listed on my services page.
  • In-person visits to your offices, your customers' offices, or any other conferences that I do not consider essential to the development of the standards under contract. Discounts are available at some of the higher engagement tiers.

All services include (i.e., no separate billing for)

  • Initial consultation and strategizing on how I can best help you in playing the standards game
  • All participation in standards mailing lists, phone calls, and in-person meetings needed to provide the service level I am providing to you. This includes:
    • travel expenses
    • standards meeting registration costs, and
    • standards body membership costs (except at Exclusive Representation levels, where you may need your own corporate membership).
  • Agreement that you can terminate any ongoing engagement at any time, with no notice.

Again, pricing is set on a customer-specific basis,

with my goal being to provide YOU the benefit of my extensive standards experience at a reasonable price.  Let’s discuss what you want to accomplish, and I will tell you plainly whether and how I can help you.



Q: Which standards organizations do you work with?
A: My experience is almost exclusively with W3C and the IETF, but I expect to add other organizations over time.
Q: I need to get something into a standard.  Can you make that happen?  
A: No one can guarantee that a particular feature or capability will be in a standard. I can either help you to write up something you submit yourself, with some general guidelines on how to increase the chances it will be considered, or I can write it up and drive it myself. All I can guarantee is that it will have a way better shot than if you write up some text and drop it into the mailing list. I am happy to refer you to people who have experience with what I've been able to accomplish.
Q:  I need help figuring out how to use standard X in my business.  Can you help with that?
A: You probably need another consultant. I specialize in helping my clients get involved early in standards to help drive them in the directions they want. I often have connections with other consultants who can help at the later stages you’re describing and am happy to make introductions.

If you have any other questions after getting this far, you might as well…


Contact Me

There is no long RFP page on my site and no chat box. There’s just a basic contact form.

WHY? Because I’m here to help you figure out and execute a strategy, not to give you stock 140 character responses. So let’s talk.  Please call, email, or fill out the short contact form below.

Send us a message

Find out how to begin your standards play today!