Enter the Matrix, and Choose Your Path » Mind Tools Blog
Enter the Matrix, and Choose Your Path

Enter the Matrix, and Choose Your Path

August 3, 2017

© GettyImages/bulentozber

Luckily, we’re talking about the Boston Matrix – a tool to help marketing managers with product portfolio planning – not what Keanu Reeves discovered in 1999. Yeah, I’ll admit Laurence (formerly Larry) Fishburne also played his part, but in more of a business consultant role.

The type of matrix represented in the Wachowski sisters’ film is of little use when it comes to identifying such metrics as relative market share or potential market growth. But I guess it wasn’t designed to.

Yeah, we might all be locked in a virtual world that is indistinguishable from real life. It’s really hard to say, but we can’t do anything about it right now (probably). In fact, should we even care?

Back to Reality

Instead, try to identify the problems and opportunities in your business. This is a good way to give yourself a healthy dose of reality. You can use the Boston Matrix to start doing just that.

To make good business and investment decisions, you need to look beyond the current income generation of a particular product. You need to assess how they’re likely to perform in the next two years, five years, and beyond.

What is the Boston Matrix?

The Boston Matrix, also called The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix, is a simple, highly visual way to examine the likely financial performance of your products or business portfolio.

For example, which of your products has a low market share and generates little profit (a Dog)? Which of your products has higher market share, but is still seeing low growth (Cash Cow)?

Have you any Stars (high market share and high market growth) in the making? Finally, what about the business opportunities you don’t know how to handle (Problem Children)?

Easy to Understand

And I guarantee, this tool is easier to understand than The Architect scene from The Matrix Reloaded. Seriously, what was that all about? Answers on a postcard, please. And as far as we know, spoons do exist!

Your Experience

Have you any suggestions or advice on how best to use the Boston Matrix? Have you used it before? What were the results? Have your say by adding your comments in the box below.

And check out our latest infographic on the Boston Matrix here.


2 thoughts on “Enter the Matrix, and Choose Your Path

  1. Elizbeth wrote:

    mindtools.com is my first priority if i want to know something about business……..😌😌

    1. Midgie Thompson wrote:

      It is great to hear Elizbeth that we are your first place you look when you want to learn about business concepts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Please note that we reserve the right to remove comments that we feel are off-topic or offensive. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

View our Privacy Policy.


© Mind Tools Ltd, 1996-2019. All rights reserved. "Mind Tools" is a registered trademark of Mind Tools Ltd.

Click here for permissions information.