440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

April 19, 2000

03 00050 61 00041901

Mr. Michael C. Wirth, Ph.D.
Manager USR Software
User Systems Ergonomics Research
Almaden Research Center
650 Harry Road, NWE/B2
San Jose, CA 95120

Subject:   Alliance for Development
SDS, POIMS, Communication Metrics

Dear Michael,

Thanks for an informative presentation on WBI last week at SRI for Doug Engelbart's DKR project.

I am looking for a development partner to "polish" a system of computer aided thinking. I call the technology POIMS, based on experience using the Schedule Diary System (SDS).

SDS was developed beginning in about 1983. A friend, Morris Jones, one of the founders of Chips and Technologies, now with Intel after a merger in 1998, wrote a commercial editor. Over the past 15 years Morris modified the editor to provide a programming language for me, including a compiler. The design of SDS turns out to provide a significant advance on alphabet technology by adding a dimension of time to the original process of generating information.

We believe there is about one year of programming effort to create a Windows version of SDS, so the cost would likely be less than $2M. Morris is too involved with his new assignment at Intel managing a $300M communication project for him to do this work. Last year he inquired at Intel for support, and the people who reviewed our proposal thought the idea of adding intelligence to management is funny and alien. So, we need another source. A predicate to getting support, is getting an inside contact with credibility who knows how to explain KM, so it doesn't sound funny and alien.

For a nominal expense, we can surpass IBM's goals for Lotus Notes, and exceed the dreams and hopes now vested in Knowledge Management, for saving time and money.

To grasp this opportunity, requires someone comfortable with ergonomics, particularly in relation to human thinking. Your group looking at ergonomic issues, and seeking a solution to information overload, may provide a vehicle for progress. You mentioned one of the key factors in the meeting at SRI: subject management. Additionally, a special method of handling time is needed. Put these elements together in a manner that aligns with human thinking processes, and an altogether different kind of technology emerges for generating knowledge, rather than mere information.

In the 1980s, IBM gave Gates the key to the store. SDS gives IBM the chance to change the lock and reclaim the store by changing the paradigm from information to knowledge, i.e., shift the focus from an operating system for computers, to an operating system for people and organizations. That is the central idea of POIMS technology.

I contacted IBM about this idea when os2 was a factor in the market.

On November 14, 1994 IBM marketing made plans for joint development of SDS. However, a few months later IBM bought Lotus Notes for $4B believing it could perform SDS knowledge management. In 1991, Intel expected faster processors would improve management. In 1995 I contacted Intel about using SDS to accomplish this goal. At a meeting on September 27, 1995, Dave Vannier advised that Intel gave up using technology for management. The following year, Intel wanted to use pictures for management. In 1997, pictures didn't work, but Intel could not get approval to use SDS because no one could explain the advantage of adding intelligence to management. In 1998 the SDS record was ported to the Internet. Last year, Dave reviewed the Internet application, and asked Where to take it from here? So, we have one convert at Intel in 5 years. Last year, I tried to take SDS to the National Science Foundation for research money, and was turned down, because they did not have time to click on a link to discover that SDS already exists. The NSF review panel thought the proposal was all theoretical, and correctly held that I lack the credentials to develop an application. Since I created the application without credentials, NSF review may have been justified, although at this remove, clicking on a link does not seem too great an effort to discover a powerful new truth.

On February 27, 2000 a member of Doug's Colloquium group observed SDS being used and reported it is a strong KM solution. On April 3, Jack Park, a member of Doug's post-Colloquium team commented that SDS is really "slick," referring to the deliverable on the Internet. These recent comments support IBM's review in 1994 that showed SDS integrates key aspects of management. In 1997 General Hatch, former commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers explained in a report on Communication Metrics that SDS provides an intelligence function for daily management. A later report found that intelligence saves time and money.

This evidence indicates that generating knowledge through technology requires a unique process, which evidently is a secret.

My goal is to create an effective commercial product which groups, like Doug's team at SRI, can use to develop DKR applications for solving world problems, in the same manner they expect to use WBI. Creating the core capability requires commercial support for resources and focused leadership. A predicate to this is intellectual leadership that can step up and explain the difference to IBM management between information and knowledge, so that for a few pennies on the dollar invested in past initiatives, IBM can change the dominate paradigm from windows to knowledge.

In 1991 Morris and I had a pretty good idea that SDS is a unique solution, but I did not expect it to remain a secret for 10 years. The ensuing period has shown there may not be another path to accomplish knowledge management. So, while there is a lot of work to do in commercializing this capability, the opportunity will continue to build for significant advance once the forces are aligned to exploit the secret of improving the alphabet.

Please let me know if you would like to discuss this opportunity.



Rod Welch

Copy to:

  1. Morris Jones
  2. Jack Park