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

Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 21:59:13 -0700

03 00050 61 99102502

Mr. William A. Benkavitch
19 Whaleship Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94111

Subject:   Peter Drucker's Article: Beyond the Information Revolution
Gutenberg Most Important Advance in Millennium

Dear Bill,

The article in Atlantic Monthly by Peter Drucker provided in your letter today is somewhat interesting because when I talked to Drucker about 5 years ago he was 91, or so, and could barely speak. A year or so later he appeared on a broadcast in his honor, and only took a few questions, and his answers were helped by a colleague. The writing in this article is strong, so hopefully it reflects renewed vigor. But it may have been penned by his people at Claremont.

The article reflects Drucker's prior work on the concept of a knowledge worker, that adds value by growing intellectual capital rather than relying on physical effort. His book "Management Tasks, Responsibilities..." recounts how grandfather probably worked harder than we do today, but produced less by an order of magnitude, because knowledge adds more value than brawn.

Drucker's article today makes a single passing reference to the prospect that human cognition is the proper target for applying technology usefully for the knowledge worker. No clue is offered on how to do this or what it might mean. I think he recognizes email is not the answer, but did not notice an express reference to the vacuousness of email, which I am contributing to now just in order to have fun with the troops. He spends a good deal of space recounting the benefits of Gutenberg's printing press, but does not tie that seminal intellectual advance into a call for using today's technology in a markedly different way in order to leverage human cognition.

Again, my discussion with Drucker was very limited, and using technology to add "intelligence" to management is harder to grasp, that using it as a bill board to sell things. So, it is understandable that greater attention is given to sales than to "intelligence."

Drucker makes little mention of information overload that constrains production needed to fill the orders of burgeoning e-commerce, cited as the driving force of the future.

What did you draw from the article?





Rod Welch

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  1. Armstrong, Ross
  2. Buoncristiani, Esq., Dave
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  4. Henmi, Denis
  5. Jones, Morris E.
  6. Laundauer, Ph.D., Tom
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  8. Malvini, Merrill
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  10. Utzurrum, Patty
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  12. Welch, Millie
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