THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: October 21, 1994 10:43 AM Friday;
Visited Steve at A.I. Systems; demonstrated SDS and explained POIMS.
3...Voice Data Entry
.....Investing Intellectual Capital
.........Feel Good Management - Slippery Slope to Murphy's Law
4...Spreadsheet for Knowledge
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0201 - A. I. Systems, Inc. 801 363 6119 fax 6125
020101 - Mr. Steve Peterson; President
SDS Marketing, Demonstrations
Support for Product Development, Windows Version
0705 - ..
0706 - Summary/Objective
070701 - Followed up work at ref SDS 7 line 31. Explained principals of POIMS
070702 - and the SDS product. Demonstrated SDS in the afternoon and discussed
070703 - prospects of AI Systems supporting development of a Windows version of
070704 - SDS. Steve will consider this further and submit comments on this
070705 - opportunity.
070707 - Submitted ref DIT 1 line 30 confirming these understandings. Included
070708 - POIMS documents.
0710 - Discussion
071101 - Steve's firm, A.I. Systems, Inc., seems to have develop Autocad
071102 - applications for Windows. I explained my interest in finding an
071103 - organization to create a Windows version of SDS.
071105 - Mentioned the PMI conference in Vancouver, ref SDS 3 line 39.
071107 - Steve asked how POIMS was received?
071109 - I indicated the requests for follow up per, ref SDS 3 line 68.
071112 - Steve asked me to come by at 1600 to show SDS to him and a colleague.
0714 - 1500 Demonstration
071501 - Showed the basic SDS features. Steve seems mildly interested in
071502 - creating an SDS Windows program. He likes the idea of using Windows
071503 - programming features to implement the SDS design of organizing all
071504 - information to produce "knowledge," and providing instant structured
071505 - access to that knowledge, regardless of which program is used to
071506 - create the initial information.
071509 - Programming Outsourcing
071511 - Steve feels some programing can be accomplished off-shore. He has
071512 - worked successfully with Chinease firms on prior projects, and feels
071513 - they may be able to produce the needed code at reduced cost. His
071514 - Chinease hosts gave him a tour of the Great Wall. He feels programing
071515 - support is also available in India. This would reduce the cost of
071516 - creating Windows code with supervision from the US.
071520 - Voice Data Entry
071522 - Voice data entry would greatly facilitate the acceptance of this type
071523 - of tool, especially for the executive support market. I explained
071524 - research with IBM at ref SDS 2 line 171.
Managers Fear They Don't Know What to Write
Not Enough Time to Write More
SDS Used alot, Like a Truck Driver Drives a
Consistent Use of Good Practice Needs
Short Cuts on Sound Management Practice
Slippery Slope Ignoring/Deleting Record,
SDS Supports Effective Executive Work
151001 - ..
151002 - Investing Intellectual Capital
151004 - Steve asked how much time I spend entering the record. I indicat-
151005 - ed it depends upon the importance of the issues. This is a common
151006 - concern, as seen by similar questions at PMI Conference, per the
151007 - record on 941017. ref SDS 4 0000 I have learned from experience
151008 - that more time spent writing in SDS, makes me more productive, the
151009 - way a pilot uses an airplane to more passengers and freight, SDS
151010 - technology produces more knowledge and ideas, and this means less
151011 - time correcting mistakes and greater rewards from discovering
151012 - critical nuance that is overlooked in the rush to embrace the
151013 - "Information Highway."
151015 - ..
151016 - Feel Good Management - Slippery Slope to Murphy's Law
151018 - Wayne Wetzel expressed frustration in our discussion yester-
151019 - day, about the legal system and poor performance of experi-
151020 - enced project management firms like Tudor Engineers and Voith
151021 - Hydro to carry out their contracts on the Broadwater Dam
151022 - project, ref SDS 5 line 81.
151024 - I believe management failures mostly arise from taking short
151025 - cuts aimed at "expediting" the work, rather than a deliberate
151026 - effort to cheat or even a lack of management skills. It is a
151027 - slippery slope to convince oneself and an entire organization
151028 - that not applying good management practice, "fudging" on
151029 - contract provisions, and not capturing the record are the same
151030 - as "expediting." Good intentions in combination with lack of
151031 - perspective about the value of history, lead to seemingly
151032 - minor breakdowns on the Information Highway. Cumulative
151033 - breakdowns that are not corrected, lead to tactical ignorance
151034 - and later insidious coverups. Gradually good people are led
151035 - inexorably to disasterous ends, see also ref SDS 8 line 186.
151037 - [See example on Corps of Engineers project, ref SDS 9
151038 - line 128.]
151040 - The only solution is to role the record over into controll-
151041 - able action items with SDS, so that the work we do and the
151042 - decisions taken, are adequately informed. Therefore, Invest-
151043 - ing intellectual capital is not an "extra step" that takes
151044 - "extra time", but rather is the essence of a manager's job to
151045 - convert information into knowledge.
151047 - SDS works because it automates the implementation of sound
151048 - management practice. It makes it faster to capture the record
151049 - and gain essential understanding of facts and implications, so
151050 - objectives of time and cost can be attained. This is the
151051 - reward of writing in the record, as I am doing now.
151053 - SDS is Faster than
151054 - Traditional Methods
151056 - I shared the discussion with the attendant at the museum
151057 - of history where we visited this afternoon. SDS takes
151058 - much less time to capture the record, than was needed by
151059 - the painter who captured the history of the Mormon trek
151060 - West to establish a great community next to Salt Lake, ref
151061 - SDS 7 line 75.
151064 - Steve feels that many prospective customers will find the rewards of
151065 - history and integrated scheduling and reporting, difficult to grasp in
151066 - advance of gaining experience with SDS, and therefore, voice data
151067 - entry will make SDS more attractive by making it easier to acquire the
151068 - skills of POIMS technology.
151070 - I agree. SDS with voice data entry and a Windows GUI will be a strong
151071 - product.
151074 - Spreadsheet for Knowledge
151076 - I showed how SDS integrates the concepts of Wordprecessing and
151077 - Spreadsheets, to create a new and better tool to convert information
151078 - into knowledge, as explained in the papers on POIMS technology, ref
151079 - OF 1 line 198.
170501 - Market Potential
170503 - SDS can ride the wave of recognition of wordprocessing and spreadsheet
170504 - products which dominate PC application sales, to steer this vast pool
170505 - of customers to a better future. People who use wordprecessing will
170506 - more and more feel the pressure from E-Mail, meetings and calls to
170507 - find a better way to capture and retrieive information. SDS is the
170508 - only logical solution for this natural progression along the tech-
170509 - nology curve. Additionally, SDS can bring a large new group of users
170510 - into the market: managers and executives. This market is still using
170511 - pen and paper to take notes. But, like the engineer at Intel, they
170512 - long for a way to use automation to perform their work (see review at
170513 - ref SDS 1 line 203.
170515 - David Vineer says holding up a notepad: This is my laptop, today.
170516 - I'm looking for something that replaces this. This is it. This
170517 - is what I want. When I can do everything that I can do with this
170518 - pad of paper and this pen, I might be happy. That means being able
170519 - to tear things out and hand them to my secretary. It means being
170520 - able to draw pictures, it means being able to put in text, it
170521 - means being able to keep my calendar, and everything else. This
170522 - is my calendar. So, this is how I live, and this is what I'm
170523 - looking to replace. If you can imagine this is a laptop, this in
170524 - electronics, that's how I can account for 15 million transistors.
170525 - Now what do I do past that? I guess I can start talking to it.
170526 - (Byte April 11, 1991 "A Talk with Intel.")
170528 - SDS can make this dream come true.
170531 - Marketing Strategy
170533 - Steve offered ideas about marketing SDS through established organiza-
170534 - tions like Franklin Day Timer or Wordperfect after creating the
170535 - Windows product. He feels that it is more difficult to launch a new
170536 - product today than 10 years ago, because larger firms can produce a
170537 - similar product and then take over the market. We considered the
170538 - prospects of moderating this risk, by strategic release of SDS
170539 - features over an extended period, rather than include all of the
170540 - features in the initial release. The fact that new users require a
170541 - period of time to absorb levels of application, before they bump into
170542 - the need for certain features, enhances the viability of this concept.
170544 - Gave Steve a copy of the SDS brochure.
170546 - Follow Up
170548 - I will send him a copy of the POIMS article. He plans to discuss this
170549 - opportunity with colleagues, and will then submit a letter setting out
170550 - his initial ideas about proceeding with the project.
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