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RE: [ba-ohs-talk] What are we trying to accomplish?

I wrote this in response to Johannes and Eric's questions and then
decided to write more. This is about 2300 words long, so it is not a
quick read. Sorry about that.    (01)

Johannes Ernst wrote:    (02)

> I would like to add: the **benefits** of such a system. In dollars
> saved per person per day, preferably. E.g. it will increase the
> productivity of a user of class A by 5% (?) when performing task B.    (03)

Eric Armstrong wrote: 
I'm curious. Have such numbers ever been adduced for word
processors or spreadsheets? Databases?    (04)

How does one go about putting a dollar value on such things?    (05)

Mei Lin Fung: I'm going to jump in because I've worked in the area of
working out the value of investment for technology and inevitably, many
different ways emerge, just like there are many ways to get to nirvana
or your choice of spiritual destination.    (06)

In the process, I'm including some information that might help you
understand my background and it might help explain how the background
might be useful in working with Doug to bring his ideas back into the
foreground.    (07)

I end (with a longer than I intended section) with some thoughts about
what and why I'm working with Doug and the current focus I have. If you
want to participate, we have a few volunteer opportunities. If there is
something you see needs to happen and you want to make it happen, write
to me in email.    (08)

Back to valuing investment, or showing results.    (09)

The valuation approach I take is the idea of "customer lifetime value"
(CLV) or to translate into this context "user lifetime value" or
"community member lifetime value".    (010)

This primer was developed to help explain how to value investment over a
time series of events and activities. Not trying to measure investment
success in measures that are too simplistic or inadequate, by offering
an approach to incorporate more of the complexity that introducing new
technology into an organization implies. I did not invent CLV, it was
used to justify among other things all the junk mail you get today, in a
book called Database Marketing by Arthur M Hughes. What I worked on was
to help people understand that this technique is applicable for
examining technology investment, not just marketing investment.    (011)

There is a tutorial on my personal website www.isoe.com
called "Customer lifetime value" Primer. It is 3 pages long, 1 of which
is a spreadsheet (in pdf). It is included as an appendix in the book
"CRM at the Speed of Light" by Paul Greenberg.    (012)

It was written in 1998 as a supplement to a couple of papers called
Marketing Math and Marketing Math FAQ (kind of scientific marketing
engineering - based on my work experience at Oracle and Intel -
indicator-driven companies that they are). If anyone wants a copy of
those, let me know and I'll email them to you. My thinking has evolved
since 1998 and that is reflected in the papers now on the home page of
my site (written late 2000). Since then, I've got so busy trying to work
out what Doug is talking about, I've no longer concentrated on updating
my own site (yes, confessions of a website hibernator like many
others.....) I haven't stopped writing altogether. There is a recent
article of mine in www.crmguru.com "Back to the Future with
Webservices".    (013)

I went to school in Australia, ANU - where I did pure math - thesis was
on differential game theory. Joined Shell Australia as a macro assembler
programmer (worked on precursor to the mini computer 8100, called I
think the 3790 - we debugged on a mainframe and it downloaded assembler
to the machine, 3 registers, 3 indicators, 3x128 byte buffers - we were
very excited to get to 6 registers!) Moved on after 2 years to work as
an operations research analyst in their Corporate Planning Dept.
"Operated" worked on/analyzed discounted cash flow models for the
Woodside 25 year $8B Northwest shelf gas exploration project. Was
trained in Shell's scenario planning approach - very useful in planning
complex multi-faceted long term projects.    (014)

Came to the US in 1982 to MIT to do my MBA - discovered modern finance
theory, and studied under the guys doing the pioneering work in Options
pricing (the differential game theory work was helpful in understanding
this) Moved to work for Intel for 5 years then Oracle for 5 years. Now
working on my own including about half or more of my time on Bootstrap
Alliance initiatives. The rest of the time, I work with 1 or 2 startup
companies a year, on strategy, positioning and doing fund
raising-introductions.     (015)

(Side note: While at Oracle I spent more time than I wanted on the
licensing issues related to runtime, full use, sell thru ..... for
resellers and integrators:  years working with the legal department
trying to understand how to make it work for all the people involved,
VAR's, end users, end customers. With the advent of ISP's and ASP's, I
think the licensing model has a way to go in its evolution and I'm not
sure working with today's licensing building blocks to such detail helps
a lot when the software development/delivery model is in such a state of
flux.     (016)

Side note to the Side note: Open Source and Free software - Doug has
certain goals he wants to achieve for the OHS, from what I can see they
don't neatly fit into a current licensing category, there seems only one
way to work out what he's talking about and that is to engage in
extensive dialogue about what he is trying to do, and why he is trying
to do it. There are no short cuts that I can see that might make it
feasible to lump everything in a single term like "open source" or "gpl"
or "apache" and then decide that THAT is what Doug is talking about.    (017)

It lies in his idea that he doesn't want people to patent the "nouns"
and "verbs" of the new language - he doesn't want to get to dead ends
where proprietary considerations take whole pathways out of
consideration. Beyond that, it is necessary to go into the specific
details. Proprietary and Opensource and Free are not a 1-dimensional
spectrum. I can't see what "shape" Doug needs to articulate here. We
need an entire exploration of this topic recorded in a DKR. End of side
note to the side note.    (018)

I'm personally very receptive to the "software as a utility" model,..
but I am completely open to see where it all goes as it evolves and
develops and what model makes the most sense economically, practically
and legally. All the problems have really not been surfaced yet, it's
too early to leap to a solution for the OHS and OHS applications. End of
Side note)    (019)

At Oracle we developed what I think was an early DKR for sales and
marketing - this was the actual prototype of the thing called CRM
software this was in 1989. Tom Siebel hired me from Intel to work as his
division controller and moonlight on the skunkworks project OASIS. The
team that built and used OASIS was an incredible high performance team.
How much that had to do with the DKR, it is really hard to say. They
talk about "flow" that happens when a team is humming - I experienced
that for 2 years. It was great.    (020)

In a lot of ways, why I'm working with Doug is that in his ideas I see
how the principles he articulate help to explain what happened in the
high performance team experience I had. Why is this important to me? Why
is this important now?    (021)

I think we stand at a cross roads in which people have to take a stand
about what kind of society we want to help to build. On one fork we have    (022)

A. Automation-centric: a cyber-society - simulacra - Matrix, Blade
Runner type society (did anyone read the article in the NY Times today
about this?)    (023)

B. Human-centric: a civil society - in which we identify the highest
human goals and aspirations and harness technology to achieve them.    (024)

Needless to say, the second is both the worthier and much harder goal.     (025)

That's why we need to paddle hard in that direction, away from the
danger zone. The second goal is not going to happen by accident. Doug is
talking about why it is critical that we enable high performance teams
because these teams are what are required to get out of the danger zone,
to move us in direction toward the civil society aspiration, against all
the forces lined up against this.    (026)

This is what Doug has been talking about for over 50 years, and what he
is trying to do is to suggest the principles required for working to
achieve the second goal.     (027)

I'm working with him actively on the launch of Bootstrap Alliance, which
we aim to have in operation by 2003. We are recruiting charter
communities who have their own purposeful agendas yet recognize they
need to invest in collective improvement co-evolution and development -
both organizational, individual (human system) and technology (tool
system). These communities have to be ready to invest substantial time
and long term effort toward the common goal. They will be hard to find,
and most likely are already looking for a Bootstrap Alliance type of
organization - working purposefully on improving their capabilities and
their capabilities to improve. If you know of any, let me know, and let
me know if you know someone key and influential in that group.    (028)

The software is only one piece of Doug's vision, the co-evolution of
human and tool systems requires the establishment of "bootstrapping
communities" working together to use the software and define what is the
next piece useful to it. We are "bootstrapping" Bootstrap by having the
initial communities be ones that can be called upon to help fund the
development effort, both on a community development level as well as
software development.    (029)

I've expressed the following thoughts privately and thought it might be
time to say it on the list. These are my thoughts. They do not represent
CPC direction, we are thinking about this. On the software development
side:    (030)

What I have found is that he needs a technical person to take the time
to really sit and listen and dialogue with him to a degree that is
almost impossible for most creative technical people (whose heads are
really full of their own ideas about what he is talking about, there
seems to be no space for Doug's actual ideas. It doesn't help of course
that he is talking about things that involve paradigm shift in might not
be in widespread use for 10-20 years.) I am committed to recruiting
people to have that dialogue under conditions that most conducive for
Doug to express his ideas. This has emerged as the only way to try and
get his ideas out while we have a chance to get them. Ignoring him is
not the way to go. Debating him to convince him of a different direction
other than the one he has been pursuing for over 50 years will sap
precious time and energy.    (031)

Once/as the road map is written, I see more productive engagement with
BA by those in the OHS community who are interested in doing this, to
develop applications/tools/plug-ins that can be fitted together within
the OHS framework which would already have been adopted and in use by
the charter communities and hopefully an expanding group of purposeful
communities interested in DKR's and the OHS. This provides a natural
audience/market for any new software that plugs into the OHS framework.
Also for services and solutions that extend, enhance or support the OHS.
This does not in any way prevent the OHS community from self-organizing
separate projects apart from BA. It would be nice to always explore the
possibility of synergy.    (032)

The only way to make abstract ideas concrete is not to talk around and
around, but to actually work with them and see what happens. I hope you
can understand this approach, it is the only way I know how to work.    (033)

People who have been in Doug's orbit sometimes feel they understand
fully the problem and what needs to be done. Often that seems to involve
putting Doug on the shelf so that he stops making these troublesome
remarks that people can't understand.    (034)

This is to do him a disservice, that's my opinion. He is not at a place
in his life where he wants to debate his ideas and plans, they have been
the product of 51 years of thinking. He just wants to do it and to work
with people that want to do it.  What he wants to do has been outlined
in the OHS Launch Plan for the hyperscope, BI2120.
http://www.bootstrap.org/augment/BI/2120.html    (035)

This document is what we're working off to create the road map and
software and I'm spending a ton of time working out how to get this
specific, purposeful thing that Doug wants to do, funded. That's my
topmost priority.    (036)

Right now, if you want to help, I hope you don't mind if I mention
interesting ways for you to keep closer in touch with what we are doing
in BA to move forward with Doug's ideas and what you might do to help to
make it happen sooner and reduce the risk of failure - two volunteer
positions we could discuss are:    (037)

1. Website "sandbox" development environment - Technical lead
2. Master of the List Serve universe - as we host more discussion
groups, we need to standardize the technical setup and develop community
rules guidelines.
3. OHS Community Lead to liaise with the CPC - keep the community
communications channels open, be the community advocate to the CPC.
Write a Bootstrap Alliance update to the OHS list once a month. Give the
community update to the CPC once a month.    (038)

Your fellow volunteer    (039)

Mei Lin Fung    (040)