screenshot of Doug 1968 using hypermedia Prototyping the fast, flexible organi­za­tion of the future, begin­ning with experi­mental teams and net­worked initiatives
Watch Doug demonstrate the basics in his epic 1968 demo

Historic Firsts:
For Team Work 0

Doug Engelbart is perhaps best known for his ground­breaking technological firsts from the 1960s, such as inventing the computer mouse and delivering what became known as the "Mother of All Demos," as foundations for modern computing.

However the real target of his research was first and foremost to prototype the organization of the future. The technology was all in the service of that. Here's how he framed it in 1962:

Man's population and gross product are increasing at a considerable rate, but the complexity of his problems grows still faster, and the urgency with which solutions must be found becomes steadily greater in response to the increased rate of activity and the increasingly global nature of that activity. [...]
By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble.

The point of greatest leverage would be in equipping the teams, initiatives and organizations working on the toughest problems with the most enabling tools and processes possible. The first pilot projects would be enabling experimental teams and networked initiatives, and the first would be enabling the team(s) developing the enabling tools and processes.

See Also 3

  Image of Historic Firsts chart Click to visit Historic Firsts Highlights

Explore the Web 3a

  • Visit Historic Firsts - for a bird's eye view of Doug Engelbart's many other groundbreaking innovations.
  • Visit Doug's Vision for Humanity - among those Historic Firsts, this describes the larger context of his work.
  • Visit Doug's Great Demo: 1968 - brings to life his early accomplishments with archive footage, photos, fun facts, story, and retrosectives (aka the "Mother of All Demos" – snippets shown above).

From Doug's Lab 3b

From the Press 3c