About Bootstrapping 0

Overview 1

Doug Engelbart coined the term bootstrapping to describe how whoever is working on developing and/or deploying new/improved tools and practices for boosting Collective IQ could use what they build to boost their own effectiveness – it's the expectation that anyone working on an important aspect of boosting Collective IQ will seriously push the envelope through their own experimentatal usage of their work product(s); it's providers using what they provide to become faster, smarter, more effective providers. Thus by definition:

  • a team or organization whose mission is improving a manufacturing or cattle ranching technique is not a candidate for bootstrapping; whereas

  • a team or organization whose mission is improving team collaboration or knowledge management technologies, innovation disciplines, or management practices is a candidate for bootstrapping if, by harnessing its own products and/or services, it is increasing its own collective IQ, becoming increasingly effective.

Bootstrapping is one of the key accelerators in Doug's powerful Bootstrapping Strategy for dramatically improving the way we work to solve important problems collectively.


Bootstrapping has multiple immediate benefits: 1b

  1. providers grow increasingly faster and smarter at

    • developing what they use – providers become their own most aggressive and vocal customer, giving themselves immediate feedback, which creates a faster evolutionary learning curve and more useful results

    • integrating results – providers are increasingly adept at incorporating experimental practices and tools of their own making, and/or from external sources, co-evolving their own work products accordingly, further optimizing usefulness as well as downstream integratability

    • compounding ROI – if the work product provides significant customer value, providers will start seeing measurable results in raising their own Collective IQ, thus getting faster and smarter at creating and deploying what they're creating and deploying – results will build like compounding interest

    • engaging stakeholders – providers experience first-hand the value of deep involvement by early adopters and contributors, blurring the distinction between internal and external participants, increasing their capacity to network beneficial stakeholders into the R&D cycle (i.e. outside innovation is built in to the bootstrapping strategy)

    • deploying what they develop – as experienced users of their own work product, providers are their own best customers engaging kindred external customers early on, deployment/feedback becomes a natural two-way flow between them

  2. customers benefit commensurately

    • end users benefit in all the ways customers benefit through outside innovation

    • additionally end users can visit provider's work environment to get a taste and even experience first hand how they've seriously innovated the way they work, not in a demo room, but in their actual work environment

    • resulting end products and services, designed by stakeholders, and rigorously co-evolved, shaken down and refined by stakeholders, should be easier and more cost-effective to implement, while yielding greater results sooner than conventionally developed products and services

Bootstrapping providers, employing this tightly coupled feedback loop with their customers, using the results of their own work in much more advanced ways than their customers, are boosting their own Collective IQ at increasingly higher rates, and thus growing ever more effective at continuously improving their own Collective IQ, while facilitating similar gains in their target end user groups, and out into the world at large. This feeding the gains in Collective IQ advancement back into the business of improving Collective IQ is the essence of bootstrapping — in other words, innovating the way we work together to solve important problems, while innovating how we innovate the way we work together, getting better at getting better at solving important problems, improving how we improve the way we work together to solve important problems. 1c

Providers who are bootstrapping, especially those who are bootstrapping as part of a larger Bootstrapping Strategy, can gain tremendous competitive advantage, becoming leading-edge contributors to the exponential improvement of Collective IQ on a global scale (coincidently broadening the market). 1d

Further Inquiry 4