Competition from Busyplan and OHS Planning

From: Rod Welch (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 01:46:35 PDT


Thanks for your letter today disclosing important new knowledge tools, and for
thoughtful review (see below).

Examination of the link you provided, showed another link...

...which says in part...

                       We want to empower individuals and organizations with
                       Internet tools that make the collection, communication,
                       collaboration of Web data, efficient. We build software
                       takes you on a beeline to the information you need by
                       turning disparate Web information into a visual package
                       personalized knowledge. Essentially, we've taken a detour
                       from the status quo and created a new plan.

Planbee, also, helps put the competitive into your competitive intelligence.

Off hand it is not clear how this effort relates to OHS planning to enhance
email reported by Grant Bowman on 001012, and Sheldon on 001010.

Perhaps these are complimentary efforts. Can you clarify?

For example, a core issue is what constitutes "knowledge" and how does Planbee
help generate and manage it. Indeed, what does it mean to "manage" knowledge
once a useful definition of "knowledge" is developed? Eric Armstrong cited this
core issue on 000208, following a letter on 000120. On 000210 he related an
insight occurred while driving back from Doug's presentation during the
Colloquium at Stanford. On 000221 Jack Park explained ontology, which Eric
later characterized as categories, based on work by Traction. Jack reported
that ontologies lead to a Pandora's box of complexity. More recently concerns
about using links in email have been voiced, grounded in part on a desire to
avoid complexity.

Within this ferment, what does the Planbee ThoughtShare communication system do?

How might Planbee solve huge needs cited on 000927, or, for example to create an
OHS and DKR system? What about reading a book, attending a meeting, getting the
car fixed, or making sure the units of measure for trajectory align with project
requirements so that the space probe goes into the proper orbit around Mars, or
that the doctor operates on the hip that is having difficulty, rather than the
one that is okay? These are everyday issue that come with cost implications
ranging from a few hundred dollars to billions?

Eric and Eugene have identified an important ingredient that may not have
received enough attention by the team: in order for Planbee and other OHS tools
to help people you have to use the tools. Since everyone is using email it
seems pretty logical to make it the center piece of OHS. Planbee seems to use
the same logic to say that since everyone is using a browser and the Internet,
make that the core of "knowledge" stuff, whatever that might be. Both ideas
seem to head in a useful direction of creating tools to support what everybody
is doing a lot.

This leads to the idea of "intelligence," which Planbee maintains enhances
competitive standing, and which OHS and DKR aim to augment, as set out in the
record on 000423, and others. Intelligence is another word for thinking, at
least we like to think so, and hope that everybody does this a lot. You
highlight this idea in the subject of your letter, but I could not gather how
Planbee accomplishes intelligence. Possibly pilot testing would disclose the
answer, and indicate cost savings as well. However, you seem doubtful they will
get a lot of users. Why? Might it be that it takes a few days, even months of
pilot testing to discover big cost savings, but people can only afford 20
minutes to an hour for pilot testing, so we are walled off, i.e., forced to
ignore, the knowledge needed to make an effective review, because there is not
enough time?

The empowerment feature of Planbee seems to align with the call by Paul Fernhout
and Grant Bowman for Open Source production to commence without wasting
valuable time on exhaustive planning, since a lot of synergy comes from people
producing the things they want, rather than following a design. The team
actually has several models to guide open source production. Eric's specs have
many useful features, including categories; Doug's topology and lens system
being developed by Sheldon seems promising for implementing the Augment NLS
criteria; Traction, and now Planbee provide ideas for useful knowledge tools,
along with Squeak and Zwiki. This powerful foundation expedites progress called
out by Eugene's letter on 000928.

My sense from the project record is to focus on solving the complexity problem
flowing from ontology and links, i.e., ignorance cannot be the deliverable for

Also, education and a new work role need consideration.


"N. C a r r o l l" wrote:
> This is one of many, many similar products hitting the market.
> (This one has a one-week front page promo with ZDNet.)
> "When it comes to keeping track of your favorite sites on the Web,
> PlanBee
> makes browser bookmarks look positively Neolithic. With PlanBee, not
> only
> can you automatically bookmark any or all sites you visit, you can also
> bundle up those sites into buzPAKs, creating collections of related
> info.
> Transform your buzPAKs into tours so you can follow a predefined route
> through a series of sites; add comments, notes, and even file
> attachments;
> and tailor your buzPAKs by filtering out ads or donning an alternative
> look
> via skins. Once you're satisfied with the result, you can replay a
> buzPAK
> at any time or share it via email. Requirements: Internet Explorer 4 or
> 5,
> Netscape Navigator 4.7x or earlier, and Windows 9x, NT, 2000, or ME."
> Sequence, link packaging, attachments, compatability, annotation, views
> .... does this sound familiar (if 30 years after the fact)?
> Fortunately it's not open source, so in theory it will die a bitter
> death under the boot of Microsoft.
> On the other hand, the next offering might be open source.
> Nicholas
> --
> ______________________________________________________
> Nicholas Carroll
> Email:
> Alternate:
> ______________________________________________________

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