Our stealth startup’s agenda is to enable 10× more professionals to understand 10× more complex systems 10× faster.
10 × 10 × 10 = 10³ = 1000
These are not exact numbers. But it is not hubris either.
As the serial innovator on our team, I have invented and implemented 10³ improvements before:
One product, Apple DocViewer, was a youthful creation of mine before Adobe Acrobat existed. It enabled putting 25 books onto one CD-ROM. One book by itself, Inside Macintosh: Text, weighed about 5 pound, more than 2 kilogram, more than 2,000 gram. A CD only weighs 15 gram, which we verified on a scale. Times 1,000 is 15,000 gram, 15 kg. That allows an average of 0.6 kg, 1⅓ lb or 600 gram per Inside Macintosh volume to validate my claim of a 10³ improvement. Volume ratios would be similar.
If stored on hard disk or if transferred electronically, ratios for weight, space and speed could be orders of magnitude better.
My day job at that time: Macsbug engineer at Apple, the guy coding Macsbug.
Another product, MicNotePad, a software implemented no-tape recorder, I engineered and managed from conception through its entire product life 1993 ~ circa 1999. MicNotePad was designed for medical and legal dictation and transcription, and for intellectual activities, such as recording meetings and lectures, running in the background on Macintosh PowerBooks. If a person was carrying a notebook computer, it took zero extra space.
The time to jump to any clearly marked point in any length recording was as fast as a person could click. Less than a second only compares maybe 1:10² to tape runtime to rewind. Accuracy and usability may have been better, but we will magnanimously not consider those factors.
You could figure other ratios of improvement. If you count zero space, the volume and weight ratio compared to a doctor’s or academic’s traditional tape recorder is infinitely (∞) better.
More conservatively compared, on a 1999 10GB 2.5″ notebook hard disk MicNotePad at its best compression for speech using 6 MB per hour allowed to record and store more than a thousand (1,000) hours of speech audio, while leaving gigabytes for other computer uses. A 2.5″ hard disk in size compares favorably with handheld tape recorders. A common tape format for recording voice was the microcassette, with 30 minutes recording per side, for a total of one (1) hour. 10³ to 1, quod erat demonstrandum.
Onetime noted speech scientist Dr. George White wrote about other transcription software I authored it “improved the productivity of transcribers by at least a factor of three”. A triple increase of employee productivity by a single tool is outstanding, even as 3 is less than the professed 10³ of this post.
MicNotePad was implemented so well, separate NASA departments picked it for reliability and usability, over all alternatives. MicNotePad had gained the respect of some top people in the industry, although we have gone different directions since.
Was MicNotePad audio or GUI? It was both.
I started both Apple DocViewer and MicNotePad despite hearing abundant disbelief regarding their feasibility.
Humbly I acknowledge, neither would have been possible without the context of their times, neither without building on the work of others.
Time and again I make serious enterprise work “easy like consumer“.
Our new 10³ project has been an uphill sell to investors initially. On the upside:
- Our work is about people, for people, to solve a problem, a cognitive problem.
- Our work is deeply cross-disciplinary, the like of which you couldn’t foster if you planned it.
- Yours truly is a serial innovator making quality product, with a team he likes working with.
Investors who are not experienced with our boldness may be scared:
- We claim to improve things significantly, in ways never done before.
- User interface is an essential part of it. But, it is very different.
- We do hard engineering that to many is not obviously related to what others do in the problem space.
- We don’t produce marketing collateral ahead of time, as product still takes shape while we develop it.
The fearless, smart, and visionary may win where others don’t go. We invite you for a journey. Contact us.
This post writes more about myself than I feel comfortable with.