|Posted on 14 June, 2017 at 17:20|
Gordon Butte CEO and CTO, Decision Partners: Cognitive Science Systems and inventor of the Mental Modeling Technology Platform was interviewed in June 2017 by Dyna Vink for a series of blog posts.
Dyna: Let’s pick up from where we left off in our conversation. So, you’ve been busy developing Mental Modeling Technology Platform, a technology released in 2016 to a first stage value network, since 1990. And now you’re setting sites on changing the world for the better in a hurry? How goes it?
Thanks for asking without laughing. (Laughs). Actually, it seems to be going quite well. We are ahead of schedule and under budget. Amazing to think we are in the second half of 2017 already.
Closing on the first stage value network in December 2016 was an important event. One reason was that experienced professionals and business people carefully evaluated MMTP as a technology and an opportunity, and only after deliberation decided to take it on. We didn’t sell anyone on anything.
Another reason was it was a signal to many people that something quite unexpected and potentially very disruptive might be going on. So, others have started to pay attention. A third reason was it demonstrated the very real phenomenon in technology of rapid growth via the network effect, that is, users of the technology rapidly attract new users at a scaling pace that, enabled by the Internet, can reach exponential proportions surprisingly fast.
[An external value network consists of those people and other interactions which lay outside of the business in question; these can include customers, users, business intermediaries, business partners, stakeholders, suppliers, etc. We know, almost instinctively, that networks hold value. Human beings are by nature social creatures and our own social networks (not just those online) provide a framework for our behaviors and structure to our lives. Yet, the value of networks in business is often overlooked. (Interaction Design Foundation)]
We had our first meeting of investors May 10 in Pittsburgh to unveil plans for creating a business system for MMTP capable of scaling fast. As of mid-June, the primary components of that system are in place.
Dyna: What components are those?
First, a simple network design that can grow unconstrained wherever it takes root geographically, and from those root points concurrently.
The design has three interconnected parts. First of course, there’s the source of unique technology. That’s Decision Partners: Cognitive Science Systems with Mental Modeling Technology Platform.
The value network – one we call a CVN for “collaborative value network” - grows and is supported by the second component, an operations and business support unit.
In any geography, these CVNs are built and managed by independent, entrepreneurial professionals – we call them “Hub Leaders”. All the participants in the CVNs and the Hub Leaders are interconnected via business social networks and the Internet. We don’t have to build the next LinkedIn or ResearchGate.
Third, and perhaps most exciting, is an online knowledge management system for MMTP accessible by any registered user of our software, anywhere in the world.
The system basically hosts all the intellectual property produced by application of MMTP anywhere and much basic research. In this way, the knowledge management system is a pipeline to the latest advancements in the behavioral sciences, and the new knowledge produced by their application worldwide.
[“To scale, at first you do things that don’t scale. And you don’t start with a million users. You start with just a few.” (Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn).]
We seeded it with the body of knowledge developed by Decision Partners over the course of more than 27 years of application internationally. And we expect, like the network, the body of knowledge will grow exponentially.
Dyna: Sounds simple enough. But the whole thing can be tough to get your head around. What’s been your experience engaging with people on MMTP?
(Laughs) Many, many years of frustration punctuated by some memorable flashes of the obvious.
When you say, “mental models” many people say “Oh yeah, mind mapping. I’ve got the software.” Ah, no. Or they might say “You mean mindset and message maps”. Ah, no again.
And showing a busy looking influence diagram turns out to be a real turn off. Quite a number of up-to-that-point promising new business discussions have halted abruptly doing that.
More recently, when asked what I do I’ve been saying “I have a patented technology for better understanding and influencing human judgement, decision making and behavior”. Then I mostly get the Mother treatment.
Dyna: What’s that?
You know, when you first learned about the time/space continuum and tried to explain it to your Mother, she gives you that look and says, “That’s nice, dear”.
[ Space-time is a mathematical model that joins space and time into a single idea called a continuum. This four-dimensional continuum is known as Minkowski space. Combining these two ideas helped cosmology to understand how the universe works on the big level (e.g. galaxies) and small level (e.g. atoms)].
Dyna: But some people get it.
Yes. And that’s a lot of fun. When I say that, some people – mostly those who are actually listening – will repeat themselves. “What do you do?” Then I repeat myself, with slower pacing and a new ending, “I have a patented technology for understanding and influencing human judgement, decision making and behavior. Works on any topic”.
Then they go blank for a second but you can see that they are processing. Then they say, “Well, if you can do that, that would mean you could……..” then they rattle off three or four major issues or topics. Then I say, “Yep. Now what would you go to work on with it?” Then, you’re off into a very productive and usually quite enjoyable conversation.