Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I am not hallucinating but...

I have, in the past, had problems with company vision statements. I could never see how any
of the actions of most of the companies that I was dealing with were connected to the vision statement.

When I think about a vision I think of it as someone crawling their way through the desert and hallucinating about the oasis. And the oasis is truly beautiful; it shimmers. It is like a vision of the promised land (Cue heavenly choir).

As this vision starts to take shape is mostly coming to me as pictures of what I would like to see in the world. Somewhat like visual "User Stories". In some cases they are simple images and in other cases they are mental videos.

But all of them are about what it would look like for a user to manage their life with tools that are built to fit their life.

In the next few posts I'm going to be describing the scenarios that make up my vision (this is the moment when I really regret a lack of artistic talent) and what I think is required to make the vision a reality.

The scenarios of these visions come from real life needs. Some come from my real life as a divorced parent who has created a really effective collaboration with my ex-spouse so that we are in a partnership to raise our children that includes our current spouses and involves being aware of and working with all of the parents and kids schedules. Some come from my life as someone who devotes a great deal of time to coaching people and working with other people schedules. Some come from the people I have talked to over the years regarding their challenges in managing a busy distributed life while maintaining connections with people.

The one thing that all of these visions have in common is that the model that they are based on is much richer in connections, data types, and metadata than the typical models we see in use in most existing PIMs. To make this happen, one of the requirements will be that this data model and servers that support this data model will have to be ubiquitous. I have prototyped and experimented and I
have confirmed that I can go back and forth between a rich and hierarchical model of events to something that can be represented in an iCal format but the rich nature of the hierarchical model would be lost.

So the first underpinning of this vision is that there is a rich model that is ubiquitous.

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