Extending humans with technology

Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth. – Archimedes

Systems today are often too complex and difficult to use.

Waves of technological progress have come and gone. First came the mainframe. Good at processing high volumes of transactions requiring often tedious (to humans) calculations or categorization of data, they provided little benefit to the humans who used them. It’s telling that people who used these systems were called operators or data entry clerks. They served the machine.

Next came ERP systems like Oracle Applications, Baan, and SAP. Over the years these systems have become very sophisticated and complex and integrate the end-to-end processes of companies from order entry, through procurement and manufacturing, inventory control, shipping, and accounts payable/receivable. Good at bridging organizational silos and making data and material flow through a company transparent, they are extremely complex to use. They do not integrate with human behaviours and practices. Humans integrate with and adapt to them. Rather than allowing individuals to be more they often result in frustration and reduced effectiveness.

We are getting closer to the ‘human age’ although both feet still rest in the ‘information age’. Systems are getting better at adapting to us. We can speak commands and text into a smartphone with natural language and without voice training. We physically interact with devices; touching, swiping, speaking to, and moving them. They are starting to make us as individual humans more effective by becoming increasingly less monolithic and more purpose-driven.

Our goal is to search out and design human-centric architectures and interfaces for individuals and businesses.

Archimedes said that given a place to stand [and a fulcrum] he could move the earth. Technology today and in the near future will enable us to accomplish far more as individuals than we thought possible.

While the singularity hasn’t arrived it is drawing nearer.

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