Since Carlos and I left Fico, we have been asked many times what we were up to. We took long hikes to figure out exactly what we were looking for. We knew about our passions and the fact we wanted to help change the face of this world in any way we could.
Like Candide in Voltaire’s satire, we have been considering the state of the world — in our case as it relates to the Decision Management market — and came up with the same conclusion as the novel’s hero:
We need to cultivate our garden
The conclusion of the book remains somewhat enigmatic; parties still disagrees as the true message Voltaire wanted to communicate with this satire he released anonymously. Without lacking any bit of respect for Voltaire’s acclaimed work, we differ in our journey in the sense that we are very clear about the outcome — we would not let our audience wondering where we are trying to get at –, and of course, we do not need to hide under false identity.
I must admit too that we did not experience the same level of misery as Candide, although we saw over the past 15-20 years a lot of goodness as well as ugliness that this market carries (like any market of course). Ironically similar to the Lisbon earthquake mentioned in the book, we also witnessed — fortunately remotely — terrible earthquakes that devastated Haiti as well as Chile. Those tragedies touched us personally — for those that do not know, Carlos is originally from Chile –, and motivated us to be more engaged both in helping the world get better as citizens and in helping the world make progress from a technology perspective.
So what does it mean to “cultivate our garden”? Please do not think, like some, that the conclusion is about pessimism. Granted we are not pure optimists, we both have a very strong sense of realism. Carlos and I have had a chance to make the technology evolve from Expert Systems to Rules to Business Rules to Decision Management (for some time as competitors to each other). We have had a chance to see what was working and wasn’t. I am not just talking about a successful market but more importantly about the discipline. We strongly believe that Decision Management technologies can help people — individuals and businesses –, make better decisions. We believe that better decisions are a consequence of more educated decisions. Technology is a component of this whole decision-making discipline. Knowing what to do with the technology is an even greater component.
What exists today is great but it is not enough. Not enough to make a substantial difference is the world’s history because it remains available to too few people. The technology is:
- Too complicated: it requires experts to set it up and leverage it, and very few real experts exist…
- Too expensive: who can afford to build custom solutions of that level of complexity?
“Cultivating our garden” is about being the care-takers of the Decision Management market in some way. We believe that this discipline can expand and yield better decisions for everyone if we take the weed out and nurture it. The way we have been interpreting this analogy is we need to foster an ecosystem that helps remove the barriers to adoption, an ecosystem that can make this kind of technology a lot more affordable to everyone. In practical terms, “cultivating our garden” translates into a stream of activities targeted at nurturing the ecosystem:
- We have launched the Sparkling Logic community to enable practitioners to interact and get better educated on the subject
- We have opened the community to all: practitioners, vendors and consultants — we love that experts and newcomers with heterogeneous background can exchange their own perspective in a neutral unbiased environment — we will not tolerate blatant advertisement though
- We are committed to tracking and inviting the thought-leaders on each topic… We are thrilled to have attracted so far Charles Forgy, the original inventor of the Rete algorithm, Carlos of course, the original architect of the Blaze Advisor product, Changhai Ke, the original architect of the ILOG (now IBM) Rules product line, Jacob Feldman, renown expert and passionate advocate of the Optimization market, and more… I want to thank them again personally for the honor.
- We will come up over time with more materials to help community members get educated with crash courses on the subject and expert topics
Our determination is fueled by our passion for Decision Management and a deep feeling that we can improve the world, not just “better” technology, that would be egocentric, but because of what its usage can bring: enabling smart cities, encouraging a healthy economy by empowering smaller businesses, and improving social conditions by reducing the cost of and improving the quality of decisions.
With Sparkling Logic, we are starting a more responsible kind of business. It is our commitment. It is our passion. It is our belief.
Learn more about Decision Management and Sparkling Logic’s SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager