Re: Plan in Advance

James Rogers (
Mon, 02 Dec 1996 10:13:16 -0800

At 10:32 AM 12/2/96 -0600, you wrote:
>> I'm just curious, but has any extropian or group of extropians
>> started a company devoted to developing extropian technologies (or for that
>> matter, started any company at all)? This might not only advantageous to
>> the extropian "cause", but it might be profitable as well.
>> -James Rogers
>I'm about to try and do something like this "in my spare time." (yes, I know
>that sounds ridiculous.) I have a friend who is working in business ("making
>deals" for a small telecom.) who has a variety of contacts with people at the
>business end of various enterprises. We both have a physics background (he
>has a B.A. in physics and I'm about to recieve an M.S.) Neural nets and
>genetic algorithms are interests of mine, so we're going to try and use his
>business experience and our combined technical knowledge to pass ourselves
>off as consultants for using neural nets for data mining for business
>applications. That certainly seems like a fairly extropian area of technology
>to me, even if it doesn't necessarily involve the immediate creation of
>anything new.
>Anything useful (or negative) anybody has to say starting such an enterprise
>would be appreciated.
>jake costello

This is a possibly profitable enterprise, but it will be very difficult to
get the initial clients. Most parties interested in this may be too large
to use consultants who don't already have a solid reputation. You might
consider building a reputation in a related or similar but much more general
field and then kind of slide into the data mining business. For example,
consider doing database integration and building intelligent integration
tools. This is a good general consulting business that should generate a
study stream of business if handled properly. Then after you have
established yourselves as intelligent integration specialists, you can "rub
off" some of your reputation on a data mining aspect. Also, you might
consider developing a data mining product or tool and promote it
shamelessly. This could boost your image as consultants if the product is
good. A single trivial, but unique, product has made a lot of companies.

This is essentially what I do. My company does a steady (and growing)
business of database integration, intelligent development tools, and
commerce software for a fairly impressive array of companies. Since I have
a steady income generated from an existing business clientele, it allows me
to spend some of my time doing the research and development for whatever
projects I deem fit. This way, I am always able to pay the rent, and when I
come up with new products they are always well received on reputation alone.
Incidentally, one of my chronically unfinished projects and research is in
intelligent data mining tools and context sensitive integration tools. I
have been inundated with work and will probably continue to be inundated
until I hire some more help.

I think that intelligent data mining is an extropian technology. It allows
improved and faster access to the vast sum of human knowledge. The reason I
was initially interested is that I believed it would allow me to assimilate
useful knowledge faster by weeding out what I already know, or don't care about.

-James Rogers