Doug Engelbart – intellect game changer

It was sad to read that Doug Engelbart had passed away. During my time in Silicon Valley I was lucky enough to meet with Doug. The SuperHappyDeveloperHouse  SHDH had invited him along to surprise him with a demo of his original mouse.  When I arrived the house was a buzz with software engineers configuring modern computers to act like those back in the day when Doug invented the mouse and they succeeded. Doug was delighted.  And the mouse was not just a pointer device with a click button but a full communication authoring tool complete with hypertext markup that provided machine readable structure as the human input text.  Genius and “ahead of his time” describe Doug, with the latter disappointingly making him ‘too risky’ for mainstream venture funding.  But that would be look at the world through the glasses of money.  Doug stood above that culture and raised the expectations to sheer intelligence itself.  He provided the thinking theory, practical delivery of ideas and most importantly the inspiring vision and an exciting vision for tomorrow, that fuelled those developers that evening in SHDH and a whole generation of developers out there on the web today and no doubt tomorrow too.

Doug was driven by a goal to  “augment human intellect.”  A goal I share.  RIP Doug.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.