23July2000 #0030.html


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Dear Paul and Kate, Melanie and Jared Wright, Bridget, Rob, Ben and Sarah, Sara, Heather and Nate Pace, Audrey, Rachel, and Matt via hardcopy,

cc: file, Tony Hafen, Pauline Nelson via mail, Sara and Des Penny, Claude and Katherine Warner, Lloyd and Luana Warner, Diane Cluff, Maxine Shirts via mail.

Welcome to "Thoughtlets." This is a weekly review of an idea, belief, thought, or words that will hopefully be of some benefit to you, my children, with an electronic copy to on-line extended family members. Any of you can ask me not to clutter your mail box at any time.

"Companies and products have often become like they are my children. There is a tremendous amount of emotional energy involved in the creative process. I am not exactly sure why I am willing to put in the effort required to do my part in the process of invent, design, spec, manage, explain, market, sell, develop, test, train, install, support, maintain, and upgrade a new product or company. Continuum and CoReExplorer(TM) have reached one of those critical stages in the life cycle of a company and a product, where I have began to second guess myself.

There are a lot of different reasons why people are willing to make sacrifices and expend a lot of energy on a person or a project. I think there is normally a range of reasons, which range could be called a spectrum. It also seems logical to me that each one of us has a unique spectrum of reasons for our motivation, which spectrum can be quantified. Furthermore, if we are willing to expend the effort to understand our motivation in one area of our life, then I anticipate we will gain insights which will help us understand our motivation in other aspects of our lives. At the present time I have no idea how to quantify motivation, and this is a good concept to add to my ideas page (see http://www.walden3d.com/ideas, Philosophy 2.1-4), which page I introduced in Thoughtlet 0021.html. Just think how neat it would be to understand the basic reasons for our motivations or our depressions, and to be able to tweak or to enhance our motiviation during those too many times we find ourselves discouraged. Times like I am now facing right now with with Continuum and with our product CoReExplorer(TM).

Mom, I have wondered if my motivation is because I am trying to measure up to your expectations. I have wondered if I am trying to prove to my Dad I know how to work. After going through PAIRS, I have wondered if my business efforts are my way of distracting myself from facing issues I do not know how to emotionally face. I have wondered if starting companies and inventing products is my way to find acceptance. I have wondered if these efforts are simply an overactive ego. I have wondered if my motivation is a gift from God and if I am just following where the spirit directs. Thinking of something Grandma Hafen said to me during one of my last visits with her (`Roice, you have too many memories!'), I have wondered if I simply wonder to much. I do expect that my motivation is some combination of the above wonderings and others I don't yet recognize. I expect it is the same for all of us. And I further expect that if I take the time to understand and figure out how to quantify my motivation, it can help me with many different aspects of my life. Including what to do when bringing a product like CoReExplorer(TM) to market is not going as smoothly as was planned and anticipated.

So what is this CoReExplorer(TM)? When we started Continuum Resources we knew there was a market opportunity relative to what we were then calling virtual reality. As time has passed we have come to realize the immersive reality hardware is now a commodity, available from any of a half a dozen vendors, and the real market gap is software to display and manipulate data in these environments. We have designed and mostly built a software package that can be configured to go out to any database and retrieve data and display it in 3-D, changing across time. We are starting with access to Landmark's OpenWorks database and using the OpenSpirit interface to access well data from OpenWorks and GeoQuest's GeoFrame databases. We plan to allow access to data in regular databases like Oracle, Informix, Sybase, DB2, MicroSoft Sequel Server, Access, GIS databases, scanned photos of houses or mountains, and even spread-sheets like Excel.

Since just about everything humans interact with and thus can simulate is spatial or has a temporal (time) component, the CoReExplorer(TM) software architecture has the potential to become ubiquitous (everywhere). Add to this the fact the software architecture is designed so other applications can be added as plug-in's and we have conceptually created a universal translator. In our initial market of oil and gas exploration and production this means, in concept, you can bring production histories from engineers, geology from well data, geophysical data, facilities design, and even put on a virtual reality fashion show on a deep sea platform.

From this standpoint Continuum is perfectly positioned to become a giant company in a brand new market niche. However, because of the myriad (large number) of interdependencies involved in bringing all of these different data types together, it is a very complex software engineering problem. Furthermore, we have spent our investment money on too expensive of office space, company cars, trips all over the world, etc. It is hard for me to point a finger at my partners, because this leaves four fingers pointing back at me. Although I am on the Board of Directors, I am in the dark as to what our investors plans are, and month to month wondering if there is going to be a pay check at the end of the month is creating a tremendous amount of unecessary stress, not only on me and the other employees, but on our families as well. Then there is the fact John Amason has done an outstanding job as a team leader, has worked 18 hours a day for months, and yet the software components for CoReExplorer(TM) have not coalesced.

As far as how all of this affects you kids, when any stress is added to this type of environment, there are bound to be sparks fly. I do believe I have done much better this time, with the birth of `my new child' CoReExplorer(TM), than I have done with similar situations in the past (the birth of Prime Words and introducing of Ken Turner's paintings at the Sealy Branch art show, the miscarriage of HyperMedia, the birth of Landmark and the products A3DI, A2DI, SeisWorks, etc. One of the reasons is I now have a forum, namely these Thoughtlets, where I can pour out my soul and where most of you are able to derive a context for where I am at.

Most of my week was tied up with CoReExplorer(TM). The software is slowly arriving at the stage where several of us will choreograph how it will be presented at the SEG the first week of August. The plans we have made are exceptional, and the question is whether we will be able to accomplish half of what we have planned. Besides working late almost every night getting data prepared for the presentations, there was a conference call with the RC-SIG on Monday, two visits by Chinese from the Lihohe Oil Field (the same oil company Gary Jones and I worked for doing the onshore seismic interpretation back in the late 1980's), a venturing scout evening at the Nursing home off of Mason Road, the sales forecast phone call on Thursday morning, the developer's meeting, and a short CoReExchange, which I missed. I was on the phone with Mic Patterson about the money Advanced Structures owes us, and, as I expected, they do not have any cash, and we came up with a plan for how I am going to attempt to help them get a million dollar line-of-credit and they will use part of this line-of-credit to pay off the debt. This would reduce stress by several orders of magnitude. There have been some positive and some negative interactions with Rob this week, and I continue to hope and pray he will feel at home here. Yesterday I gave a 3 hour seminar to 18 folks from The World Future Society. It was well received. It was not near as good as I anticipated in my mind, and I was glad Rob and some others I invited did not come down to see it. Mike Pickerd came, and in my perception his reaction to CoReExplorer, and specifically what we have to show today, is that we are too early and it is not ready. After the seminar, and between discussions with developers, I took the registration material which had fallen out of the purse of one of the ladies in the seminar down to The Galleria, and I picked up my registration for the annual World Future Society meeting.

I got home from the office at 7:15 PM last night, to find a house full of several dozen young men and women attending an Audrey going away party. I was wiped out, and went in and took a nap. Then I got up and worked on fleshing out my ideas page some more, and spent some time talking to the kids. Melanie, Marie Williams was here, has moved home, and when pressed says one of the things she wants to do is to learn about the gospel. I told her there are two ways to learn about the gospel: (1) on your knees; and (2) by reading. She asked me what to read, and I loaned her a book on Faith Promoting Pioneer Stories. She has agreed to come over and to talk to me about what she has read, and to let me set up a study program for her, so that she can learn what the gospel is about. I couldn't help but think of Ethan Evans, and my prediction to Ben and Sarah when we talked on the phone this week, that he is going to be a Pioneer Day Baby (July 24th birth). There was an e-mail from Sarah saying she will be induced on the 25th if he doesn't come by then. Whenever he comes, there will be pain and joy, sorrow and happiness, dispair and hope, and there is certainly more potential with Ethan Evans than there ever will or could be for something like CoReExplorer(TM)."

I'm interested in sharing weekly a "thoughtlet" (little statements of big thoughts which mean a lot to me) with you because I know how important the written word can be. I am concerned about how easy it is to drift and forget our roots and our potential among all of distractions of daily life. To download any of these thoughtlets go to http://www.walden3d.com/thoughtlets or e-mail me at rnelson@walden3d.com.

With all my love,
(H. Roice Nelson, Jr.)

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Copyright © 2000 H. Roice Nelson, Jr.