Published in 1986 and subtitled How to Get the Most from your Hewlett Packard LaserJet or LaserJet Plus Printer this was Ted Nace’ first book and the beginning of the very successful publishing firm PeachPit Press. Ted went on to write a series of other how to technical book, mostly about desktop publishing, then focused on publishing other authors. He later handed over the company to one of his managers and focus on climate activism.
Almost everyone in business has heard of the sales pipeline and there are quite sophisticated tools for managing and reporting from a sales pipeline to create business forecasts. The Ebono Institute has a suite of these tools available in different forms. Most businesses find our spreadsheet based system quite useful.
The Theory of Constraints work of Dr Goldratt, however, puts the pipeline in quite a different context. Based on the principles of chemical engineering, Dr Goldratt’s theory of constraints identifies the bottleneck, constraint, in any business process as the key component of the business that must be kept running at 100 per cent capacity. In most businesses it is the most expensive component, the number of aeroplane or theatre seats .. the capacity of the most expensive item of plant.
By combining the simple analytical tools of the sales pipeline reporting systems with the elegance of Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, the Ebono Institute has created a powerful analysis and reporting tool that can be expanded and added to as a business owner requires.
The most recent work in this area is the straightforward and simple introduction prepared for Design students at Griffith University. Business students will gain little from the detail of this lecture, but will quickly grasp the overall concept and the ease with which it can be extended.
Christopher Alexander’s best known book, A Pattern Language sets out the 253 individual components of good design identified by Alexander and his students over 20 years of research.
The foundation of most of Alexander’s work, the principles of object-oriented programming and the programming patterns movement, this work has influenced the development of computer science significantly.
In a 2009 lecture, Alexander challenged computer scientists to apply the fundamental principle behind his work, that good design has a moral foundation, to their work. In that speech he said that his research into the influence of his work on computer science revealed to him that this basic principle has been overlooked.
Architect, writer and philosopher, Christopher Alexander has taken a bottom up approach to design, identifying what makes individual components of a design good, and building from that a series of patterns that lead to good architectural design. His best known work A Pattern Language was written in 1977 and compiled thousands of these patterns as the basis for future work.
His work has influenced Computer Science, especially object oriented programming, the design patterns movement and the extreme programming movement. His work was influential in the development of the Wiki, SimCity and its immensely popular spin-of The Sims. His works Notes on the Synthesis of Form, and the Nature of Order underpin significant developments in computer science but Alexander himself has applied them more broadly to investigate religious and philosphical questions from a new basis.
Subtitled On the Front Lines of the Fight against Coal Ted Nace’ book is a personal account of his activist journey as well as an account of the battle between coal funded climate sceptical think tanks and the scientific and environmental community.