Other high IQ business attemptsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : ThinkBank : One Thread
Over the years I've seen or been involved in several different attempts and discussions about starting a business to be staffed and operated by members of the high IQ community (hiiqers), all by members in the IQ 150 range or above.
The first was in October 1985 at the first annual meeting of the TNS, in St. Louis. Several of the participants (myself included) came with the hope that we might meet others interested in the subject. As I recall, I, Barry Kington, Scott McFarland and a couple of others discussed it there. Scott and I were both more interested in the think tank type of collaboration, Barry and another were more interested in a consulting expert type of firm. Scott, who worked for the CIA (1/3) and the NSA (2/3), told us that his employer (he didn't say which) would be willing to finance it. We politely declined, as he expected, and we discussed it more, but with no conclusion.
Barry put a proposal ("A Modest Proposal") to start a consulting firm in the TNS journal in February 1986.
In September of 1988, Eugene Primoff and he started the Point One Advisory Group (POAG). This firm eventually grew to about 80 members. But, partially due to exceptionally conservative placement concerns, not more than one or two placements were ever made.
(Just as a point of reference, the first hiiqer BBS, SYNAPSE, came online in late 1987 for TNS members.)
In July of 1997 a similar start-up was discussed for a while on the ISPE email list by eight or ten people. That was kicked around for a while, with visions including those earlier ones, but also including limited purpose firms like an investment club. Everyone had ideas about what they wanted, but they were mostly quite differant, and the conversation died off in a few weeks. The only plan which could have encompassed most of those was the general purpose think tank, which several endorsed.
One of those participants mentioned that it had been tried a couple of other times that he knew of (presumably in ISPE) and nothing had come of them. He didn't give any details.
I tried to revive the idea about eight months later, and had about six who agreed to start up a telecommuting think tank. Unfortunately, I had to return to my 60+ hr/week "day job" shortly after, and was unable to maintain the momentum. And so that plan faded away.
The idea came again from someone in the Prometheus email group (Michael Corrado I think) last July. It again started as more of a cooperative consulting concept. About half a dozen were interested, including me, Gerald Walsh, Heather Preston, John Scoville, Nik Lygeros, Walt Kopp and Michael. Then it quieted down a bit, but it had started the wheels rolling once again. The discussion had also gravitated toward the think tank idea.
A couple of weeks after that, Steve Coy joined the Prometheus email group and offered "an immodest proposal" for a think tank collaboration. This discussion involved many of the same people from the previous round, and also Chris Currivan.
I don't know the inside tale of the starting of Ultranet, but I would bet that the seeds of that idea were planted with those discussions on the Prometheus list.
So as we can see, the idea has been popping up more and more frequently, and we are about at the point where the idea would be under constant discussion among hiiqers. And we are also at the point where this concept can be implemented on the internet easily and cheaply. Between the Ultranet and this ThinkBank, we should be able to keep progressing this time. If we establish a permanent presence on the web, we should prosper.
Incidently, POAG, which is still in existence, is for sale. Coincidently, the owner called me today, and said he would be happy to accept a nominal payment for the corporation. That would include about 80 names and addresses (many no doubt expired by now) and resumes of their consultants, and the Delaware Corporation of the same name. It has been in existence since 1987, and may at least have some value as an existing corporate shell.
Let me know if any of you think we should pursue this.
-- Anonymous, March 03, 2000