To Hold...
Matt Taylor - So Far
1938 - 2002
photo taken in the Palo Alto knOwhere Store
September 28, 2002


It is trite to say that life is an educational journey. Nevertheless, it is true.
I wrote the first piece [link: to hold... 1947] of this web site on new years day, 1998 thereby starting this journey of self discovery and documentation. Since mid 1999, this biographical section of my web site has received almost daily attention from me. It has been my primary notebook in addition to the hand written notebooks [link: mt notebooks - index] which I always carry with me.
In doing this web site, I have had two audiences in mind: myself and those that may find some value in this commitment to live a principled, useful and creative life.
Alone the way, I started to use this section of the site increasingly for the delivery of ideas, design and content to co-workers, colleagues and clients - mostly in cases where my personal story created a context for the work I was doing with them. I believe that understanding is more difficult when the work is taken out of context of the life. I do not believe that a work product can be successfully taken out of the personal story of those who create and use it.
This growing tendency, to use my web site for content delivery, signals that the time has come to develop the other three planned sections of the site. While there is unique value in intimate content, there is also value in the creation of more formal and personality independent documentation of these ideas, plans and projects because they ultimately transcend any one of us. This requirement also signals that a period of relative introspection is ending in favor of a more externally focused approach.
About a year ago (September 2001) I developed the ambition to “be done” with this biographical part of the site by the end of 2002. I wanted to get on with the work in the external sense. To linger too long in self can become narcissism - and boring. I thought it possible to get this “story” finished and harvest whatever value it may have for me and others thus gaining the freedom of having said what needed to be said.
Meanwhile, the work of this site has grown to epic proportions and seems to have more holes in it than ever. It is a classic example of the more you do the more you discover the un-done. It is several book lengths, and growing, with no end in sight. The scope of it, however, is nearing completion.
During the four years, and the last 18 months in particular, many changes have come to me personally and to the enterprises of which I am a part. It also seems to me that many aspects of our society are reaching a cusp point. The end of this year has felt like a commencement in may ways. At least it is reasonable to declare it so.
While it is clear I will not get done in all the details, and that this autobiographical task still requires a great deal of future effort, It seems to me that the PATTERNS of primary interest are emerging. The valuable lessons are becoming clear. A context has been created. If anyone is surprised by me it means they have not investigated this web site. A sufficient level of “Matt Manual[link: caveat] has been created, I think.
There is a paradox in this. I admit to a certain satisfaction that my life and work is adding up to something that I both take some sense of accomplishment and joy in [link: to hold an unchanging youth...]. At the same time, I feel like I have accomplished little but a beginning and the thought of spending 46 years of professional work to get to “GO” is staggering in its implications. Also, I admit that my sense of the condition of our world and civilization - if there is anything civil about it - is such that I have less optimism [link: positive feedback] than at any time in my life. I am confronted again and again with the question “why do you care?” And, I cannot answer it. I simply do care even as I often wonder if I can make, in the short term, any difference in the way things are. And, in caring and trying to make things better, it is important to realize that it is far easier to make things worse than to create a sustainable-useful-alternative demonstration of real value.
I have long realized that I can find a niche, live a “creative” yet conventional life, be economically and socially successful and comfortable. This is a choice I rejected time and again, over the last four decades, by a series of incremental decisions [future links] which were responses to specific moments in the context of a large dream. If I were to find such a niche, and focus my attention there, is this betraying a lifetime of work? If I cannot change things anyway, is pursuing a risky public agenda merely stupid? Is there a WAY which is gentle and non-confrontational and presents an honest example of an alternative approach? Can the natural desire for a peaceful and enjoyable life be reconciled with the mission [link: mission] I have accepted as my task?
What is the best way to play the “end game?”
I have been called a walking “disruptive technology” and there is some truth in this even though I intensely dislike so many of the consequences associated with this kind of conflict. I have worked to find a balance between innovation and living and perhaps can claim some success in this pursuit. Yet, after 46 years, there are more questions than answers. If something comes of this biography, it may well be the discovery of some answers or, at least, a better framing of the questions.
As I finish this year, complete some of the more interesting projects [link: three projects and four projects] I have had the pleasure to be involved in; steward the MG Taylor Corporation and it’s ValueWeb transition; file more patents and complete other documentations; work to get beyond this web site’s immediate focus; the essay that follows will be a best-effort to get at these questions and document what I have learned. The coming “resolution” of so many personal, professional and business issues - as the result of my present daily work - will clearly be my “best bet” based on the answers I can come up with. I will be living the result of this inquiry for some time to come as my agenda is becoming an action agenda which is beginning to have it’s own momentum.
Personal transformation can happen in a moment. Social constructs and contracts persist for some time; society changes slowly even in these hectic times. Society and large scale organizations [link: organizational transformation] do not change in a linier way. Their changing is the process of punctuated evolution. Societal changes, when they do happen - happen “suddenly” relative to their usual steady state vector. This is one reason why social change is usually over estimated in the short term and under estimated in the longer time frame.
It should be noted that individual change and societal change cannot really be separated. They are hand and glove and each makes the other. You work on one - you work on the other. A monk meditating in a remote monastery is contributing to society just as is an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley or an activist in Africa. There are a myriad of ways that all of this adds up to the “memory” [link: mg taylor method - memory] of humanity. We each have our natural place to play in the scenario of Humanity - it is a matter of finding it and being true to ourselves and to the context of our individual time and place.
June 2007 Update
This piece was started and not finished in 2002. With this added material, I have left the introduction much as it was with the exception of a few edits and new links. Below, I will add more context from the perspective of the nearly 5 years which has passed since this page was first created and posted. Then, I will return the main body which deals with the interesting and important questions I raised in 2002. Although this content is about “me” and my experience, please remember the dual purpose of the autobiographical sections of this web site. The first is for me to document and understand what a life-lived adds up to and thereby where it should and can go in the future. The second purpose is to offer this experience - and my always evolving understanding of it - as an explaination [link: 5 Es of education] and example that may - or not - be of value to you as you think about your own life path and quest [link: quest]. The caveat, as always, is that one person’s experience never translates directly to another’s. Each life is independent and its own work of art; and, the totality of all of our experiencing is also far more than simple addition - it is an experience in itself by which we all take part in and thereby build a greater reality and work of art than our singular acts.
What I have done - and not - and how I report my experience can be useful to you only to the extent that you recreate [link: 4 step recreation model] it in your own context for your own purpose. You may also find that we have common cause in some areas which suggests collaboration. In any case, if what I have written has been a benefit to you I am interested to hear about it.
In the introduction, written above, I expressed the desire to be done with the autobiographical emphasis of this web site (and also, although I did not state it, my Notebooks). This has been not to be. Not matter my intent to move away from a self-focus there remained too much to work through. Now, however, this focus is beginning to shift “outward” to commentary about our society and my work within this circumstance including both research and application projects. This shift has come about as a natural consequence of my reflections and documentation process. While there remains a vast amount of the (now) 50 years of work and nearly 69 years of life to document, this feels to be more infill than primary material. The basic thesis is approaching sufficient critical mass. The story is told in outline and from here on new autobiographical material will add detail and nuance.
I now turn to the nearly five years that have passed between the first posting of this URL, the above introduction, and today. At the time of this posting, MG Taylor was just beginning to recover from the financial disaster that was the consequence of the E&Y work, IP license, transfer and relationship [link: 1998]. Then came the double whammy of 9/11 and the .com meltdown which took a further toll on our business [future link]. After the E&Y period, our revenues dropped from ten million to five and after the .com “collapse” to two million annually. To stay alive, in early 2002, we had to borrow $150 thousand from a private investor which cost of almost $300 thousand in payback and 10 percent of the company. Not good times from an economic point of view. However, survive we did and we continued through it all to build on our basic Business Model and expand our service product lines while reaching into new markets. This effort continues to this day and, slowly, revenues have started to grow again. Revenue growth has been accomplished even though our business model has called for “pushing” our work “out” into the ValueWeb, with royalties substituting for operating income and margin. This decreases dollar volume and profit in the short term yet frees MG Taylor to focus on IP development, licensing, certification and transfer while moving toward the long held goal of being the neutral Systems Integrator of a complex, global provider ValueWeb [link: mg taylor business model]. Over the long term, fees from many organizations practicing the MG Taylor Methods, will be greater than profits from a single integrated provider organization which we control.
Much of my thinking about the transformation of MG Taylor has been captured in my handwritten Notebooks over the last few years. Below are links to the general notebook INDEX and several Notebooks indexes which specifically address issues related to this writing. Click on the images to go to the the indexes.

This INDEX and narrative provides links to all my Notebooks that have been scanned and posted from 1974 to the present.

Please be aware that of the several thousand pages written only a few hundred have been processed as of this date.

MG Taylor was founded to bring forth a new technology - a technology that although conceived in the 60s, researched in the 70s, developed and operational since the 80s is still in advance of the market and just getting traction [link: idiap presentation]. In addition, we set out to build a network organization to create and deliver this work. We call this a ValueWeb architecture [link: valueweb mechanics]. So, we had to create a new technology, create a market that did not exist, and also invent an new organizational structure to integrate it all. Needless to say this was a demanding and complex assignment. It has taken us several decades to get to a degree of success by our definition of it. It remains to be seem if we can sustain it and it is a bigger question if we will enjoy success as it is conventionally regarded.
With this new context set, what follows is a revised and expanded “So Far... 2002” and “So Far...2007.” It is the two facets, together, I think that begin to address the questions I raised in September 2002.

Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
September 28, 2002



SolutionBox voice of this document:


click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox

posted: September 28, 2002

revised: June 27, 2006
• • •
• 20060130.345015. mt
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(note: this document is about 65% finished)

Matt Taylor 615 720 7190

Copyright© Matt Taylor 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007



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