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Now we know one of the things that JP has been up since he joined BT last fall.

Last night a list member wrote: BT recently released their Web21C SDK. Here is a link to some of the services that are possible via Web21C.

JP Rangaswami responded: “We have brought various component subteams together recently and that gives us critical mass. I will do my best to field questions from you guys in the meantime. I have the privilege of leading the teams, albeit with soft hands.”

Then early this morning London Time, JP made the following response to questions from the list. What follows are my own comments on what JP said:

JP Lee, thanks for your comments, much appreciated. We are still learning and have a long way to go.

Let me first try to clarify something Gordon said. I don’t want to steal other peoples thunder. I joined BT because of the cool things they were trying to do, and to get involved in those things. The key point is that they were doing them anyway.

Cook’s Edge: True. Not sure of what quote on my part JP is referring to - I hope I didn’t make it sound like BT could now do cool things JUST because he was there. The ground was already well plowed and fertile before his arrival … :-)

JP Frank asks whether what we are doing is another insidious way to create lockin. I hope not. We want to be global, open, real time. Any device any connect any data type anywhere any time.

Cook’s Edge: If I may butt in - I think I know JP’s views pretty well from both my original interview, and many hours reading his blog… and even now that i think about it from the very brief face to face conversation when I met him at supernova 2 years ago. I remember two snippets -both significant. ! “i am here to learn” - 2. I want to give the banks customers control over their information and its management. JP - seems to me is about as anti lock in as they come.

JP: We want to do this in a way that customers stay with us because they like what we do, and not as a result of being forced to.

Cook’s Edge:Whoa! there you go! make your customer happy - so happy they wouldn’t think of leaving - very different form of lock in.

In my opinion Fred Goldstein’s remarks about the BT Dec history will make it easier for JP to understand parts of BT with which he must deal - in my opinion there will be many good earnest people in BT who have vestiges of ownership of these projects embedded in their thought. If JP didn’t know that any of these events ever happened (and why would he?), he could run a risk of stepping on toes through absolute inadvertence.

JP:That is a big goal. We are bound to get things wrong. Open platforms will attract lockins as well as frees. But we will learn and improve. The focus is on making the customer experience better, both in quality as well as in cycle time.

You will make my job easier by critiquing what we do at each stage, so I look forward to comments. Bob Frankston and Doc Searls have already begun, I had the opportunity to spend time with them last week.

Cook’s Edge:I think i can underline what is going on here with the closing paragraphs of my interview with Simon Lin - done exactly a week after the one with JP in the fall of 2005. Those two conversations utterly changed the way i saw this world.

But savor what Simon says - let it slosh over your mind and see if it does not elevate your vision.

Lin: Yes. I think that my strategy was correct. Each person’s technology silo tends to be their fiefdom. But meanwhile there is global infrastructure out there, and whatever infrastructure on a global level reaches a critical mass will become dominant.

I saw that this critical mass could not be done by the commercial sectors – by definition because they cannot collaborate. Their product family must dominate. This happens by the very definition of what capitalism is. In this context academia becomes a very important balancing force. For us the power of open source enables us to leave the commercial sector behind if they do not suit our needs. I realized how open source could be used in an infrastructure way in building an open applications grid platform.

Look at my closing slides for further evidence of my beliefs – data, collaboration, and complexity reduction on the side of things. Lao Tsu has the most important vision –

lead by enabling others to feel that they have accomplished goals that they want and for which they take the credit but which goals are the examples you have set.

Then you will find that “Not to own anything is to own everything.”

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