What is your personal Motivation for the Cinderella Project?

"Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist

When my original Deadline Project was shot down in flames in 1986, I was naturally a little upset. Apart from being a severe setback to my professional reputation it was a blow to my self-confidence. If not a direct cause of my first divorce, the resulting financial fiasco certainly was.

"Good repute is like fire: once kindled, it is easily kept alive; but when extinguished, not easily lighted again. - Plutarch"

My objective in those days was to get IBM to become involved and do something about the problem. Thus the plan to form a User Group to lobby for change. A total failure. As I said to Peter de Jager, he deserves the Kudos for getting the ball rolling again. He succeeded where I failed.

Subsequent to the Congressional Enquiries in 1995, that problem disappeared with the announcement (between May and September of 1996) of Year 2000 compliant releases for all the major IBM Operating System SCP's. I heaved a sigh of relief and closed my books on the problem.

In retrospect, the 1986 Deadline Project failed because of a failure to communicate the message. I failed to consider the audience. The message was put out at the wrong time, to the wrong people, in the wrong country.

People simply did not believe that the problem was potentially serious. The fact that IBM, then at the height of its Monolithic Power, came down strongly against it convinced the masses that the problem was a paper tiger, and my little project worthless.

I was taken totally unawares. I had not planned for such total rejection. I am primarily a Technician. As a Problem solver, I tend to look for solutions without considering "political" or "sales" implications.

So I wrote off the Advertising costs, took my toys and went home to lick my wounds. But it taught me a lesson. Altruism does not pay. People must identify and solve their problems for themselves. Pain is a mechanism designed to inform humans that change is needed. No pain, no gain.

So Cinderella will hopefully benefit from these past mistakes. I will run the project as an exercise in Communication. I will give free advice and guidance and provide Informational resources. I will also ask the embarrassing questions that most people are too polite to ask. I will attempt to ease the pain, but I cannot and will not take it away.

For me, Cinderella is an Experiment in Communication. I failed dismally to get my message across in 1986 and have no intention of failing again.

It is an Excercise based on the assumption that you can lead horses to water , but cannot make them drink.

So we have to devise "Ways and Means".

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