Blank Sheet of Paper

A former neighbor of mine in Bend, Oregon is a software development engineer who has started several successful companies. I once asked him for the secret to his success.

It begins, he said, when I am working on a project and I realize that I need a certain kind of software tool. I look for it in the marketplace and discover this tool does not exist. I figure that if I could use a tool like this there must be other people who would want it also.

I noodle it over for a while and come up with a concept for how such a tool would work. I start with a blank piece of paper and sketch out the basics of a software program that I think would work. When I am satisfied with what I have, I give it to several other programmers for their evaluation.

When they give it back to me, they tell me what I already know: my design is unworkable. They have seen flaws that I could not see. But they also have ideas for how to correct those flaws.

I pull together a team of developers and turn my paper over to them. I tell them to figure out how to make this concept workable. And they do just that.

My neighbor went on: it is hard, he said, for most people to envision something that does not exist. This just happens to be something I am good at. But I cannot come up a workable product on my own. That takes a lot of help from other people.

How These Websites First Started

After my neighbor explained how he works, I saw the similarities between what he described and my own situation. What I have been working on is my blank piece of paper with a rough sketch on it. Or to be more precise, my first blank sheet of paper has branched out and become 7 blank sheets of paper, one blank sheet of paper for each website.

The first blank sheet of paper was the Story of Enlightenment. Here I was trying to understand for myself what I had experienced in my own awakening experience.
I sketched out what seemed to me to be different phases of experience I had gone through.

But unlike my neighbor, I did not have a group of people I could turn to who might help make it better. I received few comments about my initial website and those I did receive seemed to reflect some confusion about what I was trying to explain. I have written about this in the article Why This Website?

Like my neighbor, I am hoping that others can help make it better.

The Need for Others to Make This Better.

I am forever grateful for my neighbor and his explanation of how he develops successful software programs. His realization of his own role and the role that is played by others helps me to understand what I have been doing with my own project.

For the last 10 years I have been working on these this project. It has not been clear to me exactly what it is that I am doing. It started out as personal writing for myself. Then it shifted into an attempt to explain enlightenment. Someone suggested that I turn this into a website, and so the format changed. Now it has expanded into 7 websites.

Despite all this, it seems very unfinished to me.

I need others to help make it better.

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