An inventor for the ages

WS talks to high-tech visionary Douglas C. Engelbart

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management,Workplace Communication

One man invented the computer mouse, on-screen windows, groupware, videoconferencing and the hypertext software that lets Web surfers jump from link to link with ease. His name: Douglas Engelbart. His lifelong goal: to provide tools that help people and organizations grapple with the complexities of an ever-expanding knowledge base.

Engelbart, age 73, has devoted 50 years to thinking about the way we think. He filed for a patent for the mouse in 1963 while working as an inventor and researcher at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International).

Today, Engelbart oversees the Bootstrap Institute in Fremont, Calif., which he co-founded in 1989 with his daughter. The institute helps companies and their personnel learn more effectively and draw upon archives of knowledge to boost corporate performance. In this interview with Working Smart, Engelbart examines the best ways to harness human intelligence.

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