The 20 Year Mouse

While 1950’s computers were building size and took hours to perform functions that now seem instantaneous on a coin sized device, the mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart was entertaining complete dreams of the future of personal and collaborative computing. Following his invention of the mouse for screen navigation, it took a generation of 20 years for it to show up in the consumer markets via Macintosh. We are now celebrating his rich life of being a founding inventor behind the birth of the technology we now know as the Internet.

It’s a great story and example validating the power of 20 year dreams which continues to be the core of the Agile Planning I use in every local and global planning context.

People unfamiliar with these kinds of stories are initially shocked by the invitation of a one generation dreaming timeframe but as we see again and again it’s a powerful lens that reveals amazing and actionable possibilities in the present.