Three stories behind Summa
I have to tell you three stories that explain why I am developing Summa, why it will be launched on April 22, 2017, and what the mission is that drives Summa.
Story I. Me and Science
In 2015, I received a PhD. My thesis was about the methodology of cultural sociology, in other words, how can culture be studied. I had to defend my thesis right on April 22, 2015 — the last birthday of my beloved PhD advisor.
All these years I have been tormented by one and the same question — what value do my articles bring for other researchers? On different online resources, where I published my work, I was able to follow their browsing and downloading activities. But what did I know about their reading experiences? Nothing! Even though the rare citations of my articles gave me pleasure, I knew for sure that they were only a small fraction of the feedback that I probably received from these readers.
Story II. Me and Teacher
In 2015, my dear teacher, who was my university and PhD advisor and whom I always called “master”, passed away. Since then I decided to work with and promote his heritage for the rest of my life.
My teacher was encyclopediacally educated. He wrote a lot, but even more important, he read. He was a voracious reader, and in his archives I found dozens of printed articles with his handcrafted marks and annotations. I knew him, and I therefore understand what he marked and why he marked it there. And one day I got an idea: why not to try to “decipher” his reading “technology” and digitize it. The thought of me reading new articles, with his eyes, sounded like an incredible idea.
Story III. Me and Business
Since 2010 I have been working as a business consultant. I have fulfilled various projects in different domains and businesses. All of these projects were amazing challenges that allowed me to apply my knowledge and to prove its value. And also to earn money.
A frequent change of projects always challenged me with switching quickly between different business domains and learning new knowledge. These tasks require good searching and reading skills as well as good networking skills. I was always dreaming about some sort of digital assistant who could help me with finding, reading and checking content, the same as I would do it.
Everything has its beginning
One day I realized that all three stories were about the same question: how do we work with information? Simply put, it is about reading. Reading remains the most important way we get information from the world.
In the digital era, we are facing a boom in the production of content. However, our basic content “consumption technology” (aka reading) has somewhat changed. That’s because we are facing many other issues, like political polarization due to massive fake content misinformation, or job losses due to our routine labor rapid automation.
As very different people, we all have very similar challenges — we have to keep ourselves always prepared for modern life by constantly expanding our knowledge and skills.
So now is the right time to find new ways of how we generate and promote knowledge. And that’s why Summa’s Mission is to empower human creativity by providing advanced knowledge acquisition technologies.
And that’s why I decided to take the risk of developing Summa. I am very motivated by dreams from my stories and many other stories that I find everyday around the web. I will make my dreams a reality.
You can help develop Summa by joining the closed beta. Sign up here or just write a few words on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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