Next up is Cogito, a company that is focused on knowledge management. I first met Dallas Noyes, the founder, in 1998 when I was CTO at iMALL. The technology and the business plan are, obviously, much more mature now.

Their clients have primarily been military and security based. In the first phase, they've been primarily working with end users. Boeing has been a big customer. Their strategy is to move their product into OEM vendors of software tools that those end users employ to do their work. This market is called "product lifecycle management," or PLM, but you may know it better as "computer aided design."

In the PLM application, the technology allows one to build a database of parts and information about how they're used (configurations) and then the software will generate schematic drawings. Think of it as content management for engineering drawings.

The underlying technology differs from something like Autonomy in that Autonomy and others are building metamaps of existing archives to help find relationships in those archives, but at the end of the day, they are finding information. Cogito, builds conceptual models of the underlying archives with the goal of replacing those archives by being able to regenerate the useful features of those archives at will from the conceptual model.

I have to admit that when I first talked to Dallas in 1998, I didn't really understand what he was talking about. Part of the problem was that I was very focused on developing an ASP-model eCommerce system and I couldn't see a fit, so I didn't try that hard. Since then I've expanded my views and interests in IT and this time the meeting made perfect sense.

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