Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

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I have a smart father

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Brief excerpt from paper 'Hamilton-Jacobi equation' by Robert L. Warnock

Brief excerpt from paper 'Hamilton-Jacobi equation' by Robert L. Warnock

I like to think I am a smart and inventive guy.

I have two professional claims to fame:

I created the first online document assembly website (Hotpaper) and the first online office suite (gOffice).

Both of these categories of software proved to be quite popular.

In the United States, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer now dominate the online document assembly business.

In the United States, Google Docs and Zoho now dominate the online office productivity business.

I am proud that I created the first versions of these significant components to the fabric of the Internet.

While my contributions to the Internet may not have the sex appeal of the social network Facebook or the political influence of the micro-blogging website Twitter, my contributions do allow people to get real work done online.

Getting work done is important to the advancement of humanity. Friending and Tweeting also help advance humanity, but the importance of writing and communicating well with the help of productivity software and document assembly software should not be discounted. How long could you go without Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel or their new online competitors? Probably not long if you are a white collar worker.

I bought a nice house in San Francisco with the spoils of my inventions, and I believe I lead a comfortable and richly satisfying life.

I am shockingly happy. I am surprisingly happy for Google, Zoho, LegalZoom and RocketLawyer — despite their making more money from my innovations than I did.

However, I am not smart like my father Robert Warnock.

Yesterday I learned that my father’s paper Hamilton-Jacobi Equation is included on the peer-reviewed ScholarPedia website.

ScholarPedia is a WikiPedia like website for scientific papers.

Creating an online office suite like I did is a piece of cake compared to what my father works on. Many smart 20 year olds today could build the software I was first to build. But I don’t think any 20 year old could write the papers my father writes, no matter how hard they tried.

Don’t think I am putting myself down by this post.

I am simply showing you how outstandingly bright my father is. My mother is also outstandingly bright, and I’m certain I got my smarts from them.

I regard myself as quite smart.

I continue to invent things on a weekly basis. My mind is frequently dreaming up improvements to many everyday problems. I will never have the time to implement even a small portion of all the crazy ideas I come up with. The best I can hope for is to write a minority of them down and publish them to this blog, where hopefully others will find and then implement them.

I am devoting considerable energy to developing ideas to improve the efficiency of living, including heating, cooling, food production and water usage. Look for many more thoughts from me on these subjects over the coming years. My hope is that my ideas in these areas will have a profound influence on the state of the human condition by the end of my life.

As a side note, I am impressed that Scholarpedia uses Web Fonts to display math equations. That means you can copy and paste the mathematical equations in articles published on Scholarpedia. You generally can’t do this on WikiPedia, where equations are entered as LaTeX source code but then converted to image files for display.

Written by Kevin Warnock

February 8th, 2012 at 5:00 am