Strategic Partnerships

What can one do with a unique, exciting concept and no venture team?

Donald Steward Owner, Problematics LLC

July 27th, 2015

I am an emeritus professor who over several years has developed a method and computer program, the Explainer, to analyze and solve problems that are beyond the capacity of unaided humans. 

I believe that many of the troubles we witness today occur because we are limited in our capabilities to solve the complex problems the world presents to us. 

The Explainer has been used to propose solutions to many of the problems that have Congress in gridlock. This would appear to be important. But I need support to put this up as a website where people can collaborate to solve difficult problems.

On the surface the idea looks preposterous. I need people to look below the surface to see how it works and can be applied. 

What do you suggest I do?


July 27th, 2015

Donald, if you are stuck, feel free to reach out. I am happy to give you a couple of hours and walk you through some options from my past experiences.

John Seiffer Business Advisor to growing companies

July 27th, 2015

If you want to make this a business then you need to find a customer. That means someone who is willing to pay to A) solve the problem your program solves and B) pay for your solution as you have designed it. 

This process is called Customer Development (google it an be prepared to spend days on the topic). If there's an entrepreneurship department in the university you're affiliated with, no doubt they teach courses in this.

If you want to make it a non-profit, or a charity then you can go a different route. You still have to find people willing to commit the time to learn it and implement it.

Unfortunately finding a need is not enough. Witness the fact that many people (myself included) NEED to lose weight but unless people WANT to take advantage of the solutions out there it won't happen.

Best wishes. 

Ahkim Staman Owner at AdGurus Online Consulting

July 27th, 2015

Hi Donald,

This sounds fascinating. I've only recently joined and my application is still being reviewed, so I can't send out messages yet. I have however been interested in online governance for a long time.

Reach out to me if you'd like. If my knowledge can help you I'll offer it gladly.

Eli Castellanoos Operations at MiChefs Network

July 27th, 2015

Hello Donald, It all depends on how far and how fast you want to take this. If you simply want to put up a web site to collaborate with others, you can have one built with Wordpress for as little as $500 to $1,000. From there it can run and you can link an email to allow people to sign in an communicate with you. If you want to build it out much larger that is a whole different story. We are currently building a new company ourselves but I am interested in finding out more about what you are doing. I love data analytic's. Your program is interesting to me.

Michael Barnathan

July 27th, 2015

Solve something concrete with it, like Vicarious did for CAPTCHAs, then explain the larger scope of the project in the resulting PR piece.

Liam Carolan Marketing Technologist

July 28th, 2015

What can one do with a unique, exciting concept and no venture team? Hello professor. If I understand you correctly, first you need to crowdsource your support mechanisms. Gather the people that believe and understand some of the same things, shared philosophies, etc. that you do and either have used “The Explainer” or understand you and the initial framework well enough to support development. I can share a plethora of ideas but I would like to know more about "The Explainer" first. Could we get on a call sometime? -Liam

James Celentano Human Resources / Business Development / Operations

July 27th, 2015

Hi Donald - sounds like an amazing technology.  Founders and inventors create what is unique, and that is the hard part.  The next steps might seem daunting but there is a formula.  In short, build a team, raise capital and take your product to market. Reach out to me directly if you want to brainstorm.  Best, James James Celentano, MBA, SPHR 917-922-6556

David Orban Founder & Managing Partner at Network Society Ventures

July 27th, 2015

Starting to implement basic websites is not very expensive these days. You also have the downloadable version of the program which, even if it appears that it hasn't been updated in the past 12 years, should serve as a basic template for what the web version should be doing, at least to start.

If you have been successful in selling the downloadable version, than you should have plenty of user testimonials that are going to be applicable to the web version as well. (If you haven't been, then analyzing why and making sure those reasons are eliminated first is of course fundamental.)

At your local university it should be possible to find the web front end, back end and design talent that you need, and you can decide if you want to put the project in open source on GitHub, or keep it proprietary. In either case, the talent's compensation in cash or equity can follow different models. (A good approach for dynamic equity allocation in startups is

It is also possible to structure the development entirely online with a distributed team, but if you have not managed one previously you should find somebody who is able to or you'd drown in the task itself.

The Problematics brand is good, and while you don't have the corresponding Twitter and Facebook accounts, it should be easy to correctly tell the story of your approach and platform to interested parties.

I hope this is helpful, and I will be happy to discuss your platform and approach more, as I agree in your assessment that many of our problems stem from an insufficient capacity to analyze, manage, and solve complex problems.

Fred Rehhausser Owner, High Street Consultants and Marketing and Business Consultant

July 27th, 2015

Join a meetup to meet similar people and start to build your corporate team Fred Rehhausser Fred Rehhausser 408-348-5084

Steven Rubenstein

July 28th, 2015

I built a related prototype at designed to foster compromise solutions to complex problems. I literally designed it to solve Israeli-Palestinean peace. (For various reasons, I have not truly launched it yet.)

The big question is -- what is your objective? Are you trying to sell software or a hosted service to enterprises, municipalities, school districts, etc. like MindMixer? Are you trying to create an open platform similar to that anyone can use?

There are lots of socially-oriented startups these days focused on community and political engagement. Perhaps you can find one that complements your Explainer and join forces.

You are welcome to reach out and discuss the options.