Oil: In the DNA of the Silicon Valley
When discussing the likelihood of DNA in crude oil, one source comments, “So the DNA they are talking about is like the DNA, where they’re looking at the live bacteria in the crude oil, which would be descendants of the bacteria that was around when the oil first began its degradation from organic material.”[i]
Time passes and the Baby Boomers that led the youth movement in the last half of the 20th Century may now be carrying the label of dinosaurs. Likewise, the oil and gas sector is viewed as a mature sector, aka dinosaur. And we all know that oil comes from dinosaurs (not a correct statement).
However, few know the technology lineage of the sector. Fewer still know about its long-time leadership in the advancement of information technology.
As a Schlumberger Senior Field Engineer (circa 1977) in Houma, LA, I worked on the first electric logging truck equipped with a computer—the Cyber Service Unit (CSU) for wellsite instrumentation. Effectively, this was a mobile real time data acquisition and analysis system. This was a short two years after the company joined ARPAnet, the predecessor of the Internet.[i]
Likewise, the other major energy services company Halliburton has advanced dramatically over its 100-year history.[ii] Furthermore, in the field of data processing, the sector was an early adopter of super computers.[iii]
In the early 1980’s this pundit often made sales calls selling industrial technology. With almost no base business in Austin, Texas, I saw little chance to make my quota from that city.
In 1987, Schlumberger Ltd. opened it Austin Technology Center. While not the first technology company with operations in that region, from this author’s perspective this commitment was a game changer for that region—so called ‘Silicon Hills.”
The sector has long funded technology development. As noted, a prodigious consumer of advanced technologies, the sector also invests in innovation. One example, the seemingly never-ending thirst for Saudi (oil) money by the Silicon Valley investment community.[iv]
Next time you hear that the era of fossil fuels is over, think again about the contribution the sector has made and continues to make to the so-called future technologies. Could be that the technological basis of green energy is built on this 100-million-year-old organic molecule.
Is Oil in Your Organization’s DNA?
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Critical Mass: Value from the RBC Framework
Nuclear physicists define the term, “critical mass” as the amount of fissile material whereby a nuclear reaction is self-sustaining. From that original definition, the construct is further developed along societal and political terms as a function of the environment and number of adopters and their interdependencies that create enough of a consensus for individual actions that sustains an undertaking.
In 1996, the author published the first of several case studies on a societal interaction model based on the Relationships, Behavior and Conditions (RBC) construct among economic actors. Previously the model was only in the domain of academia.
This blog addresses contemporary issues from the RBC perspective and whether in the present state they are sustainable or not. Many readers may be familiar with the “Innovation Adoption Curve.” RBC seeks to enlighten the causality of behaviors that cause movement towards the critical mass that generates movement along this diffusion curve.
- The Tyranny of the Blank Sheet of Paper July 28, 2020
- Home for a While? July 24, 2020
- Technology Assessment in the Era of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) June 30, 2020
- Next or Back to the Future? June 16, 2020
- Agility, Resiliency, Sustainability May 14, 2020
Other Blogs by Dr. Shemwell
Dr. Shemwell is an author/contributor for the following 3rd party blogs.
So, You Want to be an Entrepreneur
Dr. Shemwell is a member of the Global Energy Mentors (GEM) Leadership Team. Every month he or one of his colleagues is posting timely tips to help entrepreneurs navigate the energy start up sector. Check out the Landing Page.
Governing Energy Blog
BTOES Insights is the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news. Dr. Shemwell is a contributor.
Consult 2050 connects organizations with a wide range of consultants all around the world. The firm operates an online marketplace for consultancy services.
Essays on Business and Information
This two volume set covers a series of newsletters and opinion pieces published circa 2002-2009, including Bug Lore–Lessons for the Online Economy that addressed real time systems vulnerabilities from Y2K (1998-99).
About the Author
Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector. He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations. Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management. He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of societal relationships.