Meeting with Mike Shamos, patent lawyer, distinguished career professor and the Carnegie Mellon Language Technology Institute, and co-founder of DorothyAI, is always a treat. After explaining various problems that we all agree are extremely difficult maybe impossible, Mike walks to the dry erase board in his office and begins outlining a solution. He goes on to describe numerous applications for the solution all of which solve problems patent lawyers have faced for decades. He’s like a fountain of good ideas.
If we had unlimited resources, I’d build a team of engineers and developers and blow all of your minds. We don’t. So, we have to make hard decisions about which projects to pursue, which is very tricky.
At DorothyAI we take keeping our eye on the ball very seriously.
Keeping our eye on the ball is hard with all the great ideas flying around. DorothyAI is building patent search software for patent attorneys. We have to pursue projects that will move us closer to that goal. If the project will improve basic functionality, it stays on the table. If it improves another aspect of patent law or will only marginally improve the quality of results returned by Dorothy, it gets moved to the pile of future projects.
Projects that will make a big impact move up on the list. We’re spending a lot of time finding ways to cluster patent families. This helps with both searching and organizing similar technologies, plus we should be able to add foreign language records more easily. Definitely worth pursuing. Projects that improve chemical and biochemical searching are a no brainer (says the biotech, chemistry, and materials patent lawyer, i.e. me).
Keep your eye on the ball! Stay Focused! What gets us further down the road? I repeat these mantras to myself over and over everyday.
Nonetheless, to keep the excitement and exhaustion levels high, we have projects with corporate partners. We’re solving their problems and improving the basic functions of the platform at the same time. These projects move us closer to added functionality that, along with the methods we use to organize our databases, are going to revolutionize freedom-to-operate searching and landscape analysis. Stay tuned.
As we left his office, Mike reminded us that have projects to last us the next century. After I realized that 2020 is the next decade and not the next century, this made sense. Either way, it’s true, and a good problem to have in my opinion. But, pursuing projects that will have the biggest impact on our customers now will ultimately be what makes us successful.