How did BrainStorm come into being?
In the mid to late seventies, David Tebbutt was a trainer, then a project manager, at ICL. His secret organizational weapon was based on the mind-mapping technique popularized by Tony Buzan, although David's maps often covered an entire wall. His maps were a combination of his own thoughts and material culled from his background reading. It was not ideal, because paper was such an inflexible medium. It lacked the intelligence to know when something was already in the map and couldn't easily be reorganised.
David went on to become editor of Personal Computer World, still using vast maps but nurturing ideas to put them on the personal computer. He had also had close skirmishes with bill-of-materials processing in his previous life as an IT manager.
These two strands, plus a fascination with how the mind works, led to the invention of BrainStorm. Click here to see some early BrainStorm-related photos and images.
He started the design in 1980 and finished the programming in 1981. He used it as his personal productivity aid in his latter days at Personal Computer World and during the early days as technical director of Caxton Software.
When his partners at Caxton saw it in action, they decided to publish it. A superb programmer, Mike Liardet, was responsible for making David's efforts acceptable to the outside world. The finished product was launched in November 1983.
UK sales soared for a few years before turning downwards as first CP/M then DOS fell from grace. Publishing rights reverted to David and Mike in 1988. Adrian Evans and Andy Redfern each contributed significant improvements to the DOS version but in 1996, it was clearly time to shut up shop.
And what about BrainStorm for Windows?
In 1994, David met up with one Marck Pearlstone, a professional programmer, who he'd first met in 1981 while researching an article for Personal Computer World. The upshot of the 1994 meeting was that they decided to apply their considerable combined experience to building a Windows version of BrainStorm.
They decided to subsidize BrainStorm development with real work - Marck by programming and David by writing and teaching. Little did they realize that the project would consume much of their spare time ever since. They are both fanatical about giving users the:
fastest speed of operation,
least intrusive, and
most useful software
(David had been programming since 1966 and Marck since 1973.)
And why is it suited to web-publishing?
Paper could never reveal the richness of the contextual links that are an intrinsic part of every BrainStorm model. The internet also gave them the perfect base from which to spread BrainStorm throughout the world. And the shareware publishing model means that every customer can 'try before they buy'.
Who's responsible for what?
Marck and David worked together on design and overall strategy. Marck programmed Brainstorm while David developed the website and the documentation. BC4, Inc. is responsible for the business and communication.