Project Delta: How to Bake an Open Source Cookie


Date Thursday December 8th 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

So, how does a package of cookies end up in your local grocery store? Where do the ideas come from, and how are they developed? For the past 60 years, the hierarchical management model has served the food industry well. But like all industries, the food industry is seeking ways to get new products to market faster, and better. Steve Gundrum, President and CEO of Mattson, a Silicon Valley innovation firm that leads the US food industry in the development of new products, wanted to learn what happened when you challenged food scientists and chefs to use software development techniques to create new products. The result, Project Delta, and the quest for the ultimate cookie. Chronicled by Malcolm Gladwell in the September 2005 Food Issue of The New Yorker, Steve will take you behind the scenes for a look at how Open Source and Extreme Programming techniques could play a role in revolutionizing the food industry.


Steve Gundrum is the President and CEO of Mattson, the largest independent developer of new food and beverage products in the US.

Steve's career in the food industry dates back to 1974. Since then he has held food industry positions in sales, finance, and the majority of his time in brand management and new products development. Since joining Mattson 17 years ago, Steve has worked very broadly across food, beverages, packaged goods, restaurants and food service categories and loves his dual-role as a professional inventor and the manager of a professional services company. During this time he has worked for virtually every Fortune 500 food companies representing the most prestigious brands in the industry, along many small to mid-size corporations and startups.

In addition to innovating for his clients, Steve has created some of the industry's most innovative techniques to accelerate the new products process via a wide range of computer technologies. These include ProtoThinksm, a digital collaborative medium to enable global group ideation. Virtual Food Tourism, web-based food tours used to stimulate creativity among group development teams. FeedBack CGPsm, the food industry's most effective means of collaborating with consumers during development. TalkBacksm, a technique that enable consumers to send digital audio files with feedback on new products directly to the development team via the Internet.

Recently Steve created and serves as Chairman of the Mattson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding the 23 million hungry Americans and educating inner-city households about nutrition.

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