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The Science of Cybernetics

What is Cybernetics?

Version 9.0 of Pipeliner is named Automata, after a work written by Greek mathematician Hero of Alexandria (c10-c70 A.D.). This work is considered some of the first formal research into the science of cybernetics.

The science of cybernetics is used to approach and understand complexity—and if there’s anything that is evident today and will become only more evident in the future, it is certainly complexity. This of course includes business and sales.

To assist people in sales and business squarely face up to and deal with today’s complexity, we have brought you Automata—and we are now applying cybernetics within our product. So what is it?


The originator of the science of cybernetics was American mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener. In 1948 he defined cybernetics as “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.”

The word cybernetics comes from Greek κυβερνητική (kybernetike), meaning “governance”, the latter meaning “to steer, navigate or govern”. W. Ross Ashby referred to cybernetics as the “science of simplification”.


Today cybernetics is applied to the study of mechanical, physical, biological, cognitive and social systems. It is applicable to closed systems—meaning a system that causes a change in its environment, and that change triggers a change in the originating system itself.

Concepts studied by cyberneticists include learning, cognition, adaptation, social control, emergence, communication, efficiency, efficacy, and connectivity.


Cybernetics has also been philosophically applied to economics and social systems. Austrian economist and management scientist Fredmund Malik makes a very apt statement about cybernetics as it addresses complexity:

“In cybernetics it is important to differentiate between simple and complex systems. Simple systems do not pose much of a problem in terms of control. The core question of cybernetics then is: How can the complexity of a system be brought under control? How can we control and regulate a system that is complex?”

It is in the address of complex systems—in our case, those of sales and business—that we have applied cybernetics through Pipeliner Automata.

For Further Study

If you are interested in further study of cybernetics, here are some resources:


What difference would it make to your business if you had a CRM system that salespeople actually saw value in using—one that kept your sales pipeline accurate, predictable, and efficient?

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