About us

Synergy+Innovation= Solutions

Really Hard Problems(tm)

The increasingly complex, changing world in which we live brings unique challenges presenting both risk and opportunity. We call these unique challenges Really Hard Problems, and they can freely cross organizational and specialty boundaries.

Who We Are

We are a small, responsive, and highly experienced consulting group, founded in 2008, that offers creative solutions to a broad set of complex challenges facing our customers. We are dedicated to making you successful, particularly when your challenges are poorly defined and the strategy for success is unclear.


Our Principals and Associates



Bruce L. Tow

Bruce, with extensive, cross-industry IT and systems experience, is one of the world's leading architects and designers of enterprise applications and applications-development technologies, having designed more than 100 such applications and multiple innovative applications-development technologies and associated methodologies. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of Synthesis Institute, a non-profit devoted to advancing the art and science of multi-disciplinary problem-solving. 




Activities & Affiliations

• Synthesis Institute, Co-founder and CEO
• Quatere, Board Member
• SalesX, Board Member




Lois M. Tow

Lois has 18 years experience in operations management and consulting in both community and tertiary care hospitals. In that capacity, she has assisted clients in hiring and training senior management staff, developing policies and procedures, and creating business and marketing plans. She has also planned and implemented ancillary services, physician office services, and a physician referral service.




Daniel S. Tow

Since 1989 at Oracle, Dan has worked on computer-systems performance and tuning. Through experience with solving generalized performance issues, he evolved his primary expertise in finding and fixing TopSQL, the highest-performance-impact SQL, where the best opportunities for tuning business applications usually lie. Dan works as an independent consultant, under the name SingingSQL. Since starting SingingSQL, he wrote SQL Tuning, a 336-page book published by O’Reilly.

David A. Gilliam

David has extensive domestic and international experience in IT development, implementation, operations, quality, and audit, across numerous industries and business functions. In the course of his work, he has helped some of the world's most successful companies attack thorny and often unique business problems using interdisciplinary problem solving techniques. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and publishes and speaks sporadically.