Why That Phone Charger Took Two Years to Arrive – NYTimes.com


Designing and fabricating a basic prototype was much harder than they had expected, and they spoke wearily of the process of obtaining permission from Apple to sell the case as a licensed accessory.

I am glad I keep reading this articles. I am reminded many times that people underestimate the manufacturing end of the product. It is great fun designing, marketing and branding, but hey you finally have to make the thing since you promised to deliver it. That is where the fun really is. At the last New York Hardware Meetup it was a abundantly clear from the panel that the manufacturing planing was a key thing that was underestimated.

Manufacturing plan is very important. The other item left out is DFM (Design For Manufacturability). People have forgotten about this too. Not forgot, but did not know they need to know that this is part of the product development and manufacturing process. The DFM process makes sure that your product is manufacturable. Without it you have no way of knowing if your product is manufacturable. It is best to keep DFM in mind when you are prototyping your product. That being said, there are many variables when it comes to DFM. In a nutshell you need to work with a person that has the skills and experience working with a factory to know what those variables are.

via Why That Phone Charger Took Two Years to Arrive – NYTimes.com.

Can The Old School & New School Get Along And Work Together

Old School New School

Recently I saw a great article in the New York Times Online titled “Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem”. It got me thinking about the age groups in my surroundings. I am heavily involved in the hardware startup scene in New York and when I look around I see mostly people in their twenties. Maybe thirties. I have become the old one in the bunch. I was the young one not that long ago. I remember those days in the 90’s and early 2000’s. So tech is cool now. I remember those uncool days.

I can see how the guard has changed. Older people have worked in corporate life 20-30 years doing mostly the same thing or moving up in the same organization. It has become hard for them to see the value in the new and latest app. Sounds like being stuck. The young look upon those years at the some company as stagnation. The same old same old.

Then there is the hip factor or coolness factor. Companies that use were consider cool are no longer. Take Microsoft, when I talk to people Microsoft is not the first place to work on their list, if at all. The young have not grown up with workplace security. Do you older people remember when you could be working at one company for a long time and expect to retire from that company? Well that has changed, a while ago. So now the young graduates don’t have that security so they try to find something for now. It is like the job market has appealed to people with ADD. So looking for something sexy fits in well.

The easiest explanations are mismatched skill sets or cultural friction. Older engineers are not smart in the way that start-ups want them to be — or, if they are, they have reservations about the start-up lifestyle. Both these reasons are symptomatic of how far apart the two sides have drifted. If there are whole swaths of engineering talent whose skills or styles cannot be integrated into a company, then maybe that operation has been limiting itself.

The article makes a good point in that some older engineers are stuck knowing what they know and not able to move into other areas of knowledge. Where is the flexibility? Or is it the way of tolerating the openness when placed in a challenging situation. I think the stuckidness( I made that up) comes from, as you get older, having more things and people to take care of. A house, children and maybe a car. With payments for each thing. When you are young those things will happen later. According to  PewResearch only 26 percent of 18-to-33-year-olds are married. While, 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of Baby Boomers and 65 percent of the members of the Silent Generation were married during that same age range.

At MakeSimply I am the oldest in the bunch. That has not stopped me thinking of creative ways of working and help out our customers.

Photo credit: andyi / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND