Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shoeing the Cobbler's Children

A couple of years ago, I got a tour of NCAR's machine shop. One thing I got to see was 3-D printers, that can actually print objects -- prototypes of tools that the shop then produces. Since I was working for a printer company, I realized that we could use this technology to print our printers.

At first, I thought the next step would be to print the money our customers would need to buy them. Then I had an epiphany.

"Why stop there?" I thought. "We could just print customers."

I sent this suggestion to our marketing department, but somehow they forgot to reply.

Now, I see that some thoughtful, Japanese engineers are not worrying about customers, but are working on addressing the real needs of engineers, instead.

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