Previously, we looked at the shift from long-term to shorter-term goals in the design and manufacturer of technology-based products. We started looking at the change in philosophy regarding the way companies act towards and interact with their customers
A new way
These changes in core company functions lead to new possibilities for electronics enterprise. The current trend is one of predatory design, causing hostility between users and designers. Engineers decide what is to be built and users suffer the consequences. They have no choice. There is often no alternative business paradigm.
Predatory designs are optimized to maximize repeat sales, with short product lifetimes caused by design shortcuts that increase profit margins at the expense of product quality, and by frequent product iterations with superficial feature changes to motivate users to buy a new one.
Minimum product information is available. User manuals are released having poor grammar and lacking essential technical information. Interactive human user support and repair is minimal to non-existent. The user is expected to discard the broken unit and buy another one. Valuable trash accumulates in landfills.
The stage is set for this hostility between designers and users to resolve itself in an alternative way of doing electronics. Although hostility originates with corporate management, which directs engineers to design in this way, the engineers are the ones who freely choose to go along with them and are equally if not more culpable, for without the compliant participation of engineers in predatory design, the hostility would not arise.
Now suppose some innovative engineers were to design to H-P/Tek quality and follow their production refinement process. They could bring forth a set of generally appealing products, either for commercial or industrial applications. Suppose the designs are for an entire line of measurement instruments.
These instruments have medium-range performance so that the appeal for them is mainstream and broad. The engineers then do something bold. They take all the risk at this point in making these designs openly accessible and free to be used by anyone wanting to manufacture, sell, and support them. They just “give away the store,” or so it would seem. What would happen? What are the consequences?
That is what we will explore in the next part of this blog.
- Is There a New Way Ahead for Electronics Enterprise? Part 1
- Is There a New Way Ahead for Electronics Enterprise? Part 2
- An Instrument on a Chip? A Look Back
- Z Meter on a Chip? Impedance Meter Integration and Readout
- Getting From Scopes to Semiconductor Innovations
- Can We Put Other Instruments on a Chip? Part 2
- ‘Scope on a Chip? Why Not a DAS Onboard?
- Put an Oscilloscope on a Chip: Why Not?