Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

From Engineer To Entrepreneur

This is another one of those pictures that gives you a different impression of which way the door swings depending on whether you use the top of the picture or the bottom of the picture as your reference. 

 

The door swings both ways - can you tell

The door swings both ways

On the evening of 31st August I was asked to share with the IEEE Computer Society Victoria Chapter on the topic of making the transition from thinking like an Engineer to thinking like an Entrepreneur. It is not the first time that I have been recognised as knowing something about this topic. My Business Mentor,  Dr Marc Dussault  The Exponential Growth Strategist, presented me with an award specifically for having made this step From Engineer To Entrepreneur within his Business Mastery program.

IEEE Computer Society

IEEE Computer Society

Engineers Think Like

As an Engineer I have to think in terms of:

  • Technical Requirements
  • Implementation Technology
  • Architecture and Functional Decomposition
  • Risk Elimination or at least Mitigation
  • Test Methodology
  • Delivery to Budget and Schedule
  • Project Deliverables

Entrepreneurs Think Like

As an Entrepreneur I need to think in terms of:

  • Who has a need and how can I meet it?
  • Branding and Positioning
  • Pricing Policy
  • Prospecting and Sales Channels
  • Leverage and Scalability
  • Business performance and metrics
  • Human Resources
  • Profitability

These are perspectives which are nearly orthogonal. Just like the door that seems to swing one way when looked at from the top, and another when looked from the bottom.

The presentation went very well and we had a good hour or Question and Answer time afterward.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Positioning

As an Engineer, I have been educated to think in Engineering Concepts. One of the old jokes about education is that it narrows the number of people you can have an intelligent conversation with.

 Today’s blog post image was provided courtesy of Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist who is always on the look out for examples of antimimeticisomorphism, which I am sure you’ll agree this is!

Engineering Visualisation

Engineering Visualisation

There is a marketing concept known as Positioning. This refers to the way others perceive you and your offering and how you assist them to understand it. As Engineers we have been very bad at this. The picture above shows that depending on how you look at something, you get a very different impression. From one end it looks like 3 bolts on a bar, from the other is is only 2. This is a trick of course but a cursory glance fools the eye. And so it is with value. If we don’t take the effort to present it well, a cursory look doesn’t show it for what it is.

Creating Value

As an Engineer, I firmly believe we create a tremendous amount of value with the work we do.  The world we live in could not exist without the Engineering Design that made the technology we all take for granted possible. Looking at this from the Engineers‘ perspective, we added a lot of value. But because we don’t explain that, it is taken for granted.

So it is not just necessary to create value, but to Position that value so it is understood as valuable. This builds on  from my post on Creating Value where Edward De Bono is explaing why we are not so good at this.

I attended an IEEE Victoria chapter meeting Monday night and was blown away by the work done at CAWCR, The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, where they model, report and forecast on weather and climate. The presentation was excellent and I appreciated the Engineering and Science behind what they do, but I also reaslised that almost noone knows how hard they work and how smart the technology they create is. They create enormous value, but it is mostly invisble.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  This post is Copyright © 2012  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

I recently met up with Clint Steele who is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Swinburne University and also heads up the Ingeneers Network which is intended to provide practical and networking support for Engineers.  Clint brought a video along and asked me a few questions.  These were:

  • How did you gain employment after graduation?
  • What is the most important thing you have learnt about the technical practice of engineering?
  • What is the most important thing you have learnt about the professional practice of engineering?
  • What is the most important thing you have learnt about advancing your career?

You can watch the interview here which he titled “How to be a successful engineer“. 

 Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

 

 

Engineers do have a sense of humour

Engineers might seem terribly serious about their work, but Engineers laugh too.  And of course, what makes them laugh is as unique as the work they do. The classic Dilbert series of cartoons by Scott Adams are a case in point.

This first example of Engineering Humour is is a classic piece of Dilbert humour titled “The Knack

In a recent blog post on Embedded Software Testing I also shared one of the jokes that looks at the way different Engineering Disciplines go about looking for faults or problem solving.  It goes like this:

There are 3 Engineers in a car going for a drive. The first is a Mechanical Engineer, the second an Electronics Engineer and the third is a Software Engineer. Fortunately the Mechanical Engineer is driving because the brakes fail and they are going downhill.  The Mechanical Engineer eventually brings the car safely to a halt and gets out to examine the hydraulic systems.  The Electronics Engineer gets out and checks and body computer, ABS system and the power train CAN bus.  The Software Engineer stays in the car and when queried about it says that they should all just get back in the car and see if it happens again!

And another of my favourite pieces of Engineering Humour is this joke:

The optimist says, “The glass is half full”.
The pessimist says, “The glass is half empty”.
The Engineer says, “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be”.

And an excerpt from a classic piece of Mechanical Engineering humour with the Engineers Guide To Drinks.

Engineers Guide to Drinks 2010

Engineers Guide to Drinks 2010

Anyone who subscribes to our blog will automatically get a full copy of this sent to them.  Thanks to Steve DeLosa of DeLosa Design Services for sharing this with me.

Over time I plan to add more content here but this will get the process started.  Please feel free to add any jokes or humorous stories as comments and if you know who first told any of the jokes listed here, please also let me know that so I can properly recognise the creators. As Engineers, one thing we do respect is the right be be recognised for what you do and create.

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © 2010  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

This week I was the recipient of an Exponential Entrepreneur of the Year award.  Last year we were received 2 awards for technical excellence when we won 2 of the 15 EDN Innovation awards handed out in Australia in 2009.

So I was very pleased to be receiving an award recognising the business side of Successful Endeavours.  The award was presented by Dr Marc Dussault of Exponential Programs and recognises entrepreneurs and business people who have demonstrated excellence deploying exponential strategies in their business by profitably creating exceptional value for their clients in a manner that is both measurable and sustainable. The award received was in the category of Engineering Consultant and was one of only 6 handed out in 2010 and the only one in that category.

Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Ray Keefe

Exponential Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Ray Keefe receives his award from Dr Marc Dussault.

You can read more about the awards at Exponential Programs Entrepreneur of the Year Awards page.

The main reason for this post is to touch on the most significant aspect of this award for me. I once said that as a Business Owner I made a pretty good Engineer.  The past 18 months has a seen a transition away from that to the point now where I can say that I am an Entrepreneur who is also an EngineerEngineering is a Profession and so it isn’t something that suddenly stops being relevant.  Our education and mindset is all based on practical problem solving through the use of technology while balancing performance, risk and cost.  And we apply this skillset and mindset to most aspects of our lives, even when it isn’t the only way to go about it.  So I am very pleased to be making this transition.  Not only is our business better for it but our clients are as well.

And I also thank our clients for the trust they have placed in us to deliver Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development for their next generation of market leading products, the vast majority of which are still made in Australia at a profit.

Here is a picture of the Exponential Entrepreneur of the Year award certificate.

Exponential Entrepreneur of the Year Certificate

Exponential Entrepreneur of the Year Certificate

The initial nomination was published on PRWeb at 2010 Exponential Entrepreneur Award Winners Announced.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years.  For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © 2010  Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.