Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht and Digital Transformation

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | 2 Comments

What Happens to the Hole When the Cheese is Gone?

In my opening remarks at the Product Innovation Conference in Berlin, I talked about a famous Berliner, Bertolt Brecht. You might wonder what does the influential poet, playwright, and theatre director has to do with engineering, innovation and digital transformation?

One of the characters in Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children ponders a question worthy of an engineering conference: “What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”

But the motivation to mention Brecht in my opening remarks was another quotation: “Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” Read More

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause

“Uncool” Is Not a Business Problem

By | Strategy | No Comments

How Cool is it to be a Gartner Cool Vendor?

So your company has been named a “cool vendor” in a recent Gartner report.  Once the celebration is over, you might want to pause to think about what does it really mean to be a cool vendor. What impact, if any, will this have (or should have) on your future?

What Does It Mean to be a Cool Vendor?

Gartner describes a Cool Vendor as typically a smaller, lesser-known technology or service provider that offers innovative and potentially game-changing and disruptive technology, business model, or service offering:
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The Persistence of Memory

Tesla Missed Forecast. Are you Surprised?

By | Automotive, Manufacturing, Strategy | No Comments

Tesla Missed Q2 Forecast

Tesla Motors delivered 14,370 vehicles in the second quarter, missing its forecast of 17,000 units “due to the extreme production ramp in Q2 and the high mix of customer-ordered vehicles still on trucks and ships at the end of the quarter, Tesla Q2 deliveries were lower than anticipated at 14,370 vehicles, consisting of 9,745 Model S and 4,625 Model X.”

This should not come as a surprise. One of Tesla’s biggest—albeit least discussed—challenges is its struggling manufacturing supply chain.
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Why Do Software Bugs Continue to Plague Products?

By | Automotive, PLM, Strategy | 4 Comments

Pesky Software Problems Plague Many Products

It seems not a day goes by without reading about yet another software bug that inflicted a catastrophic (or, at times, just ridiculous) malfunction on an everyday product.

In these conversations about software quality problems, the auto industry is often singled out. Indeed, consumer complaints about vehicle software systems have been growing steadily over the past several years, and numerous automakers, including Volvo, Nissan, and Volkswagen, have  initiated large  recall campaigns to remedy software defects. Even Tesla, that usually gets immediate praises for almost everything it does, isn’t immune from releasing faulty software controlled systems (although Tesla does a superior job in fixing software defects via over-the-air updates).

But not only cars suffer from software malaise. General Electric’s refrigerators, too, require software updates to remedy errors that hamper the appliance’s most basic operations, and Samsung’s connected fridge allows hackers to steal a consumer’s Gmail login information.
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