Here’s a little about Justin Deming, the creator of Goliant3D.
We’re a Minnesota company based right on the Mississippi river. This site was created from a computer sitting on a desk that’s in a houseboat floating in the water in the middle of the winter. That’s how outside the lines we operate. This style of living allows me to live without paying property taxes, offers me a million dollar view right from my bedroom, and provides other lifestyle advantages I won’t get into here. I still stick to traditional methods where they work best, but often tradition is just the old way of doing things based on old restraints.
Here’s an example from a story you may have heard before. A woman is making a roast for dinner, and before putting it in the pan the woman cuts an inch off the end. When asked why by her husband she replies that that’s how her mother always did it. A few months later the husband is at the in law’s house for dinner when the roast comes up in the conversation. The husband asks his mother in law why she cuts an inch off the roast, to which she replies that’s “how her mother always did it”. For Christmas dinner the family gathered at the grandmother’s house. By this time everyone was interested to find out the genesis if the tradition of cutting the end off the roast. Some thought it made the roast taste better somehow. Others had different explanations. Finally the husband asks about the roast, to which the grandmother replies. “I used to always cut an inch off the roast because my baking pan was too small to fit the whole roast. Grandma finally bought me a bigger pan a few years ago, so I stopped doing that.” Two generations of cooks kept cutting the end off the roast even though their pans were big enough, because it’s the way they were taught.
A lot of manufacturing and prototyping is done the same way. Things are done certain ways because that’s the way our predecessors did it. That doesn’t mean we should ignore all traditions, but often it can pay to learn why certain practices and procedures are done the way they are. By researching things I have often found better ways to do things, and other times I have learned a deeper respect for my elders. Certain business practices are tried and true, and worth learning from.
I seek the best knowledge available on a continuous basis. To keep myself educated I read the best books on business available all the time. If you’ve read a good one recently please tell me about it in the comments. In the blog I’ll write up a little note about each one as I read them. This is how I continue to educate myself on the best methods of running a business.