2017-05-08 2 min read


Hello from California! And apologies for the late delivery this week. Hope to see some of you tonight!

Planning & Strategy.

  • A very good EconTalk interview with the owner of a small clothing line about... well, how her business works. There are a bunch of things in here that resonate with me - from her prioritization of pleasing existing customers over winning new ones, to her desire to grow a sustainably large business, to the way she thinks of her own cost structure & place in the market. See also her long and very thorough blog post on that last point too.
  • Tim Cook announced a $1B "advanced manufacturing fund" to invest in US companies.
  • ASTM has a new committee: D37, Cannabis. This is precisely what a standards committee is great at: bringing order to a wild and mostly unregulated industry, whose collective actions could affect people's lives & well-beings.
  • On the benefits of building a hardware startup in NYC.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a system for improving a facility's OEE. Like Total Quality Management, but specific to the manufacturing operation rather than the final product.
  • JB Straubel, Tesla's CTO, was linked to a startup which is apparently working on recycling "manufacturing materials."
  • Delta Airlines may be considering delaying delivery of their order of Airbus A350s, presumably opting instead to maintain/upgrade their existing fleet for a few more years (something they apparently have a history of doing).

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Apparently much of the fresh food sold in NYC's Chinatown does *not* go through Hunt's Point Terminal Market, instead passing directly from farms to a network of smaller produce suppliers. This distinction allows Chinatown produce to maintain high quality and a low price point.
  • Good graphics on how a melting arctic will affect global shipping routes.

Inspection & Testing.


Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Credit also to Lisa, Star, Jordan and Ezra for sending links.
A long, excellent piece on the lifecycle of oil rigs.

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