👋 I'm Gabe, filling in for Spencer this week curating your weekly infrastructure and manufacturing news feed!
To start off, some context on the problems I'm thinking about:
I've been doing a lot of thinking on Heavy vs Light Engineering, e.g. when a project should be tested in a simulated environment vs tested in the real world. Heavy Engineering which are projects having a long real world decision loop timing as opposed to Light Engineering which tests in the real world with all the variables present to enable shorter decision loops.
How does this affect teams? Does one way lead to more large inventions vs incremental innovations? What types of projects are best done with each?
If a team can get its loop timing quick enough they can and should engage in light engineering. The main goal of light engineering is to get to the "Oh my god there's not a market here" or "we didn't plan for variable to make such a large impact" realization as fast and with as little waste as possible. Being incorrect about a fundamental assumption of a company or project is not something tolerated by heavy engineering. There is not the time to be wrong because of how long and the cost it takes to go through a second iteration loop.
One approach is not better than the other. Rather they are two different ways of executing against problems of two different scale. If the loops can be quick it's better to test in the real world. If they can't, you'd better simulate the real world to make sure it's right the first time.
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