First: A warm welcome to Formlabs, our new sponsor. I've gotten to know the whole Formlabs team well over the past few years and am honored and excited to have them on board!
Second: While I keep *trying* to catch up on email, summer travel keeps screwing me up. If you're waiting for a reply, I haven't forgotten you! And if you want to get in the queue, holler anytime :)
Planning & Strategy.
- Basecamp's *really* smart decision making policy. "Companies that limit decision making authority strictly do so at their peril — they waste their time worrying about who can make decisions rather than executing on them, and they drive away their best talent."
- In order to level the gender/ethnicity/etc playing field, the city of San Francisco is making it illegal for employers to ask potential hires about their salary history. I endorse this (and the company policies mentioned in the article) 100%.
- Me, on product managing The Public Radio: "Doing one thing really well is much better than being okay at a bunch of stuff."
- Shyp is suspending operations in NY, LA and Chicago. "Knowing what we know now, there’s no question we’d do some things differently. We would have built profitability in from the beginning."
Making & Manufacturing.
- Elon Musk says he has "received verbal govt approval" to build an underground hyperloop from DC to NY. This is a rather strange claim, and honestly hyperloop's sizzle feels a bit wrong when our low-speed rail system is working so poorly... but cool nonetheless.
- A fun McMaster-Carr feature that I wasn't aware of: Made-to-order gaskets. You upload a DXF, they cut a sheet full of your shape.
- The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program gives grants to researchers working on long range space projects.
- On industrial software and the bond that it has to hardware due to its relatively low maturity.
- A really interesting blog post from Formlabs (sponsor, but not a sponsored link) on the process of formulating colors for resins.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- "Americans have an impoverished and immature conception of technology, one that fetishizes innovation as a kind of art and demeans upkeep as mere drudgery." Amen.
- In 2013, an entire track of Tokyo's Shibuya Station Tokoyo line was converted from above-ground to below-ground in under 4 hours. That's some pretty awesome planning.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Tesla rented 1.3 million square feet of warehouse space in Livermore, CA, presumably to serve as a staging area for Model 3 production.
- Amazon is converting a vacant mall in Cleveland into a fulfillment center.
- Fetch Robotics announced warehouse robots designed for 500 and 1500 kg, or about the size of cases & pallets of product.
Inspection & Testing.
- Mosquitoes generate lift on both the upstroke and the downstroke by timing & rotating their wings precisely to create vortices on both the leading and trailing edges.
- Macaroni and cheese contains phthalates, which presumably seep into the cheese powder from plastic & rubber parts used in its manufacturing process.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Credit also to David and Ada for sending links.
p.s. - We should be better friends. Send me a note - coffee's on me :)
p.p.s - If you know someone who does good work - especially if they're a minority in their field - please share The Prepared with them! And see our inclusivity policy here.