2017-07-31 4 min read


Two jobs notes:

  • Kyrea is a mechanical engineer who's been working for over 15 years on big international projects in energy management; he's looking for a new chapter. He's well versed in complex energy & manufacturing projects and interested in resource optimization & energy access. Get in touch with him through LinkedIn or send me a note and I'll connect you!
  • A friend who runs a hardware/software company in the smart cities space is looking for someone in NYC to fill a technical leadership role. This person should be an experienced manager who will also get hands dirty in code or prototyping as necessary. If that sounds like you, send me a note and I'll provide more details & connect you!

Also: Zach and I recap TPR's status and talk about what we're lining up for The Prepared's Podcast.

Planning & Strategy.

  • The always insightful Geoff Manaugh on Hyperloop and its historical & cultural context. "We once lived in a world that boasted a supersonic airliner, capable of whisking passengers from New York to London in three and a half hours—but this was a very qualified use of the word “we.” Who exactly could book a ticket on the Concorde was determined entirely by wealth, and, as such, that now lost transatlantic wormhole never felt particularly futuristic. Certainly, it failed to revolutionize international transportation for the masses. Today, it’s as if this feat of aeronautical engineering never existed."
  • Foxconn is indeed building a $10B factory in Wisconsin. One interesting (if incomplete) take: The subsidies for the factory will cost $230k/job for jobs that make ~$53k/year.
  • Oil & gas companies are doing a *really* bad job recruiting (and nurturing/promoting) women.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • Tesla "shipped" the first 30 Model 3s from their production line - all to Tesla employees. Musk also warned of "production hell," though in the public presentation it came across more as a joke/call to arms for Tesla employees. Reviews of the car are (as you might expect) *very* warm, though it remains unclear (for a broad range of reasons) how quickly it'll penetrate the mass market.
  • A piece on Orvis' new fly fishing rod which contains some interesting bits about how rods are made & tested.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection & Testing.

  • On the full lifecycle of the ice packs that Blue Apron et al use to keep meal kits cold. What a confluence of bad factors: Using sodium polyacrylate (which isn't biodegradable and whose production emits greenhouse gases and causes health problems for workers) in the first place; Not opting for the milkman model, where trash is picked up when fresh product is delivered; Existing in a world where garbage collection is paid by taxpayers rather than by manufacturers or consumers.
  • Ben is looking for drop/impact test procedures for consumer devices - the kind of thing that normally sits on a countertop, rather than something that you'd carry around with you. If you know of one, holler!
  • An interesting piece on productivity growth. "Britain’s flat productivity reflects a combination of rapid automation in some sectors and rapid growth of low-productivity, low-wage jobs."


  • A good interview with Mike Rowe, the guy from Dirty Jobs, on the realities of how the real world works. I've never actually watched the show and am a bit uncomfortable with the idea of "the art of manliness," but what Rowe says about the way things are supposed to happen vs. the way that they actually get done rings true to my experience in (especially) construction.
  • Kickstarter's cofounder, Yancey Strickler, is stepping down and the company is looking for a new CEO.
  • A good piece on Claude Shannon's years at Bell Labs in NYC. Related, I'm looking forward to reading A Mind at Play.
  • Jeff Immelt's farewell note to GE employees. While I was at Undercurrent, I worked with a number of senior GE leaders, and I couldn't be more proud of the little breadcrumbs (mostly vis-a-vis the industrial internet & additive manufacturing) that we left during his time leading the company.

A profile of the McKinley Climate Lab, which does extreme environmental testing for a wide range of industries.

Read the full story

The rest of this post is for SOW Subscribers (free or paid) only. Sign up now to read the full story and get access to all subscriber-only posts.

Sign up now
Already have an account? Sign in
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Scope of Work.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.