2018-01-03 3 min read


Another year! And what a year it was.

The Prepared saw a lot of action in 2017. Subscribership doubled; 8 new guest editors brought fresh voices and styles to the newsletter; 12 podcast episodes were recorded and released.

True to my word, I had something like 100 coffees with readers like yourself last year, and spent many more dozens of hours reading and replying to your (kind and almost always insightful) emails. This is *always* interesting, and one of my goals for 2018 is to find new ways to connect with you all & make new connections among you. If you're able to do one thing for me this year, please share The Prepared with a friend! The more good people to connect with the better :)

On the financial side, more than 80 people and companies stepped up to help cover The Prepared's costs. This was a big deal to me personally; both this newsletter and the podcast take significant time and money to produce, and I couldn't be prouder to be supported by such an awesome collection of engineers, operators, and entrepreneurs.

I'm excited for 2018; there's a lot of good work that I'm looking forward to doing - and learning about - this year. But to kick things off I'm taking a short a break, and turning the reins over to Dan Hui and Lisa Neigut for the next two weeks respectively.

Happy New Year, all!

Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • A short piece on Sewbo, which is using polymer lamination to make fabric stiff - and hence able to be processed fully by machines.
  • SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy was raised onto the launch pad for the first time; it should launch sometime this month. The (somewhat tangential) thing that's been bugging me about this: Who is paying for this Tesla Roadster they're launching, and how exactly are they justifying the cost?
  • A short profile on Tulip, the manufacturing management system that we've been using on The Public Radio.
  • In SF next week? Go to HDDG and see Mo McBirney (who I had the pleasure of talking to on the podcast a month or so ago) talk about automation in manufacturing!

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection & Testing.


Lake effect snow in upstate NY last week.
See also the Wikipedia page for Lake effect snow ;)

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