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Application Engineering - Don't Just Be Average

Since last June I’ve thought about a particular blog post on my way to and from work every day. My blogging mentor Rick Short wrote a very cool post about the corn in the field across the road from Indium Corporation headquarters, and how great planning leads to bountiful harvests.

I grew up planting corn as well – I’m very familiar with the phrase “knee high by the fourth of July”. Well, here we are. (I’m writing this on July 3rd actually) That corn field across the road is well above knee high!

According to Rick: “In my area there are a few corn fields that are this tall, but most are "average". When I asked a farmer about their "average" corn she told me she had planted at the usual time. I know that the farmer across the road from my office planted early. He was enabled by two things:

  • our unusually warm and early Spring
  • his being prepared to go as soon as possible

If a farmer plants too early she risks the chance of the entire crop being damaged by frost. So, these early birds take a risk. But, if it works out, they are rewarded with flexibility and a little more control over their busy harvest schedule later in the season. This is highly valuable at a time when many crops are ready for harvest at the same time.”

While Rick related this to B2B Marcom, I have been relating this to Application Engineering. I’ve found that staying ahead of the game allows you to use your time for research, product development, and proactive testing - while the rest of the competition scrambles to react to issues.

Like Rick has said many times, “We don’t get paid to be average”.

~Jim