One of the main words your learn when you want to build new technology or software product is “different”. Many systems are claiming they are new or different, but in fact these systems are barely an improvement to existing systems. The second thing you learn called “inertia”. Change is hard for everyone and engineers and manufacturing companies are notoriously resistant to any change that will require from them to change the existing status quo. Remember, on of the engineering rules – if it works, don’t break it.
So, to be different is extremely important to make engineers and manufacturing companies interested in what you do. Of course you can use Lucky Strike “it is toasted” marketing approach. Read more about it here. It certainly depends on your marketing budget, but even so, it will require some innovation from your development team as customers will discover the real picture as soon as they will start PLM implementation.
Over the weekend, my attention was caught by Chris Dixon blog – 11 reasons to be excited about the future of technology. Read the article- it is really inspiring and help you to put some things in perspective about technological trends and opportunities surrounding us.
I picked up 3 things from the article. These are my favorite things that can inspire to build different PLM system for the next decade. Here is the list and some quotes from the article – 1/ Virtual and augment reality; (2) Artificial Intelligence and (3) Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
Virtual and Augmented Reality. Computer processors only recently became fast enough to power comfortable and convincing virtual and augmented reality experiences. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing billions of dollars to make VR and AR more immersive, comfortable, and affordable.
Artificial Intelligence. ’It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go — maybe even longer.” — New York Times, 1997. “Master of Go Board Game Is Walloped by Google Computer Program” — New York Times, 2016. Artificial intelligence has made rapid advances in the last decade, due to new algorithms and massive increases in data collection and computing power. Some people worry that AI will destroy jobs. History has shown that while new technology does indeed eliminate jobs, it also creates new and better jobs to replace them. For example, with advent of the personal computer, the number of typographer jobs dropped, but the increase in graphic designer jobs more than made up for it.
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains. Protocols are the plumbing of the internet. Most of the protocols we use today were developed decades ago by academia and government. Since then, protocol development mostly stopped as energy shifted to developing proprietary systems like social networks and messaging apps. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are changing this by providing a new business model for internet protocols. This year alone, hundreds of millions of dollars were raised for a broad range of innovative blockchain-based protocols.
Augment reality can give you a completely new way to think about user interface. Especially when it come to design and manufacturing. There are so many engineering tasks that requires combination of real physical things and new designs. After all, each new design and product is “rethinking” of existing one. To have an ability to make it visual can an interesting option.
The ability to collect massive amount of data and use it for decision process is a key turn moment for AI to become real for design, engineering and manufacturing. How many times the decision you took was because you remember the previous decision that “worked” for you in the past? My hunch a lot… The ability to generate a new decision based on data intelligence can change lot of things and make it different.
Finally, new communication protocols can replace outdated business relationships and almost fax-based communication between suppliers, contractors in engineering and manufacturing.
What is my conclusion? There are plenty technology to make a difference for engineers and manufacturing companies. However, one thing to remember is how busy engineers in a real life with their everyday tasks. In some cases like the one pictured at the beginning of the article, engineers can dismiss new technology. So, be creative in marketing and bring new technologies to manufacturing companies in the way they will not miss the opportunity in their everyday life madness. Just my thoughts…