I’m not sure what to make of this news. Tesla Motors, the company making electric cars that just announced a glitch in supply of bodies for its roadster, just announced that former Toyota production engineering general manager Gilbert Passin will lead Tesla’s vehicle manufacturing operations. Given the problems Toyota has had recently (downplayed in the press release), this is an interesting move. Passin has 23 years of international automotive manufacturing experience along with a few years of Toyota Production System indoctrination. Might be a step toward professionalism in Tesla’s manufacturing. We can only hope.
Only five years ago, the thought of entrepreneurial startups in the automotive market would have been laughable. Now the leaders are all stumbling and perhaps there’s an opportunity. For all you engineering and marketing readers — take a hint and keep your eyes open.
Carl Henning has posted notes about 2010 training from the folks at Profibus in the US. He notes that Profibus training will change only slightly, but they’ve overhauled the Profinet training with a focus on implementation–that must mean it’s moving toward a critical mass of adoption. From his Profiblog:
We’ve eliminated the distinction between discrete and process PROFIBUS classes. The content was virtually identical anyway. So this year the PROFIBUS classes explicitly include discrete and process automation. The fact that PROFIBUS handles both types of application has always been one of PROFIBUS’ strengths.
PROFINET classes are getting some major changes. Last year we focused on introducing attendees to PROFINET concepts and applications; this year we’re focusing on using PROFINET. This year when students leave they’ll be ready for their first PROFINET project. (Of course, we recommend the 4-day PROFINET Certified Network Engineer class for more depth.)
Take a look at the class schedule and plan to come to the class nearest you!
Better dinner conversations
For my occasional tip for living a better life, here are a list of suggestions from Michael Hyatt about having better dinner conversations. Visit the Website for details, but the short version is pay attention to others, ask open-ended questions, don’t jump in with your own experiences (ouch!), listen.
From Chris Brogan, Are You Following the Same Old Conventions?
Marketing. Old marketing would be: find buyers for my product. Hunt them down and relentlessly hit them with messages until they buy. The bigger the number of prospects, the better the yield.
New marketing. New marketing is more like: find people who make more sense. Start relationships with them before selling them. Learn more about them. Make the offer if it makes sense. The social in social marketing would suggest that you care a bit about humanity, not that you’re using new pipes for old shit.
And, finally, from Tara “Miss Rogue” Hunt’s HorsePigCow blog, the gap between business values and human values. Thought provoking.
I like what Tara is driving at and they’re important concepts. In my opinion, however, she is over-complicating the issue. I much prefer Dan Ariely’s chapter on "The Cost of Social Norms" in his book, "Predictably Irrational." He uses some simple experiments to illustrate how the mind behaves differently based on social versus economic norms. We can deal with either situation just fine, but when they’re mixed it kind of freaks out. It seems to me that folks have a habit of trying to make more out of social media than there really is. It’s not that much different from the delicate balance of social and economic norms involved in dating, for example.