Andrew Hargadon is the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis and a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is the author of How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate (Harvard Business School Press 2003). Hargadon’s research focuses on the effective management of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies. I actually got to meet him once, but I’m sure he has no remembrance of that momentous event.
On a recent blog post, he noted, “Few of my students ever have, or ever will, walk a manufacturing line. Without that experience, it’s hard to understand how much innovation goes into building even simple products that lies beyond the surface “design.” The bulk of innovation needed to make a beautiful product goes into figuring out how to make it over and over again without sacrificing quality. It’s behind-the-scenes, decidedly unglamorous, usually made out of metal, and will last for decades. This was the innovation of our country’s past, and may be our future again, if we’re lucky (Andy Grove talks about this in How America Can Create Jobs). All of this is a preamble to a wonderful short video for Randolph Engineering, maker of high-end sunglasses, that offers a brief glimpse into the art of manufacturing.”
And here’s the video. Enjoy.
The Sound of Sight from Randolph Engineering on Vimeo.
Manufacturing is indeed cool. One of neatest things we do is to give tours of our manufacturing facility here in Southern California (you've seen our factory more than once). We do this for existing and prospect customers, partners, and maybe most importantly engineering students from Cal Poly Pomona, Harvey Mudd, and other schools. Always lights people up. Nothing like seeing real things being built in real factory!