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12 Apr 2017

Grade School Tour

grade

Today a group of grade schoolers came to the shop.  When you ask, “who wants to use the spokeshave?” and five hands go up you have a good group.  I was a bit nervous I would let them down, but they asked insightful questions and got me back on track.  Thanks guys.

Understanding that not all would be guitar makers there were two things I wanted to share with them.

  1. If you like bikes you can build them, if you like cars you can fix them. Sometimes you have to teach yourself, and sometimes you have to find someone to teach you how. But it can be done.
  2. Making mistakes is the process.  If you make mistakes you are on the right track. Don’t quit, you’re better than that.

The young lady holding the Mule was the only guitar player in the group, and when asked she  broke out Smoke on The Water. Points.

11 Apr 2017

Sawstop Vs. Bosch

Sawstop makes a tablesaw that stops when your finger touches it.  Bosch makes a saw that swings the blade out of the way when you touch it. Sawstop sued Bosch.

Bosch might have a better opportunity patent infringement  or not.  Instead of being looked at as “Sawstop 2.0” why not make a sliding tablesaw (instead of pushing the material through the saw the whole table moves through the saw)  so cheap you would be a fool to not buy it. Or at least undercut Sawstop.  Maybe the sliding table has some sort of vacuum to it that holds small pieces down so they stay safely away from the blade when cut.  Sawstop is great technology BUT YOU HAVE TO TOUCH THE BLADE.  Do you trust it? It’s scary.  That’s it’s weakness. If Bosch had seen that weakness and made something that eliminated that weakness that’s a better opportunity than following what’s already working.

Whenever there is a cultural rut there is potential for a great opportunity.  If something is working for a bunch of people you can jump in and follow, and it might just work. For a while.  But if you see weaknesses in the thinking, if you gain experience in eliminating them, and then boldly swim in a new direction- now that’s really contributing something.

11 Apr 2017

Sawstop Vs. Bosch

Sawstop makes a tablesaw that stops when your finger touches it.  Bosch makes a saw that swings the blade out of the way when you touch it. Sawstop sued Bosch.

Bosch might have a better opportunity patent infringement  or not.  Instead of being looked at as “Sawstop 2.0” why not make a sliding tablesaw (instead of pushing the material through the saw the whole table moves through the saw)  so cheap you would be a fool to not buy it. Or at least undercut Sawstop.  Maybe the sliding table has some sort of vacuum to it that holds small pieces down so they stay safely away from the blade when cut.  Sawstop is great technology BUT YOU HAVE TO TOUCH THE BLADE.  Do you trust it? It’s scary.  That’s it’s weakness. If Bosch had seen that weakness and made something that eliminated that weakness that’s a better opportunity than following what’s already working.

Whenever there is a cultural rut there is potential for a great opportunity.  If something is working for a bunch of people you can jump in and follow, and it might just work. For a while.  But if you see weaknesses in the thinking, if you gain experience in eliminating them, and then boldly swim in a new direction- now that’s really contributing something.

 

05 Apr 2017

Go on What you Know

I was on a road trip once and we were driving in and being followed by a nasty snowstorm. Do we stop to let it pass? How many days would that be? Would it be quicker to drive south to try and get out of it? Would we get stuck down there?

Part of being a maker, part of doing anything new, is you’ll never know what you you’ll know tomorrow.  And you won’t learn it unless you go on what you know today.