Moonshot Engineering Projects: Getting Innovative Initiatives Off the Ground

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’ve been given the reins of a moonshot engineering project. The company’s big, make-or-break initiative is in your hands and all eyes are on you. Feeling lost? Overwhelmed? No idea where to start?


In this episode, new co-host, Luke Wilhelm — Chief Product Officer here at Very and a veteran leader of big consequential projects — doles out advice for overseeing critically strategic engineering initiatives.


Topics covered:

- Advice for newbies leading a really big initiative

- Options for changing the scope of a project midstream

- Tips for effectively managing up

- Why saying “no” often makes saying “yes” more effective


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The ability to, like, takesolutions that are designed for one thing over here and left field and apply themin new and novel ways is a really awesome way to generate new products andnew progress on areas that haven't been achieved before. You are listening to overthe Air Iot connected devices and the journey, brought to you by vary. Ineach episode we have sharp, unfiltered conversations with executives about their IOT journeys, the mistakes they made, the lessons they learned and what they wish they'dknown when they started. Hey everyone, welcome back to over the air connecteddevices and the journey. My name is Ryan processers, CEO vary, andtoday I'm joined by Luke Wilhelm, former head of hardware for Uber's flying carproject and varies current chief product officer, most importantly, my new cohost,Luke. Welcome to the show. Thank you, R I'm good to behere. Looking forward to the journey on your podcast and your new companies.Those would be fun. Our podcast today we're talking about moonshot engineering projects.So first some background. Luke is an old friend of mine. We werelast work together in two thousand and nine or ten. Luke, you werethe VP of engineering at a company called green charge networks. flashforward ten oreleven years and you know you're, like I said, running hardware for Uber'sflying car project. I'm sure that's not what uper calls it, that's whatRyan calls it. Can you talk a little bit about your journey? So, like start us off? What were we doing at green charge? Youknow, talk about maybe some of your your time at Apple and then Uberand you know where some of the things you're going to be up to hereat very yeah. Sure, so I guess helps a little bit the background. Before I got to green charge networks, as you know well, as youknow, but I'm not sure our audience knows, screen charge networks dida lot of work and grid energy storage and kind of energy management of buildingsand EMI chargers and solar installations. And prior to that I had worked attwo other battery technology companies, both in nickel metal hydrid and them later withUm ion batteries, doing everything from cell designed manufacturing plants to battery packs,mostly automotive. So I met you guys and work there for a while.After I left you I went to a moved up to the bay are herein San Francisco and worked at a solid state battery company called Quantum Scape,just made a lot of news recently. They just went public this past yearon a back which is a very interesting, difficult chemistry problem around battery technology.After that I went to apple for little over three years, I think, led a pretty substantial cross functional team. They're developing kind of to say,a new product systems that were pretty complicated and cut across a lot ofdisciplines. Involved new facilities, involved leading hard teams, innovating and inventing newsolutions too hard problem. Then I went to hoobrew word, as you say. I took over the hardware engineering function...

...for the flying car project, whichI think they would rather be call huber elevate that that recently also sold outfrom Uber to a company called Joe Be Aviation. So that's where they are. And when that kind of transaction happened is when I joined you at veryachieve product officer and I'm super excited about getting into the space. I thinkbrings on my background across manufacturing and technology and engineering solution sets and team buildingand bringing that kind to the very space in the IOT space in general,which is a kind of new area for me, so I'm very excited todig into it and kind of get the best of both world so fluid.Yeah, Great. We're going to talk, maybe on the back end of theprogram about some of the technology investments that vary makes in the connected deviceIOT ecosystem, which it is basically Luke's mandate is kind of overseeing that.But one of the things that's always really impressed me about you is made yourcompanies trust you to oversee these huge, critically strategic engineering initiatives, and youknow, it's always struck me that like that is definitely, I don't know, your strongest suit. For folks that are out there, you know,today we're talking about moonshot engineering projects, so like things that a company isgoing after that are like a really big initial initiative, something that you definitelyknow a thing or two about. Right off the bat, somebody out therein the audience is saying, man, this is exactly what we're doing atmy company and I'm leading that initiative. What are some of the things ifthey are a first timer leading, you know, a major Moonshot typic initiative? As Luke is looking at this, let's say you were having a beersitting across the table, what pieces of advice would you give to them thatmaybe they're not thinking about going in or maybe a person wouldn't normally consider rightoff the bat? Sure, I think. I'm sure there are a lot ofthings going through somebody's mind. Having been there a number of times,sitting in that position, I think the things that jump out of me isthe most important ones to focus on, and I don't know that they wouldn'thave thought of these, but it's definitely what I would spend the time on. One is building a really high quality team around you, of kind oflike you're a lieutenants essentially, that are going to be much, maybe evenbetter, experts in part particular areas and really like helping you gage whatever thehighest risk items are in this crazy thing that you're about to take on,what things you have to invent, what things need pushing new technology to doapplications or whatever, but really like building up that first line, that coreteam, and it's really easy to push that off because you're trying to doso many things to get the project off the ground, and so you're tryingto do everything and all these different areas and really what you need to bedoing is focusing on hiring, and it's very difficult to have the discipline todo that. I remember we were first building up our team at Apple.I think I was the second person on the project and my world there.We we basically gave up and started spending all Saturday and Sunday doing like interviewpanels, or we just like invite the...

...candidates we have to come in onSaturday. We'd have people from the staff like focus there all day on Saturday, all day on Sunday, and did it multiple weekends in a row,basically just to get the team built because we just had to get it offthe ground. Like that really is the most important thing. I think thesecond thing after that, I kind of louted to it earlier, is reallyidentifying those things are going to be the highest risk hurdles and in the lifespanof this project that you're trying to take on and make sure you're hiring intothat and you're restorcing that and you're prepared to resource that sufficiently to like overcomewhatever those obstacles and challenges are. So it sounds like you know right offthe bat. You're saying focus heavily on team. Yeah, absolutely. Imean there are very few things in this world where one person is like doingit. I mean, even if you play golf as a professional, I'mpretty sure you've got a swing coach and a caddie in a bunch of otherpeople helping you. Like life is a team sport and anything that I've workedon that's a consequential big project is definitely a big team sport and you reallyneed to build that trust and to top down, you need to trust thepeople that are around you to do their jobs and them to trust people thatare doing their jobs for them, and I think really building a like ateam that's got good chemistry, that gets too, gets along well together.It's something that I've commented you previously. At very've done a great job ofthe team is like really awesome. I think we were interviewing you told meit's something like if you come to our like and all hands or a dinnerparty and it was like all the employees. You can't get stuck at a badtable, any table. Let you say that you're going to want totalk to the people are around the table, and that's really important in any ofthese big projects. Because it's going to get hard, it's going toget middle of the night, for I am hard. It's been like you'regoing to hit rough patches and you just need people you can be candid withand honest with, and I think you know, you'll probably hear more aboutthis as we talked through the through the episode, but essentially, being honestand clear is definitely something I firmly believe in and I believe at least thehigher probability of success, even when those conversations are difficult and painful and people'sfeelings get hurt and you know all kinds of bad things gonna happen, butthat clarity and honesty builds an integrity with the people that are around you andwith the people that are investing in whatever you're trying to go to it totally. It's a deeply held principle for me that liking who you work with iscritically important. I think people too often viewed as a nice to have.In my view, it's like a must have when you're thinking about risk assessment. So he talked about like probability of success. I definitely share your viewthat life is not Zeros intense. You know it's the probabilities in the middleof like and you you're doing the things you can do to increase the probabilityof success. Can you talk a little bit about moon shots? are goingto have these, I mean their moon shots. So like risk is bakedinto this thing, you know, and it's a their risky endeavor's high risk, high reward. Talk About Risk Assessment. What does that look like? Howdoes how do you think about that through the lens of planning a projectand the upfront, you know, the way you're viewing it, the wayyou're communicating yet the what I don't know, like go yeah, it kind ofdepends on the phase of the project...

...that you're in. So the inthe early and a big project, kind of the thing you want to thinkabout in terms of risk are really what needs to be invented. That's neverbeen done before. Now, if you're fortunate or lucky or you plan aproject, it's not totally impossible. Maybe it's taking a technology that's cutting edgein one space and applying it in a new, novel way and that's goingto give you a solution that you're looking for. That happen sometimes. Peopleare developing new materials and new processes all the time for some particular thing andit turns out maybe it's not even great for what they were trying to do, but you can use it as other way. That's actually earth shattering inthat world and that's kind of like an ideal scenario. That's the thing youreally want to be after. Other Times you have to like invent new physics, or not new vent new physics, but discovered new ways of using thephysics that exist to solve problems that have never been solved before, and that'svery common in the energy storage space. You see it a lot in batterychemistry technologies and a lot of universities publishing papers on things that are coming out. I mean the with the miyond battery, as you know today, was inventedin the s by Sony, right. So it's like that's been around.That instance of that battery has been around that long basically unchanged, andevery every year somebody busts out they say we've solved this new electricchemistry problem andthey haven't solved the new electricchemistry problem and then you wind up back with thesame batteries and and it's it's part of the discipplinted apple. If you lookover the years there, they didn't invent new chemistry really to like make theirbatteries better and better and better, but they just grind out every micron ofextra space every year, year after year, and getting three or five percent everyyear and really like like working on refining and perfection and understanding everything allthe way down to the nth degree. So I think as you get intomanaging a project and getting off the ground the way, you're starting to assessrisks a little bit different and that's like the project management trifector. Right.It's cost, quality and timing. Those three things are like what you're alwaystrying to optimize around. You can kind of push and shove them around dependingon where you are what the highest risks are, but those are the thingswe're trying to optimize to get all of them over the goal line kind ofthe same time. What is your view on? You know, a projectis is underway, it's it's a you know, some percentage completely, fiftypercent of seventy five percent complete, and the team discovers that the landscape haschanged, some new technology has entered the market place. That fundamentally let's say, negatively impacts, like some better mousetrap has come out or some better approachhas come out that now makes the project under way less interesting, less valuable. You know, is it like? I guess one school thought is likeHey, show must go on, get the thing complete, get it shippedand then iterate or, you know, tip over and back to the drawingboard like Cay. Talk about your view on that and what you've seen workin your career? Yeah, I think there are kind of a couple ofways to think about that type of a scenario. So one of them isdoing in the company that you're in. If you're in a scrappy start up, you've pretty much sunk everything you've got...

...into this idea and you're eighty fivepercent of the way there and somebody comes out with a widget that's better thanyour widget, you got to make a decision. Can you afford to restartor and it's still like keep the company together and make a better thing orovercome what they've come out with? Or is it you're probably a longer termsuccess, better to get the thing out there that you've already pretty much someto your company's resources into and kind of getting that across the bowl line,and that's really a business decision. You have to make that decision based onthat. I think, in general, if you're not, if that's notyour only product. So if you're an apple or an Uber or whatever,some company that's got lots of revenue streams, and you're on a particular moonshot deal, somebody comes out with the thing that's way better, then there's liketo two options. I think one of those options is you kill that projectbecause the thing that you were doing, no matter how well you do it, can't be better than the thing that just came out for some whatever reasonthat makes that thing better. Or and the scenario that happens a lot ata company like apple, which is that people, you're like well down theway to solving a problem or engineering a thing or building a product and somebodyon your own team or from one of the like co teams that you're workingwith or whatever, some other discipline, comes up with an idea and they'relike hey, what if you make the thing like this or you implement thisdesign feature there, and it totally like blows up what you were doing,but it's a great idea. You that company apple is very not shy aboutshooting ideas in the head that have a better way of getting done and takingon the new thing and starting over. And I remember when I was workingon a project there and we had we had one design attributes were trying tosolve for and we had all kinds of people working at we worked on itso many different ways and you kind of knew the right way to do it, but we did we studied different every possible angle. And one of theselong time old school apple guys like a thirty year better in an apple.He's like he's like Luke. Sometimes we walk all the way around the blockand look at all the houses just to wind up right next door. Butthe goal is the like thoroughly understand the thing that you're trying to solve andthen solve it the best way and if somebody comes up with a better ideaor a smarter way to do it later, don't be shy about taking that onand tearing up what you've already done and taking the new path. Solook, one of the things you mentioned earlier was the inherent riskiness of aninstance where you have to insert invent this thing into a get chart it's bakedinto the process. You're not going to be able to avoid that thing.I feel like that's an underappreciated risk for a lot of people. You know, they look at their gant chart and they're like look, eighty percent ofthis is commonly available things that we just need to invent this in this andthis and then we've got this, you know, game changing device. Iknow Wilhelm's law, which I have named after you. You've not named itafter yourself. Full disclosure for the audience, but is this idea that that's drivingstep, function and risk at each instance of invention? Can you expandon that a little bit and like for folks out there that that are lookingat their guant chart and seeing must invent this, must invent this, whatdo they need to know? What maybe aren't they fully considering or should theybe? Yeah, I think if you...

...have to truly invent new things,like new chemistry, is a new materials to solve a problem that's never beensolved before, that's a very hard, near impossible thing to put on agant chart and plan it to an actual project. You my in my mind, if you have to write that line item, that's like like invent newmaterial a by here you have like drop the probability of timely success by twoorders of magnitude. I'm sure it's it becomes much, much harder to predictwhere things are going to go. There's lots of stuff that's hard to do, but it's about executing and doing the blocking and tackling. And you know, in like flying car world, for example, you know, as youput it in ev tall end in doing things like lightweight composite structures and propellersand wing design and low acoustic noise profiles like all that stuff is hard,but it's all more or less known technologies that you're trying to tweak and optimizeto make better. But replacing what is jet fuel, jet A, witha battery system that's five hundred times less energy dens is a much bigger problem. So you're like, okay, we're going to have to invent a solutionhere because this hasn't been done and and that's you know, you want toidentify why those risks early, put as mighty resources as you can on them, partner with the best people in the world that it's not your company.Find the company that it is. Don't be egotistical about it, be humbleabout it, admit that it's hard and get get partners lined up that youcan trust and work with that can help you try to solve those is impossible, or nearly impossible to ask. You got to get done. So,okay, let's take that and let's stay on that, but through the lensof managing up. Okay, so you know someone out there is director ofengineering, VP of engineering, whatever, and their CEO is said, Hey, this is our moon shot, that we got to get this done.You know, this is critical, existential whatever. One of the things youknow, I've known you for fifteen years, one of the things that Luke isexcellent at is managing up. You know, and just like unflinchingly communicatinginformation that in this case I am often the recipient of this, but theyou know that the CEO does not want to hear it's income. It's aninconvenient truth or truths. You got folks out there that might be find themselvesin this situation where like it's a Moonshot, but they feel like maybe the CEOdoesn't fully appreciate, you know, the risk, the inherent riskiness ofneeding to invent three separate technologies or processes in order to make it true.What's worked for you? What can you share with the audience about like howto effectively communicate that within the C suite? Yeah, very early in my career, my first job out of college and I still had like dreadlocks,you know, coming out of coming out of college, halfway down my backand I was working on a project for General Motors, I think, ata company in Detroit and I'd given this pitch to like they're some top guysthere and and I seo came up after me. He's like, he's like, dude, I don't know how you do it, but you can talkto ce sweet and you can talk to a line worker with like perfect confidence, at both of those levels and still communicate your ideas really well. Andthat's an attribute you would need to latch...

...on to. My and I obviouslywas, like, you know, certainly complimented by that. My approach withpeople in general, and I mentioned it earlier, is always to be honestabout it. A lot of people, in my experience, really, reallyreally don't want to tell their bosses, boss, their bosses bosses boss,terribly bad news, and for good reason. Right like nobody wants to deliver liketerrible news, and my advice is twofold one. The fact that youdon't want to say it doesn't make it like not true, so you kindof still have to deal with it. It's reality. So being honest aboutthat and getting over that home early is important. And to is to tryto come with some solutions. You may not have the exact solution, butit's way worse to deliver bad news with no ideas on how to approach,attacking or solving the problem. Like if I come to you and I say, Ryan, we're totally host on this program because we don't have this thingthat we really need, and I and I just like end the conversation thereand go home for lunch, like that's probably not going to be a goodday for me, and it certainly wouldn't be any of the larger companies thatI've worked out in the past. If I tried to pull that with theDART. Whoever, I don't think you would have gone to it very well. So I think that you want to come with at least some ideas onhow you can start probing that problem, like here's the one. Specifically,I think we can get after it by partner with this company that does somethingsimilar, this team is approached something similar this way, or we're going totry to understand it deeper, by buying this tool with this microscope of thiswhatever and understanding that the problem better and give some like steps down the downthe path. You may not see all the way to the end of thepath, but at least give some confidence that you're on it, you're tryingto solve it and you're being open wide to different solutions coming from anywhere thatthey present themselves. One thing that I've always admired about most of the ofthe hardware companies whose products I find that I am the biggest fan of.They've really weaponized the word no. They understand what they're trying to do andthey say no to almost everything and then it seems like, you know,went that leaves them free to when they say yes, go just completely nailit. Take US behind the scenes. You know, as an engineering executive, how do you weaponize know to help you make your yeses more effective orlike help that drive more successful product development outcomes? Yeah, I think youknow at Apple, like it's literally taught to you and some of the exactlevel cons and strategy classes that you wind up taking there as they invest todevelop staff, to say no early and often like that's one of like theflash cards that you can basically of like a mantra, and I think throughmy career the good CEOS that I've worked with are able to identify things thatjust don't add the like for they're either in the project for the wrong reason, some person invented it and so they're personally attached to it. So it'slingering on this project even though it's not really adding value, it's not doingthe thing it should do. So lots of good leaders have said no tothings over the years, but apple is very formalized about it, like theyreally taught that. And Steve Jobs was infamous for his his desire and demandto be pushing ideas onto customers right like...

...deleting floppy drives and deleting CD drivesand all sorts of things like that, and and saying no to things thathe considered superfluous or or the team thought was superfluous ultimately. So I thinkthat, especially if you're in smaller company, smaller startup company that's really strapped forcash, you don't have the luxury of trying to pursue everything that mightbe fun to pursue. You really need to like heart. You need toweed out the things are not going to add maximum value to the actual solutionthat you're trying to chase after and try to eliminate those peripheral things that peoplevery quickly can go down and spend a lot of time and money or people'shours on. That's not really on the right path, and so trying toconstantly correct to stay on that right path to solving the actual project problem,like the real core issue mission that you're after is super important and that canbe deleting features, that can be deleting people, that can be deleting organizations. It's it's correct in the problem as soon as you can and saying noto things that are not solving the fundamental thing that you're going after. Lasttopic related to you. I guess what I would characterizes like some of thesofter skills related to managing these moonshot initiatives and and often, like at thetop, it does come down to managing a lot of these softer elements.I have found that, like, when you look under the hood of mostfailed initiatives, so, which is different than an initiative like that you killedin you said, look, this doesn't make sense, we're just going to, you know, divest from this. I think I failed as like theyjust, you know, company just missed something, it brought it to marketingit shouldn't have, or it was executed in a suboptimal way. When youlook under the hood of a failure, I find that one of the ingredientsin that soup is rationalization. You know. So the team, key people atkey moments rationalized away what was with retrospect, pretty obvious feedback, andthey said, yeah, but you know, or okay, well, you know, and and instead of like absorbing that really difficult information, you know, I think would have informed hey, this project should not continue like thisor in this direction. Is that something that you know? I can seeyou nodding your head, like can you talk about the dangerous rationalization and likehow would a person out there be able to maybe identify that they're doing itwithout realizing it? I like, for example, one of the things thatI'm often looking for and asking people is, what is the question your most afraid? I'M gonna ask you be honest with me, let's talk about this. What right now, are you absolutely terrified? I'm going to ask aboutand then let's drill into that thing, you know, because that's probably whererationalization is hiding. Can you talk a little bit about that from what you'veseen behind the the scenes and some of these big moonshots that have gone good, bad or otherwise? Yeah, for sure. I've been a part oflots of successes, but also a handful of failures in there as well,and I've definitely seen the significant damage,...

...sometimes of corporate fatal damage, thatcan be done in by rationing away, rationalizing away problems that you just don'twant to face. People have a really hard time a lot of times,and I mean it's human nature, you know. Nobody wants to like dealwith negative news, especially if it's about people that they really like personally.But maybe they're in a position we're the doing a ton of damage of thecompany, but they're a great person. They don't want to get rid ofthem or pull them out of that position. To you, though, it's goingto hurt them like I have seen that basically kill companies. I've hadsaid CEOS in my past say, well, look, I know you're telling methis guy shouldn't be in this position. That's going to really cost this andI'm like yeah, like it's going to kill us if we don't solvethis problem. You have to solve it and you know, I well,I'd rather deal with the double line node and double I don't know. andto me that was just I was just like, Oh man, that's justthe wrong answer. Like get you need to solve the problem. You ripthe bandaid off and deal with the problem and solve it. So I guessthat's mainly how I think about that. It's just just pushing honesty and Ithink in terms of realizing you're doing it yourself. You know, over mycareer I've involved like personally, I'm sure, like most people do through their lives, and I was very kind of type A battleaxee early in my youngcareer, kind of as a you know, bull in China shop kind of athing, and matured it over the years. I think one of thethings I really focused on the last like eight or ten years for sure,it's kind of having empathy for other people, like kind of assuming that people aretrying to do a good job and trying to solve the problem. Andnot assuming that they're coming at it with malicious intent or not just not capableof solving it. And it really like helps put yourself in a different perspectiveand I think it also helps you manage different types of people and and alot of projects that we do with now whords different nationalities, races, genders, whatever, backgrounds, sciences, disciplines. There's just so many different personalities andreally like putting yourself in other people's shoes as often as you can isas a great way to help build those bridges and build great teams. Ithink that's also a good way for you to reflect on yourself. You know, be thinking back about yourself and am I do I have a blind spothere, like, am I doing these things, like making decisions based onpersonal, you know, relationships or whatever, and not based on what's best forthis project, product of the team in the company? So that's that'skind of how I think about that. You just need to reflect on yourselfand be honest with yourself and as people that you trust. I mean,you know, the number one thing that I'd said at the beginning of thisis hiring great people around you and building a great team and don't build ateam that's going to say yes to you. You know, like I remember Iwas I was can remember who I was talking to. Maybe it wasbeen when I was interviewing with you guys. He's like, yeah, we're definitelynot looking for yes man. I was like, well, that isnot going to be a problem. Definitely not for or for sure, andI don't want to hire them. I don't want them around me. LikeI don't want those people, and most really good teams don't have those peoplein them. They want people that are going to be data driven and honestand attacking hard, hard parts about whatever's going on with with honesty and clarityand data and be willing to put their...

...personal, like emotional feelings aside andlike, just because it's my thing that's getting shot down by ten other engineersin a design review doesn't mean they don't like me or that the idea didn'thave its merits. It's just that they've got good points and you need toadjust course and it's why you have this honest conversation. Yeah, I findthat I cherish people around me that disagree with me, like challenge my pointof view and that tell me things that I didn't previously know. And oftenthose two things go hand in hand. You know, by challenging they're pairingthat with hey, I disagree. You know, here is here is additionalinformation I don't think you've considered or or have or no. I just saythat also goes back to that empathy point, because if you put yourself in otherpeople's shoes you can start to realize they don't have all the information inthe facts that you have. They have more in some areas and less inother areas, and and remembering that before you overreact or knee jerk to aparticular scenario is really important. And because, to your point, it's like alot of times they didn't know a thing that they maybe would have gotto the same answer your on if they would have had that information. SoI totally agree with you on them. Would you say that you've seen morebig projects fail because leadership rationalized away difficult personnel issues? Aka, I thinkeveryone has seen what you were describing and probably a lot of people the audienceare nodding their head right now saying yeah, I've seen instances where some key managersor direct contributors or whatever should not have been on this team, maybenot even at this company, but for, you know, various reasons that thedifficult decisions were not made to do anything there. So that versus,you know, the insertion of invent thing here into gant charts. Like.Which one would you say, in your personal experience, has killed more projects, driven more successful unsuccessful outcomes? I should say, yeah, I thinkthe so I've definitely been a part of both, I will say, thebiggest failures, company failures that I've ever been a part of, whether Iwas still there when they failed or not, as a result of poor, poorkey people being in the wrong role, like good people that are in aroll they're not capable of running, and a lot of times that thoseroles can be very expensive roles to be in, you know, CEO typeroles or whatever. Like those roles were like they're managing a lot of moneythrough the company and if they steer at the wrong direction you can start followingdollar bills into a furnace very, very, very fast. And so those arethe biggest failures that has seen him a company that the not invented,not not invented by this date or not created new physics by this date.Challenge definitely exist. But and if the team is honest about that, you'rekind of you know that's a real thing, like you know that's a risk.Like I've worked on multiple battery chemistries where you're trying to invent a chemistrythat's super stable and batteries are what really hard things, like these materials thatreally want to get together and create a bunch of heat are like microns apartand you're jamming as much of it these little tiny lightweight boxes as possible andlots of materials are not stable and all...

...that environment, the voltages, thechemistry is, the chemicals that are going on, like tons of stuff inthere, makes that very hard. And so if the team is honest aboutthat and they're presenting data honestly and in a transparent way, then the managementwill see that. The manage will understand that if you have the back ofmere investors in your funders to tolerate that risk, those companies may not bein in some cases still aren't successful, and I've been around fifteen or twentyyears, but they have an honest rapport and can still go back again andfight another day and they're still making progress down a really long complicated road.I haven't seen like the scheduling of invention in and an honest environment kill acompany or kill a program I've seen people be disingenuous about results are getting,and those types of things can also cause you tons of money because somebody's tellingyou, like this thing is going to work and I've showing it on thisdata, that this is going to work, and it turns out, fast forwarda year, that data wasn't accurate, like something about it was wrong,like part of it was generated from one design and part of a generaldifferent, different design or whatever. Somebody like did a thing that was kindof'm not genuine and that can cost you millions and millions of dollars and sixmonths or a year or whatever time and it's that can killer company as well, for sure. Yeah, on the subject of disingenuous reporting, you knowI'm about halfway through can burns as documentary on Vietnam, and I think youknow Ken Burns puts out fantastic documentaries and you can see time and time againRobert McNamara, you know, reporting frankly disingenuous feedback and and it it likeinforming baseline assumptions that then others were building a pawn and you know, whenyou're based on assumptions are not just incorrect but like bad faith, created inbad faith, you know, nobody else has very difficult to craft a winningstrategy on on that kind of a foundation. And it's that time period now coursesso, so obvious with the benefit of fifty or sixty or seventy yearsof history. Wasn't as obvious at the time, but you can now seewith the benefit of that that like disingenuous reporting of metrics and information and feedbackbasically set everybody else up, including two presidents of the at least two presidentsof the United States, up for colossal failure. Yeah, hundred percent agreeon all those points. Can Burns documentaries are fantastic. I definitely agree withthat and I also agree that. You know, in my world, likedisingenuous things are resulted in loss of money or time. They haven't resulted inlosses of life, but that certainly is a real thing and you know it'sa real thing in the automotive world, of the airspace world or obviously militaryand government politics. Yep, so, Yep. Okay, last question.So you know we're talking about you know, can burns. We've talked a lotabout large engineering moonshots. Tuck a little bit. I know you're abig fan of science fiction. One thing I've always wondered, looking at theworld science fiction, whether it's like,...

I don't know, the Matrix or, going all the way back to Space Odyssey, art informed science. ScienceInforms Art. What's your view on which is leading the other? I mean, certainly I think there's a bit of both. Right, it's a bitof a feedback loop, but my feeling is like science fiction are generally informedscience. You know, the most the best example, or like the mostobvious example is kind of Star Trek, and you look at like flip phonesand disk drives and ipads, like all kinds of stuff that was around,you know, in the s on in star trek episodes. And I alsothink like the freedom of art, art as a visual be the anyway,since we're talking about movies or books, I guess really, but especially withlike the digital age of like stuff that's gape possible to be envisioned and likepeople really being able to bring their kind of dream is to a reality,like a visual reality, to like really drive inspiration. Maybe like the exactthing isn't possible or whatever. It's the far fetch, but it can inspireideas and the real world and I think that, like we've talked a littlebit about this earlier, but the ability to like take solutions that are designedfor one thing over here and left field and apply them in new and novelways is a really awesome way to generate new products and new progress on areasthat haven't been achieved before, and it's a lot easier than invent thing hereon the Gat Chart. But I think that like science fiction, whether it'sliterature, our film, whatever, can inspire those types of kind of crosspollinated thinking and generate some real world change. Yeah, now I think you seeover and over in the best science fiction, or an element of greatscience fiction, that design thinkers are now untethered by engineering realities, you know, and so when it's in a book or on TV or movie, like, it doesn't actually have to function in real life. You know, itjust has to be something that like optically, is interesting and compelling and makes sense. You know, to look at whether or not like it has thecomputing power to be able to you know, the computing power if Moore's law hascaught up with the thing. Yet that's irrelevant through the lens of ScienceFiction, which I think is what makes it intriguing category. Well, MrLukewill how we are out of time today, but I want to thank you forcoming on. I'm very excited to have you as the cohost for futureepisodes and, yeah, thanks for being here. Absolutely. It's pleasure tobe here and I look forward to both being your cohost and running very gettingthis thing off the ground. Loud thanks for being here. You shouldn't haveto worry about IOT projects dragging on or unreliable vendors. You've got enough onyour plate. The right team of Engineers and project managers can change a pivotalmoment for your business into your competitive edge varies. Close Knit crew of ambitiousproblem solvers, continuous improvers and curious builders...

...know how to turn your ideas intoa reality on time and up to your standards, with a focus on mitigatingrisk in maximizing opportunity, will help you build an Iot solution that you canhang your hat on. Let's bring your Iot idea to life. Learn moreat very possiblecom you've been listening to over the Air Iot connected devices and thejourney. If you enjoyed today's episode, make sure to hit subscribe in yourfavorite podcast player and give us a rating. Have a question or an idea forfuture episode? Send it to podcast at very possiblecom see you next time.

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