Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In another time, and another place . . .

Being an engineer really is like being an artisan class. 

If we were in ancient Greece, though, would that make us landowners?

Since we're not, are there any lessons we can learn from Sparta? Two things spring to mind, from recent life lessons:

1. Focus
The classes were separated by function. Say what you will about classes, there still would have been great shoemakers, good shoemakers, and just-ok shoemakers within the trade class. The goal, I think, of every engineer, is to be the best within their class or specialty. Which brings me to . . .

2. Specialize
The idea of being both a shoemaker and a then a sandal repair specialist might seem silly to us (I mean, really. Beach sandals are like a $1) but if you needed your sandals repaired TODAY so you could march to war tomorrow, would you go to the just-ok maker, for the just-ok price? Or would you pay the higher price for the greater speed and quality of the specialist across town?

I have, and continue, to drive across town for quality. Do you?

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