What Is the Relevance of Engineering?

“Engineering in the long-run is irrelevant” ;.That is just what a client of mine explained when I created a demonstration to him about a new product. I had been speaking about the product’s features and advantages and outlined “state-of-the-art technology” or anything to that impact, together of them. That is when he built his statement. I understood later that he was correct, at least within the context of how I applied “Technology” within my presentation. But I started contemplating whether he could be correct in other contexts as well.

What’s Technology?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


a: the sensible software of knowledge specially in a certain place: executive 2

w: a capability distributed by the realistic application of understanding


: a method of completing an activity particularly using technical techniques, methods, or knowledge


: the specialized aspects of a particular area of effort

Wikipedia describes it as:

Engineering (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, talent, clever of hand”; and -λογία, -logia[1]) may be the making, modification, use, and understanding of tools, products, methods, products, techniques, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, increase a pre-existing means to fix an issue, achieve a target, manage an used input/output relationship or perform unique function. Additionally it may refer to the assortment of such instruments, including machinery, modifications, plans and procedures. Technologies significantly affect individual as well as different dog species’ power to control and change for their normal environments. The term may either be applied usually or even to specific places: instances include construction engineering, medical technology, and information technology.

Both descriptions revolve about the same thing – program and usage.

Technology can be an enabler

Many people mistakenly believe it is engineering which drives innovation. Yet from the descriptions above, that is actually perhaps not the case. It is prospect which becomes advancement and engineering which permits innovation. Consider the traditional “Build a much better mousetrap” example shown generally in most company schools. You might have the technology to create a much better mousetrap, but if you have number rodents or the previous mousetrap is effective, there’s number prospect and then a engineering to create a much better one becomes irrelevant. On another give, if you are overrun with rodents then the prospect exists to innovate a product making use of your technology.

Another case, one with which I’m intimately familiar, are electronic devices startup companies. I’ve been connected with both those who succeeded and those who failed. Each possessed unique primary edge technologies. The difference was opportunity. The ones that failed couldn’t discover the ability to develop a significant advancement utilizing their technology. In fact to survive, these businesses had to morph often into something many different and if they were lucky they could take advantage of derivatives of their original technology. More often than not, the first technology hurt up in the scrap heap. Engineering, therefore, is an enabler whose supreme price proposition is to make improvements to your lives. In order to be applicable, it needs to be properly used to create innovations that are pushed by opportunity.

Engineering as a competitive advantage?

Many companies number a technology as one of the aggressive advantages. Is that valid? In some cases sure, but Typically no.

Technology develops along two paths – an evolutionary path and a innovative path.

A innovative engineering is one which permits new industries or permits solutions to problems which were formerly maybe not possible. Semiconductor engineering is a good example. Not only achieved it spawn new industries and products, however it spawned different revolutionary technologies – transistor technology, incorporated signal engineering, microprocessor technology. All which give many of the products and services and companies we digest today. But is Equipos industriales ? Looking at the amount of semiconductor companies that occur nowadays (with new kinds building every day), I’n say not. How about microprocessor technology? Again, no. Plenty of microprocessor businesses out there. What about quad key microprocessor engineering? Maybe not as many companies, but you have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of businesses creating custom quad core processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etc). Therefore again, very little of a aggressive advantage. Competition from competitive technologies and easy access to IP mitigates the perceived competitive advantage of any specific technology. Android compared to iOS is a good exemplory instance of how this works. Both systems are derivatives of UNIX. Apple used their technology to add iOS and received an early on industry advantage. But, Google, using their version of Unix (a competing technology), trapped relatively quickly. The reasons because of this lie maybe not in the main engineering, in how the products produced possible by those systems were brought to market (free vs. walled yard, etc.) and the differences in the strategic dreams of each company.

Major engineering is the one which incrementally forms upon the base progressive technology. But by it’s very nature, the slow modify now is easier for a opponent to complement or leapfrog. Get for instance instant phone technology. Company V introduced 4G products and services prior to Business A and while it could have experienced a short term advantage, when Company A presented their 4G services and products, the advantage as a result of engineering disappeared. The buyer returned to selecting Company A or Business V centered on value, support, coverage, whatsoever, but not predicated on technology. Thus engineering might have been relevant in the short-term, but in the long term, became irrelevant.