The Entrepreneurial Engineer

Thursday, December 28, 2006

TEE review at Electrical Apparatus

The Entrepreneurial Engineer has been reviewed by Richard Nailen at Electrical Apparatus:
Despite its title, this book is not a treatise on how to launch your own Fortune 500 startup. Rather, it's a guide for succeeding at any level of engineering practice, from the newest "cub" to manager of complex projects. He stresses the value of engineering education not as a narrow technical specialty, but as a valuable asset for any career. And Goldberg's advice has value for non-engineers as well-for anyone at work in today's commercial/industrial environment.

He has distilled the non-technical skill needs of the engineer into three principles: seek engagement; create first, criticize later; analyze through the eyes of others. Emphasis throughout the book is on that first principle, "engagement"-finding work that becomes an absorbing labor of love. (Chapter I is titled "The Joy of Engineering.") Yet in the section "Get a Life," the author cites the need for balance.

See the full review here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A pessimistic love of selling

Jack Krupansky has a blog post here entitled You Have Got to Love Selling, but the post betrays a deep distrust of the role:

I have no problem with providing information or showing a consumer how they can benefit from a product or service, but to my mind, there is a line between providing information that a consumer voluntarily wants and trying to manipulate the consumer in an involuntary manner.

There are lots of gray areas here, and many people are all too eager and willing to exploit those gray areas, but my inclination is to avoid the gray areas unless it is crystal clear that any "selling" is strictly informative and voluntary in nature, and not manipulative or involuntary in any way.

I think there are far too many people who enjoy the manipulation aspect of selling. My strong suspicion is that real selling can be done without the manipulation, but the evidence strongly suggests that my view is the minority view, or that a lot of sales people are unwilling to label many of their practices as "manipulative."

I can agree with the sentiments expressed here, but many salesmen misunderstand that salesmanship is first and foremost an act of empathizing with the customers needs and seeing the situation through the customer's eyes. This is the approach taken in the section We Are All Salespeople on This Bus, in chapter 7 (The Human Side of Engineering) of The Entrepreneurial Engineer.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jack Krupansky is back

at his "terminated" blog Entrepreneurial Engineering with a post (here) on the importance of youth in understanding the web these days. I made a similar point--among others--in my post Boom vs. Boom (here)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Inventive leadership

Ephraim Suhir has a short article on inventive leadership in an online issue of Mechanical Engineering (here). CEO and President of ERS/Siloptix Co in Los Altos, CA, Suhir calls for the combination of technical and interpersonal skills advocated in The Entrepreneurial Engineer.

Skills of the American workforce

The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce has issued a 170-page report calling for educational reform to confront the growing challenge from globalization (see Business Week article here). It doesn't appear to include the recommendations of Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind, which emphasizes right-brain (creative) skills as a way to leapfrog Asian progress in technical/analytical skills. It also doesn't appear to call for the teaching of entrepreneurial skills and explicit material about economics. These are mistakes. The report does call for competition and choice as ways to improve American education, ideas that are as commonsensical as they are political intractable.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Inventium: TRIZ with cards

Read or listen to Dan Keldsen's interview here with TRIZ expert, Andre de Zanger, of the Creativity Institute about doing the Russian creativity heuristic TRIZ in card game form.

A book that will go down in infamy?

Chris Donnan mentions my book (favorably) on his blog here. I'm introduced as the "infamous David E. Goldberg" of "genetic algorithm infamy." Any PR is good PR, and he spelled my name right, and included my middle initial to overcome the fact that "David Goldberg" is the Jewish equivalent of "John Smith."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The exceptionally entrepreneurial society

Arnold King of the Cato Institute has an interesting thought piece here on The Exceptionally Entrepreneurial Society.