Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Fostering the conditions

Added on by Spencer Wright.

From a recent Stratechery article on Amazon & Alexa:

You don’t make good products because you really want to, you make good products by fostering the conditions in which great products can be made.

This is something I've put a lot of thought into, starting around mid 2012. At the time I was leading development of a highly complex electromechanical system (robot doors), a process which was itself embedded into pretty much the most complicated residential construction project you can imagine. The engineering tasks we faced were formidable, and the schedule was extremely tight - but in many ways the cultural aspects of the job had an even bigger impact on what we built.

Since that experience - and urged along by my time at Undercurrent and my work studying product companies like McMaster-Carr and Amazon - I've only become more convinced of how critical it is to foster the kind of engineering, product, and project cultures that are appropriate for what you're building. 

Build what's right for the team that you are; Be the right team for what you want to build.