17 October 2013

"Making It in Memphis" my 3rd Flyer cover story: Local emergence of the DIY/tech/inventors Maker Movement

Making It in Memphis
Claudio and his quadcopter, built from parts
he made on a 3D printer, which was made from
parts printed on yet another 3D printer.
The would-be burglar counts himself lucky that he saw an interior light switch on and immediately spotted your shadow moving across the window curtain, giving him time to flee.

... not that anyone was home.
The burglar is frightened away by a cheap motion-detector you plugged into a hobby microcontroller that turned on the electric motor that slowly waved a plastic fin in front of a lamp.

01 October 2013

The real value of writing, for corporations

My favorite, most heavily copied (via photocopiers and Cntrl-C) and shared HBR article. Lucky for both of us, it's very brief.

from the Harvard Business Review
by Jack Shulman

Companies spend whatever it takes to develop intellectual assets. At the same time, they routinely seek to minimize their investment in the technical and procedural documents that tell people how to use those assets.  Such metainformation as instruction manuals, process descriptions, and procedure guides script the experience of customers and the performance of suppliers and employees. Yet companies view the creation of this information as, at best, a cost of doing business and, at worst, something they can safely ignore.

Good writers can change all that. What's more, good writers who are consulted early enough can improve the product development process and, potentially, products themselves. Unfortunately,