Stifling real innovation

Engineers are spending years getting creativity pushed out to comply with strict design parameters, fast production times and fast time-to-market deadlines.

During a phone interview for an upcoming article, the interviewee and I got sidetracked on the pressures of large companies to meet demand, taking the essential tools away from engineers to be creative in their design and development of new technologies.

Update-based product enhancements have replaced the ground-breaking engineering products that America was built upon. What has changed? Time, cost-driven corporate structures, revenue, high demand consumers, the list goes on and on.

Now it seems more and more, engineers spend years getting creativity and out-of-the-box thinking beaten out of them in order to comply with strict design parameters, fast production times and even faster time-to-market. Competitive advantage has seemingly turned into more of a marketing campaign instead of truly unique component designs with creative functionality and solutions.

Of course, this is not an all-encompassing statement. Smaller OEMs are able to generate extremely one-of-a-kind designs and technologies because they do not have to adhere to the rapid pace of demand for larger corporations.

What needs to give in order for companies to be able to allot adequate resources for true blank slate development? I completely off base?