“About two years ago, I left a job I loved in mechanical engineering to become a product manager at a software company. I wanted to learn how to build products for the connected world, and immersing myself in internet technology seemed like the fastest way to get there. The shift was abrupt: I traded Solidworks for JIRA, fasteners for code branches, and hey! I now had an office ping pong table! It was a brave new world.
In any field, the recipe for cultivating innovation isn’t complicated: reduce the cost of trying high risk ideas. Where Moore’s law and personal computers and parallel processing have done this for software, rapid prototyping is starting to do the same for hardware. Lasercutters, 3D printers, and Arduino-esque electronics are making affordable, physical iteration a reality.
This talk explores the differences between building physical and digital products; it will examine the impact of cost, capital, scale, and lifecycle on the technical product development process, exploring best practices from each domain. The talk also includes predictions for how the physical and digital spheres will increasingly overlap in an age where the IoT is steadily achieving ubiquity.”