10 September 2012
(Odometer: 31,350 miles)
That's the word from Bruce Stevens, CEO of PDE (Pacific Design Engineering) here, not far from Vancouver, where a couple of dozen engineers work in an environment that celebrates great design and promotes good humor (see pictures, right).
Stevens and a handful of other engineers came out of Microtel's R&D operations in the mid-1990s. Stevens in his career and running this company has had a catbird seat, from which he watched (and wrestled with) changes in design engineering, so he was a perfect person to try to tie a lot of road-trip threads together near the end of our journey.
Stevens gave us some background on the company and then dived into some of the most challenging issues of the past two decades.
How, for instance, technology has evolved to where smaller board-design teams can crank more products, more productively…
…How design houses that take a comprehensive view of design can ward off up-start competitors…
…and how China is great at some things but design (despite the low-cost or no-cost allure) isn't one of them: