Presentation: You Can and Should Make Hardware

Track: Hardware Frontiers: Changes Affecting Software Developers Today

Location: Pacific LMNO

Duration: 10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week: Tuesday

Level: Beginner

Persona: Architect, CTO/CIO/Leadership, Developer

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What You’ll Learn

  • Always maintain zero difference between prototype and production versions - all work is releasable to production - always.
  • Treat hardware as a delivery system for software value
  • Identify your essential user task - your project team’s polestar
  • Stay close to your users, stay close to your value - don’t fly an ocean away
  • Lead by design - build fewer objects of higher value
  • How to run everyday design sprints
  • Continuous process improvement is your DNA


Every industry will experience increasing pressure to collect data from, and maniuplate, the physical world: e-commerce, food, advertising, sales, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, labor management. This will require us to understand sensors and autonomy. We hear that making hardware is hard, but what if hardware isn’t hard? What if lean enterprise ideas worked just as well for hardware as they do for software, maybe even better?
When we accept this idea, we have the freedom to embrace failure and to release imperfect versions. This gives us the freedom to iterate like crazy - not only do we learn a ton about the problem space, we also grow our skills along the way.
Any device that will survive first contact with the market needs about 15 testable iterations before we really discover pmf, manufacturability and durability. So multiply the cycle time by 15 to get a good estimate of when we can be in the market. We really want to get this down to a week per releasable iteration, and there are ways to do this.

Speaker: Jeff Williams

Robotics Systems Developer

I spend most of my time on or I also write about a super-fast and efficient way to develop hardware: and,
I'm a computer scientist by education and have spent most of my career in manufacturing and logistics. My primary interest recently is ultra-low cost robotics connected to the cloud by low-power microwave radios. I once designed a radio that is about the size of a postage stamp, covers 500K sqft of warehouse space and uses the same power as a bright LED. In my career I've worked on large projects with Lego, L'Oreal, Wal-Mart, HP, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Kroger, Albertsons, Tyson Foods, Petco, Gymboree and Walgreens. I've worked with big logistics companies like APL, Sealand, Matson, P&O Ports, Maersk and DPA World Ports.
Being restless, I continue to rack up patents and patent applications.

Find Jeff Williams at

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