18 years. That’s how much time I’ve put into product development. I wasn’t the smartest and totally skimped on the R&D prior to manufacture, but with the early build I became a student and devoted hours on end to research and development. The funny thing is that the more mature and stable the product became, the more time and effort actually went into research and development. I really wanted it to be ready when it was released to the public. Thank God I’ve had a solid team to work with because I truly believe what we have will be the answer to someone’s questions. The solution for some of the public’s problems. It will make the world a better place. Under Armstrong Labs, this will be our first release, with two other models to follow shortly after. There was a lot of trial and error early on with 1.0. Well, for me, a lot of error but my team mates were patient as I got up to speed and learned how to nurture our “baby.” It’s funny, I started off with this preconceived notion of what the end result should look like but somewhere along the line it takes on a life of its own and you learn that your job really is to help guide it to where it best fits. To the need it “finds” instead of the design you initially had in mind. That place where its own purpose is best served. It’s kind of like neuropsychopharmacology in a way… you have this remedy you think is going to solve one problem but along the way some unintended use is discovered which actually meets a need you’d never even considered. I’m glad for those twists and turns that place what you’ve nurtured right where it needs to be and regardless of the outcome, I take solace in the fact that I’ve learned from others’ mistakes and done the best I can to provide for the best possible outcomes. I’ve spent quiet hours giving my time, my attention and my sweat to the building and development of the project. I’ve been honest enough and had honest people on the team who weren’t afraid to pull my card when necessary so we’ve made agile course corrections when we were moving down the wrong path. We’ve put our all into this release and it’s finally ready.
In 5 months my daughter goes off to college and as I read the latest headlines about Google’s breakthrough contact lens which may help diabetics keep their disease in check, I’m reminded of how each of us parents, and on this #FatherhoodFriday each of us dads, is raising one of the potential team members who created what may be a medical miracle of tech. To wit, all these tech companies have their skunkworks and aspirations of changing the world for the better and that is necessary, but regardless of your station in life know that the world won’t be changed unless the necessary product development goes on at your home lab first. With your own family.